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DC Condo & HOA News

  • HOA’s lack of transparency raises red flags for home buyer September 11, 2017 Q: My wife and I made an offer on a property in a self-managed Virginia community of single-family homes. Our offer hinged, in part, on the sales agent’s assurance that maintenance of the community’s private roads was totally covered by current homeowner’s association annual dues of $1,000 per lot. However, we just received the HOA’s disclosure letter stating that the board is studying a road engineer’s report for possible dues increases and special assessments.    Read the Q&A………………….
  • Condo owners may need to take legal action against developer who refuses to sell new units August 7, 2017 We bought into a condo development five years ago. The condo documents said the declarant didn’t have to follow the condo rules or pay dues on his units until the last unit was sold.  We didn’t worry because the declarant control had expired and the developer was paying a reduced agreed amount each month for upkeep. We figured it would all shake out once all units were sold.     Read the article…………..
  • 11 people displaced after partial condo building collapse in DC July 29, 2017 Nearly a dozen people are without homes this weekend after D.C. Fire and EMS officials say heavy rains likely led a condo building’s basement to partially collapse.  Officials condemned five units in the Fairfax Village Condos in the 3800 block of V Street Southeast. About 3 a.m. Saturday, firefighters began getting calls about the partial collapse     Read the article………….
  • This condo owner pays fees for a money-losing garage and doesn’t even own a car June 16, 2017 I live in a condo with 150 different units. Our assessments are based on our square footage. Residents can pay a monthly rent for parking spaces, while guests pay by the hour to park in the garage.  Our assessments are high. The garage loses $90,000 a year. Instead of raising the rates on parking, our board chooses to pay the loss by taking it out of our assessments.   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Why you need to check with the HOA about building defects before buying that condo June 14, 2017 I am planning to buy a condominium, which is part of a homeowner association (HOA). I observed that a couple of units have exterior issues. It looks like bubbles are in the siding. However, the unit I am looking at is so far good.  After inquiring more about these mysterious bubbles, I learned that there were construction defects in the material used (which was synthetic stucco) and there had been a lawsuit against the construction company.    Read the Q&A………….

DC News Archives

DC Condo & HOA Articles

  • The Condominium Warranty Against Structural Defects in D.C. The District of Columbia Condominium Act contains a statutory warranty that protects condominium associations and their unit owner members from structural defects in newly constructed and newly converted condominiums. The warranty is backed by a condominium developer’s bond, letter of credit, or other form of security from which monies can be drawn upon if the developer fails to make warranty repairs.  This article discusses how the warranty against structural defect works and how to make claims against the developer’s security ...
  • Fair Housing Claim Against Homeowner Association Director Allowed by District of Columbia Appeals Court The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled that a board member of a homeowners association may be personally liable for violating the disability discrimination provisions of the fair housing laws by delaying action on a homeowner’s request for a reasonable accommodation in the enforcement of the association’s leasing restrictions.   Read the article……………
  • Headstrong HOA Board Member Puts Himself in Harm’s Way Over Fair Housing Issues In a recent case decided by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the court heard a matter involving the intersection between community association governance and fair housing law. In this case, Wilfred Welsh, a board member of the Chaplin Woods Homeowners Association (the “HOA”), sued fellow HOA members Beverly McNeil and Alvin Elliott (the “McNeils”), claiming that the McNeil’s violated the HOA’s bylaws by renting out their townhouse for use as a residence by a group of recovering alcoholics and substance ...
  • Enforcing Mechanic’s Liens Against Condos in Maryland & DC This article discusses the unit owner notice and party inclusion requirements necessary for establishing and enforcing a mechanics’ liens against a condominium in Maryland and the District of Columbia.   Read the article……………
  • A Checklist for Associations Transitioning From Developer Control (Pt 2) (DC) This article is a continuation of “Declarant Transition – Part I,” an overview of the laws governing the declarant transition process for unit owners’ associations in the District of Columbia. Part II, below, sets forth a transition checklist that should be addressed by the initial, unit owner-elected board once it assumes control of the association from the declarant.    Read the article……………

DC Article Archives



District of Columbia Laws

The two Acts are maintained byWestLaw
Division 7 (Property)
Title 42 (Real Property)
Subtitle 3 (Condominiums)
Select “Condominiums” or Horizontal Property Act”

PDF Versions:
D.C. Condominium Act 
D.C. Horizontal Property Act


DC Condominium & HOA Resources

Community Associations Institute – Washington Metropolitan Chapter

Rees Broome, P.C. has a Community Association Newsletter

Washington Metropolitan Chapter of CAI Quorum magazine(current issue and archives)

DC Condo Law blog