Before sending your email to us, please note and understand the following:

This website provides general information about LeClairRyan, its practice areas and professional staff. It is not intended to provide you with legal advice with respect to a matter that you may have.

Until such time as LeClairRyan has resolved all potential conflicts of interest in accepting your representation and has agreed to be engaged as your legal counsel, you are not represented by LeClairRyan or any of its attorneys and have not become a client of the Firm.

Sending this email or otherwise contacting LeClairRyan does not create an attorney-client relationship. By sending information to us, you are not creating an attorney-client relationship, and no disclosure by you before this firm agrees to represent you will prohibit this firm from representing any person or entity adverse to you.

Only if, and after, LeClairRyan has confirmed to you that it is willing and able to represent you should you, send the Firm any information or documents that you consider private or confidential. Such information will not be treated as private, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure until LeClairRyan has confirmed that it is able and willing to represent you.

If you choose to ignore this warning and submit any information that you believe or otherwise assert to be confidential or privileged, then by clicking on the “Accept” button, you agree that your submission will not preclude LeClairRyan from representing a client in a matter adverse to you where that information could be used against you.
Accept Cancel

Webinar: What HOA Boards Need to Know About Regulating Rentals

With the burst of transient occupancy arrangements, vacation rentals and renter occupied units/homes in common interest communities in recent years, community associations continue to scramble to figure out how best to handle them in light of their unique governing documents and communities . Add to that the increase in investor owned homes and condominium units and the residual effect of the prior economic downturn, the ever changing mortgage restrictions regarding percentage of owner-occupied condominium units in condominium communities, the “hang-over” from the proliferation of foreclosures in the past 7-8 years, and the lobbying efforts of the short-term occupancy proponents, and its no wonder community association boards and managers often feel overwhelmed about what steps, if any, they need or can take with regard to such rentals/occupancy.

Help is on the way!  Join us for a must-attend webinar on Thursday, April 28 (2:00 - 3:00 P.m. ET) on how to create a smart—and enforceable—rental policy at your HOA. 

Continue Reading...

Should HOAs Relax Their Rules to Increase Occupancy?

We recently received a question from a reader: how lax should homeowners associations be these days in their rules when it comes to helping homeowners sell units or keep them occupied with renters?

Answer: homeowners associations have to be very careful here. On the one hand, it’s in everybody's best interest to ensure that homes are occupied and that what was once a "field of dreams" doesn't become a field of "For Sale/Rent" signs.

Depending on the circumstances, associations may want to seriously consider relaxing some of their rules/covenants. For example, a very restrictive pet rule which limits the number of pets to one or to a particular size, may limit the number of eligible buyers/renters at a time when qualified buyers/renters are few and far between to begin with.

Similarly, many associations are living to regret the adoption of rental restrictions which in many cases were adopted under a much different economic climate and which were intended to limit the number or percentage of homes which could be non-owner occupied.

On the other hand, the enforcement of rules and covenants may be what is keeping property values up in spite of the economic crisis. Many people move into covenant-restricted neighborhoods because they like the appearance of these neighborhoods. An attempt at relaxing the aesthetic and other standards might backfire on the board of directors.

It should be noted that boards should not just ignore their rules and covenants even if they determine that they are in need of change. In most states, and under most declarations (i.e., the legal, contractual document that contains the covenants and which runs with the title to every lot), the board may have the authority to change certain rules by board vote followed by publication, but the board typically must put changes to the covenants in the declaration to a vote of the members. In some cases, a vote, or at least a survey, of the members may be preferable notwithstanding the board's authority, if any, to unilaterally amend the rule or covenant.

Lastly, the new regulations in effect for federal mortgage agencies (such as FHA and VA) are making it harder to get loans in condominiums by imposing additional requirements on owner occupancy and other matters typically overseen by the associations. Any condominium board seeking to relax its covenants should first consult with an experienced Community Association attorney.

Free Seminar by the LeClairRyan Attorneys -- April 17th

On April 17, 2010, LeClairRyan's Community Association Team will be presenting a free seminar in Williamsburg, Virginia, entitled "Advanced Legal Aspects of Community Associations."

We invite you to join attorneys Liz White, Dan Quarles, Megan Scanlon, and Will Sleeth as they will discuss four topics that board members and managers frequently encounter as they govern and manage associations: 


  • Leasing Restriction Amendments
  • Enforcement and Collection of Assessments and Fines
  • Board Meetings
  • Rules and Regulations and Architectural Guidelines

Resource and reference materials will be provided free of charge on a cd.

Again, the seminar will take place on April 17th, from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M., at Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Space is limited and registration is required, so please click here to register, if you have not already done so. We look forward to seeing you, and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.