WBK Industry News - Litigation Developments

Virginia Appellate Court Rules HOA Compliance Inspection Fees Violate State Law

The Court of Appeals of Virginia recently ruled that a homeowner association (HOA) violated Virginia law by imposing an annual fee for inspecting each property owner’s lot to ensure that it complied with the HOA’s rules.

The Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act provides that an HOA cannot “except as expressly authorized…make an assessment or impose a charge against a lot or a lot owner unless the charge is a fee for services provided or related to use of the common area.” The court found that the assessment for lot-compliance inspection fees violated the law because the fees were not “expressly authorized” by the homeowners; nor were the fees related to “the common area.”

The court reversed the circuit court’s decision granting the HOA’s motion to strike and remanded the case to the circuit court to determine the appropriate remedy and reasonable attorney fees and costs.