2014 HOA/COA Leadership Seminar
Supporting Homeowners & Condo Association Communities
Prince William County values the volunteers who serve on boards or committees of community associations. We applaud their efforts to make their community a quality place for all its residents. In support of the Common Interest Communities of our County, the Neighborhood Services Division of the Department of Public Works offers guidance, fields questions, lends assistance and support, and provides educational events for enhanced knowledge and skills.
The Condominium/HOA Database
Neighborhood Services maintains a database of condominiums, HOAs and neighborhood groups in the County. Listing in the database is strictly voluntary, and benefits the organization by linking board committee members to peers in other neighborhoods, while also providing up-to-date contact information on common interest communities to the public.
Frequently Asked Questions
"What is the relationship between Prince William County and my HOA?"
The County has no authority over condominiums or homeowners associations, but can assist with governance questions. In addition, the county can provide reference materials and guidance.
"I have a complaint about my community association. Who do I call?"
Neighborhood Services is the first contact you should make (firstname.lastname@example.org
or 703-792-7018). If staff cannot resolve your issue, the State of Virginia staffs the Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman which will work with you (CICOmbudsman@dpor.virginia.gov
"Our association board would rather have the County handle property maintenance. Is this the right approach?"
While the County is available to enforce property maintenance ordinances, those ordinances are not as stringent as the rules of community associations. There are other benefits to the HOA or condominium that enforces its rules, and negative consequences for those that do not. Read Why HOAs and Condos Should Attempt to Enforce Property Maintenance Rules.
The Basics of HOAs and Condominiums
A general term for condominium and homeowner associations is "common interest community." A community association is a group of owners who have chosen to enter into a legally-binding relationship to provide community-based preservation, maintenance and enhancement of their homes and property. Owners have agreed to be governed by the community association, paying mandatory, lien-based assessments for the operation and maintenance of the association. In return, the association provides for the governance, business and communal aspects of the association.
Community associations are different from other neighborhood associations in that membership in a condo/HOA is NOT voluntary once the property has been purchased. If you are not sure if you live in a community association or not, read about the differences between neighborhood associations and homeowner associations. So that there is no confusion, a common interest community will be referred to as a "condominium" or "HOA," or "condo/HOA" for short.
The Benefits to Living in a HOA or Condominium Association
Prince William County recognizes that common interest community associations have governing authority separate and different from the County. Condominiums and HOAs have the ability to impose standards of property maintenance higher than the County is able to do, given state law. They also have means of enforcement provided in their covenants, bylaws and rules. Developments run by community associations are usually more successful in preventing neighborhood deterioration and most owners like the quality of life in a community association. Because of this, Prince William County places a high value on condominiums and HOAs and has worked to incorporate them in new residential developments.