Over the past several years, the Virginia Association of Community Managers (VACM) has been engaged on significant legislation impacting the industry and, while we continue to do so, we hope that other professional management companies will join our efforts to increase their impact. That is why we write to you today with some information on VACM and representative examples of legislation on which we have advocated. We would note that these examples are by no means an exhaustive list.
The Virginia Association of Community Managers was formed on May 26, 2005 by the leaders of nine prominent community association management companies in Northern Virginia. Those founding members came together to share their expertise gained through managing more than 600 communities and more than 500,000 units throughout the Commonwealth. Almost 20 years later, six of the original founding members remain, and VACM has welcomed additional management company members and associate members. VACM members are committed to fostering the professional management of common interest communities and have adopted the Professional Manager Code of Ethics and Standard outlined by the Community Associations Institute.
The number of licensed and professional community managers has grown significantly since the initial state regulations were passed in 2008 and, on behalf of VACM, we write to you to ask you to consider joining our education and advocacy efforts.
During the 2019 Session, VACM worked to defeat legislation that would have repealed the licensure and regulation of community managers altogether.This defeat has been helpful in ensuring that similar legislation that has been brought in subsequent years to deregulate certain industries has not included the community managers.
During the 2020 Session, VACM worked in opposition to legislation that allowed for a special meeting of a property owners’ association to be called at the request of 10% of the voting members of the association’s board of directors. This legislation, Senate Bill 416 (Petersen), was defeated.
During the 2022 Session, VACM worked in opposition to several pieces of legislation that were defeated:
- Senate Bill 217 (Sen. McPike) would have required that all financial books and records shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Current law states that all financial books and records shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.
- House Bills 382, 954, 955 (Del. Convirs-Fowler) would have changed the requirements for participation in meetings, production of documents, the requirements for electronic meetings for associations; House Joint Resolution 56 (Del. Convirs-Fowler) would have required another JLARC study on the efficiency and effectiveness of common interest communities and their accountability structure; and House Bill 376 (Del. Convirs-Fowler) would have required the disclosure statement form include additional statements acknowledging that the purchaser had been advised of the disclosures.
Most recently, during the 2023 Session:
- House Bill 1519 (Delegates Adams & Coyner) as introduced would have required all common interest community managers to provide the association, prior to every renewal period, with notice of such renewal at least 30 days but not more than 90 days prior to the date that such contract would automatically renew. VACM opposed this legislation and offered a less burdensome alternative that was ultimately accepted. As it passed, the legislation now provides that a management contract that contains an automatic renewal provision may be terminated by the association or the manager at any time without cause upon not less than 60 days' written notice.
- VACM worked with stakeholders and the patrons on House Bill 1627 and Senate Bill 1042 (Del. Coyner & Sen. McPike) that, as introduced, would have required associations to come into compliance within 30 days of receiving any adverse decision of the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The bill provided that, if the association failed to come into compliance or repeated such violation, the Director shall refer the continuing violation to the Board. As passed, the legislation now allows the adverse decision by the association to be referred to the Board for further review, including whether the decision is in conflict with relevant laws or Board regulations and with a year-long timeline for compliance.
- Senate Bill 1428 (Sen. Surovell) would have prohibited a common interest community association from conducting a foreclosure sale on a lien for unpaid assessments totaling less than $5,000, excluding interest and attorney fees. Current law does not place a limit on the amount of assessments that must be unpaid before a common interest community association may conduct a foreclosure sale on a lien for any such unpaid assessments. VACM worked in opposition to this legislation and it was defeated.
- VACM worked closely with other stakeholder this session on Senate Bill 1222 and House Bill 2235 (Sen. Mason and Del. Wampler) which were brought to streamline the resale disclosure by having one set of rules and forms. The legislation sets out disclosure requirements and authorized fees relating to contracts for the resale of property located within common interest communities and provides for the issuance of resale certificates or financial updates. Importantly for managers, this legislation requires payment for the disclosures upon request.
VACM has done great work over the years as the sole organization representing community managers, resulting in many positive benefits for all management companies operating in the Commonwealth. However, VACM needs your participation and financial support for this work to continue. After nearly two decades of the founding members leading engagement and advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry, there is a need for increased engagement and participation by this growing industry.
Future advocacy and engagement will require education and outreach to the newly elected members of the General Assembly and future administrations. Please consider joining VACM to ensure the continued success of VACM’s efforts and the recognition of the industry as a stakeholder in legislative and regulatory decisions that affect your business.