Virginia proclaims Chap Petersen’s Homeowners Bill of Rights as law

Virginia proclaims Chap Petersen’s Homeowners Bill of Rights as law


chap-petersen-headerWhen an overly aggressive home owner’s association or condo association takes action against a Virginia homeowner, the citizen will have a new tool to defend their property: A Homeowners Bill of Rights.

Announced by the Governor’s office today on the Legislative Information System, Senator Chap Petersen’s (D-Fairfax) bill was signed into law on Tuesday.

Senator Petersen’s bill, SB 1008, codifies a series of protections for homeowners that live in a home owners’ association (HOA) or condominium associations.

The Homeowners Bill of Rights consists of five provisions –

1. The right to inspect all books and records –
2. The right to cast a vote on any matter requiring a vote –
3. The right to have notice of all meetings and to record the meetings –
4. The right to have notice of any proceeding conducted against the owner and to have the right of due process –
5. The right to serve in elected office if duly elected –

Upon receiving notice that Governor Terence R. McAuliffe had signed the bill, Senator Petersen issued the following statement:

“In 1775, a Virginia Assembly member, George Mason, stood on the steps of the Fairfax County courthouse and proclaimed the ‘Fairfax County Resolves’ to the local militia leaving to join General Washington’s army. Those resolves later became the Virginia Declaration of Rights and, finally, the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.”

“Today, HOAs and condo associations now constitute a new level of government, without any legal protections for due process or accountability. I applaud Governor McAuliffe for signing this bill, and today in Virginia we proclaim the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights which will codify protections for homeowners and families, and provide legal recourse against HOA abuses.”

The Homeowners’ Bill of Rights comes as a result of constituent concerns in Northern Virginia over overly aggressive home owner’s associations (HOAs) and condo associations. Flora Nicholas, a Fairfax County resident, was recently fined because a displaced soccer ball in her front yard was deemed to be debris.

Most famously in 2009, a Virginia man, Retired Army Officer Van Thurmon Barfoot was fined for displaying the American flag outside his home. Now deceased, Barfoot’s story still spreads virally through social media at regular intervals.

Following his bills to permit solar panels in HOAs, as well as his 2014 effort to neuter HB791, a bill to take away homeowners’ property rights, Senator Petersen has emerged as the leading voice in the General Assembly to protect homeowners.



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