• Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman

    Condominium, Cooperative, and Property Owners' Associations

    The Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman offers assistance and information to association members regarding the rights and processes available to them through their associations. 

    The Common Interest Community Board is separate and distinct from the Office of the Ombudsman. The Board is the regulatory body responsible for licensing association managers, certifying certain employees of licensed management firms, receiving annual reports filed by associations, and registering condominium and time-share projects registrations. More information is available on the Common Interest Community Board page.

    Phone      (804) 367-2941
    FAX         (866) 490-2723
    Email      CICOmbudsman@dpor.virginia.gov 

  • Guidelines for Review of Complaint Submissions

    Before You Submit a Complaint or Notice of Final Adverse Decision

    Ombudsman process flowchart2
     

    View PDF flowchart (print-friendly).

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a Common Interest Community? | What can the Ombudsman do? | What can't the Ombudsman do?  

    What is a Common Interest Community?  

    Common Interest Communities (CICs) are designed for community living by a developer (also known as a "declarant"). The community is created by a specific set of legal documents, generally drawn up by the developer and subject to change by the membership (owners). When the developer relinquishes control of the community, the community's affairs are then governed by the Association of owners through an elected board.

    The Association board is authorized by law to enforce rules and restrictions (for example, regarding aesthetics), and to collect mandatory assessments to pay for maintenance and improvements to common elements (such as a pool, clubhouse, or just a road or signage). The obligation for owners to pay for insurance, maintenance assessments, and upkeep of shared property other than their own units/lots is the essential characteristic of a Common Interest Community. The relationship between owners and the Association is a financial and legal one.

    Neighborhood or civic associations with voluntary dues are not Common Interest Communities under Virginia law.

    What can the Ombudsman do?  

    • Assist members in understanding and exercising their rights in resolving issues with their common interest community associations (condominiums, property owners' associations, and cooperatives).
    • Issue non-binding explanations (not interpretations) of laws and regulations governing Associations.
    • Offer referrals to alternative dispute resolution services.
    • Assist members in using the procedures and processes available to them in their association to resolve conflicts within the community.
    • Receive complaints concerning timeshares, and refer potential violations of timeshare law or regulations to the Common Interest Community Board for further action as warranted. (View complaint form.)
    • Receive "notices of final adverse decisions" from individuals who believe an Association violated common interest community laws or regulations. Such notice must be filed on the Board-approved form within 30 days of an Association's notice to a member of its final decision, accompanied by a $25 filing fee (required by law).  

     

    What can't the Ombudsman do?  

    • Offer legal advice or interpretation.
    • Interpret Association documents such as governing documents, bylaws, etc.

    Forms & Applications

    Filers must read and understand the Ombudsman Regulations.


    Adobe Interactive PDFs allow you to type your information into the form and save a copy on your computer for your personal records. You must print, sign, and return the application to the address provided on the form.

    • Adobe Reader version 9.0 or later is required for these forms. (Some versions of Adobe Acrobat 8.0 or older will cause errors when using the interactive PDF.) Download the current Adobe Reader to view and print.
    • NOTE: If Adobe Acrobat software is already installed on your computer, make sure to open the file using Adobe Reader.
       

    For Association Members

     

    For CIC Associations

     

    Visit the CIC Board page for other CIC-related forms.

    Determinations

    The Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman issues Determinations in limited circumstances, upon review of eligible Notices of Final Adverse Decision resulting from the submission of a Complaint through an Association’s Complaint Procedure. 

    An Ombudsman Determination is not a judicial verdict, court decree, Board order or official opinion. It is legally non-binding and strictly limited to laws and regulations pertaining exclusively to common interest communities.

    Determinations are subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and the Ombudsman's Office makes them available online to serve as an information resource on common interest community topics. 

     

    News & Publications 

    Annual Reports | Office of the CIC Ombudsman

     

    Recent Articles

     

    Updates to State Laws Affecting Associations

    • UPDATED Maximum Allowable Fees for POA Disclosure Packets/Condo Resale Certificates (07/01/14)
    • For Condominium Purchasers: Effective July 1, 2014, amendments to the Condominium Act (HB 899) reduce the right of cancellation timeframe to five calendar days. The first page of each condominium purchase contract must include the five-day (formerly 10-day) cancellation right, in boldface print of at least 12-point type. 
      • Read the full text of the changes to the law governing the condominium purchaser’s right to cancel the purchase contract. 
       

    Training Opportunities

    Essentials of Community Association Volunteer Leadership

    Course designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of board leaders
    OFFERED BY: Community Associations Institute (CAI)  

    WHEN:
    Saturday, April 18, 2015
    10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    WHERE:
    Moneta Public Library
    13641 Moneta Road


    WHEN:
    Saturday, April 25, 2015
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
    WHERE:
    Thompson Center
    6090 Kingstowne Village Parkway, Alexandria


    Community Association Legal Seminars 

    Summer Series features legislative update and variety of topics 
    OFFERED BY: Chadwick Washington Moriarty Elmore & Bunn, PC  

    WHEN:
    Various (May and June)
    See website for details
    WHERE:
    Various locations
    See website for details 


    Links and associated content are provided for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by DPOR of the information, services, opinions, or products of the individuals or organizations. 

    Resources

    Community Associations Institute Chapters | Property Owner Associations of Virginia | Community Associations Network 

    Community Associations Institute (CAI)

    National Headquarters 

    6402 Arlington Blvd., Suite 500
    Falls Church, VA 22042
    Website: http://www.caionline.org
    Phone: (703) 970-9220 |Toll-Free: (888) 224-4321

    Central Virginia CAI Chapter

    P.O. Box 5118
    Midlothian, VA 23112
    E-mail: sdrayer_cvccai@verizon.net
    Website: http://www.cvccai.org 

    Southeastern Virginia CAI Chapter

    1300 Diamond Springs Rd., Suite 400
    Virginia Beach, VA 23455-3645
    Phone: (757) 558-8128
    E-mail: rebecca@sevacai.org
    Website: http://www.sevacai.org 

    Southwest Virginia CAI Chapter 

    P.O. Box 21391
    Roanoke, VA 24018-0141
    Phone: (540) 339-1224
    E-mail: info@caiswva.com
    Website: http://www.caiswva.com  

    Washington Metropolitan CAI Chapter 

    7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100-W
    Falls Church, VA 22043-2004
    Phone: (703) 750-3644
    E-mail: mrankin@caidc.org
    Website: http://www.caidc.org 

     
     

    Property Owner Associations of Virginia

    P.O. Box 95 | Attn: Wanda J. Cushman, Treasurer
    Thornburg, VA 22565
    Phone: (540) 775-7000 | Cheryl Thornton, POAVA Secretary
    E-mail: webmaster@poava.org
    Website: http://poava.org
     

    Community Associations Network

    Website: http://communityassociations.net

     

     

    Links and associated content are provided for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by DPOR of the information, services, opinions, or products of the individuals or organizations.