Navigating HOA Evictions: Tips for Tenants and Landlords

Navigating HOA Evictions: Tips for Tenants and Landlords

Richmond, Virginia's eviction rate is over 11%, making it the second-highest in the country. When a dispute arises, both parties must understand that HOA evictions fall under different rules than a standard eviction.

We will share information about Virginia law and HOA property rules and evictions.

Living in an HOA Development

You should receive a copy of the homeowners' association governing documents when you move in. If you didn't receive a copy or want to verify the association is legally compliant, documents are public record.

Every HOA must file its governing documents, including Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, Bylaws, and other regulations or HOA rules.

HOAs must comply with the regulations of the Virginia Property Owners Association Act, plus state and federal laws, including

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • The Fair Housing Act
  • Virginia Fair Housing Law
  • The Virginia Debt Collection Act

A homeowners association is only authorized to evict a homeowner or tenant if their governing documents give them that authority.

Respond to HOA Notices

If you receive a notice from the HOA claiming you broke a rule, don't ignore it. Address the situation immediately, taking steps to rectify the problem. Don't take the notice personally; HOA rules are for keeping your community safe.

Communicate face-to-face to resolve minor infractions or warnings. Respond in writing for more serious claims, including eviction. The property manager's purpose is to manage tenant relationships, handle conflicts, and ensure compliance with HOA rules.

Corporate Governance

Most homeowners associations in Virginia are formed as nonstock corporations, meaning no shareholders or owners exist. They are governed by the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act. This mandates law on corporate structure, management, and procedures.

HOA Evictions and Foreclosures

Failing to pay your HOA fees in Virginia allows the association to place a lien on your property.

If you own rental property and your tenant violates HOA rules, you, as the owner, are responsible. The HOA board will notify you of the violation, and you are responsible for assessments. You may recover the fees only if specified in your lease with the tenant.

For multiple infractions, the HOA may demand the eviction of your tenant. They can only take this action if they have authorization in their governing documents. For a tenant who commits a crime, the board can report that tenant to law enforcement.

This is why screening applicants carefully when seeking new tenants is important. Renters who are cooperative from the beginning are less likely to cause HOA conflicts, behavior issues, or rent problems in the future.

Tenants Rights

The state of Virginia establishes the rights and responsibilities of tenants. This requires a landlord to follow court eviction procedures. The process begins with the landlord sending the tenant a written notice and filing an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

Professional Property Management

One of the best ways to avoid HOA evictions is to ensure tenants and landlords build a solid rapport with the property manager. For tenants, they are the go-to person for questions and resolving problems.

Rental property is a lucrative investment when properly managed. Alleviate the headaches of trying to juggle landlord responsibilities. Contact PMI Richmond for a property management analysis by completing our online form or calling 804.409.9825.