EPOHOA Latest News

HOA related news articles, happenings and published works by a variety of journalists, authors and homeowners like you. Not a definitive resource, though we do try to keep up with what’s happening during the current year.

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Previous years are available within the Library Archives.



December 22, 2018 Martinsburg Journal
Neighborhood Flood Area Won’t Go Away by Jim McConville
Horner subdivison of 31 homes appealed for help. Residents have contacted Berkeley County and the state Division of Highways and officials there informed residents they are not responsible for keeping County Line Drive clear. “We’ve got no help from anybody down in here,” Brown said. “We have to pay our taxes, but we don’t get no help from nobody.”


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December 19, 2018 GOOD NEWS PAPER
Help for Eastern Panhandle HOAs by Wendy Sykes Mopsik
In 2009, aboard an early morning commuter train from Martinsburg to Washington, D.C., several agitated and persistent professionals began discussing their mutual concerns related to owning homes in an HOA. They all felt a lack of knowledge about HOAs and felt unable to solve common problems in their respective developments . . .


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December 10, 2018 HUD Urged to Limit Association Fair Housing Liability
By Thomas Schild,  Law Group, LLC

IN REFERENCE TO: Federal – Public Law – Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act   Effective October 14, 2016
Code of Federal Regulation §100.7(a)(1)(iii) 

Boards of directors are required to address members’ claims of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. This includes harassment by other residents, board members, managers, and vendors. The law requires that boards take prompt steps to investigate and end harassment

The Community Associations Institute (CAI)–a national organization with members who include association volunteers, managers, attorneys and other service providers–has urged HUD to revise the rule to impose liability for hostile environment housing discrimination only where there is a discriminatory intent by the association board or manager.   CAI contends that the HUD rule departs from established judicial precedent and exposes associations to increased litigation costs to defend fair housing claims which may not be covered by its liability insurance. It also explained that . . .


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November 12, 2018 Orphan roads, a problem in search of a solution
by Brooks McCabe, The State Journal
     The orphan road problem is beyond any quick fixes. First of all, orphan roads are not a problem created by the state or its municipalities. They were created when a developer or individual property owner decided to build a structure, most often a residence, off a state road or outside a municipality because the land was less expensive, there were little, if any, enforced building codes and there were fewer property taxes, permits and fees.

     Some of these situations were initially addressed with the formation of homeowners associations which were to maintain the community infrastructure. In almost all cases these homeowners associations were undercapitalized and rarely, if ever, fully funded replacement reserves for the aging infrastructure. As time went on, the roads began to deteriorate and, in recent years, have reached a crisis point where resident’s health and safety are becoming threatened.


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November 9, 2018 Requirements of the Declaration for WV Homeowners Associations

Q: Why do prospective homeowners in an HOA we need to know this  information?

A: WV HOAs are unaware of the laws, rules, regulations and even ordinances that are NOT clearly spelled out prior to home ownership/purchase.

Q: What are some important issues missing in the Declaration?

A: All WV HOAs must file annually with :

the WV Secretary of State,

the Internal Revenue Service, and

WV HOA common area cannot be separately taxed.


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September 15, 2018  Is Your Association Adequately Insured?
by the American Bar Association (ABA) &  Government Printing Office (GPO)
… associations usually carry liability policies on directors and officers in case the board members are sued over their decisions, and an umbrella liability policy to cover catastrophic judgments. Unit owners pay the premiums on all their association insurance as part of their regular assessments. You have a right to see the association’s master policy, which the association generally must supply within … if someone is seriously injured on the property and the association’s liability policy doesn’t cover the judgment, each unit owner could be assessed for a portion of the cost …

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September 5, 2018 Berkeley County residents say floodwater is coming from P&G
by Jim McConville – Martinsburg Journal
Crestfield resident Greg Jones said the development has never experienced such extensive flooding prior to construction of the P&G site . . .  the development has never experienced such extensive flooding prior to . . . “Obviously, we need Procter & Gamble’s help,” [Braun] Hamstead said. “What has happened is, that there is a natural drainage from that real estate on to a channel at the railroad tracks, and then under a culvert that leads into what is now Crestfield.”

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May 14, 2018 Law Makers Unwittingly Perpetuate Problems
Most legislators do not thoroughly understand common-interest communities or who their patchwork legislation is actually protecting. Legislators too often shoot from the hip, passing laws that ricochet and cause collateral damage. And they will continue to do so in the future unless the Common Interest Community (CIC) [the HOA] interests undertake vigorous lobbying, education programs, and awareness campaigns to enhance their understanding.

A critical goal of the Eastern Panhandle Organization of Homeowners Associations, Inc.

It’s likely that increased legislative attention to CICs in the future will exceed volunteers’ capacity to advocate on the associations’ behalf. As community associations become a larger issue for legislators, boards and their associations will increasingly need a voice—their own professional lobbyists—to advocate for them in the . . .

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May 10, 2018  Justices grant summary judgment to subdivision for homeowners’ delinquent assessments
by Kyla Asbury | West Virginia Record
Pursuant to that order, the Conkeys were ordered to pay $1,215 in delinquent residential assessments and related charges. The association was also awarded $10,061.25 in attorney’s fees. In this case, the Conkeys did not pay their assessments, failed to comply with the amended declaration and adversely affected the association and its members, according to Walker’s opinion.  “I would not rely on § 36B-3-116 or the Association’s Amended Declaration because the Association sued the Conkeys to recover the unpaid assessments, and not to enforce either the statutory lien on the Conkeys’ property created by § 36B-3-116(a) or the consensual, common law lien on the Conkeys’ property created by the Amended Declaration,” Walker’s opinion states. “Rather, the Association chose to sue the Conkeys to collect unpaid assessments, that is, to enforce the Conkeys’ promise to pay their assessments. This choice matters.” Walker wrote that because the association sued to recover the Conkeys’ unpaid assessments, and not to enforce the lien upon their properties created by §36B-3-116(a), they were not entitled to . . .

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HOAs Heads Up – Pass the Word: Red Cross program takes aim at fire safety
“The installation of smoke alarms free of charge to anybody who calls and requests an appointment,” said Erica Mani, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Central West Virginia Chapter of the Red Cross. “We also go door to door and ask if people need free smoke alarms installed in their homes.’
Anyone wanting a smoke alarm installation or check of their existing one can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit them online at soundthealarm.org

April 19, 2018 Time sensitive PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The Elks Run Watershed Group – Jefferson County, West Virginia. Restore your septic system with our grant funds that provide for: Repair and replacement up to $7,000, Pump-Out 50% up to $150
provided by: Danielle Watson – dwatson@elksrunwatershed.org
(681)247-3011 (office)  Offer Valid through August 8/30/2018
Details at www.elksrunwatershed.org

March 29, 2018 Solar supporters help HOA work through restrictions
by Ben Delman , Solar United Neighbors
Homeowners associations (HOAs) are empowered to set rules concerning aesthetic considerations for the communities they serve. Sometimes this includes restrictions on the installation of solar panels. The Community Association estimates that 180,000 West Virginians live in an area with some form of homeowners association. Scott Rogers, Charles Town mayor [elected May 26, 2017] and president of his local HOA [Spruce Hill North], ran into this very issue. His HOA’s bylaws included a ban on installing solar. So Rogers reached out to our community of solar supporters for help. He learned that West Virginia law protects the solar rights of homeowners who live in an HOA. Section §36-4-19 of the state code states that HOA prohibitions against solar are unenforceable. It does allow HOAs to impose “reasonable restrictions” on solar, so long as . . .

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March 7, 2018 Court Says HOA Lost Right to Enforce Restrictive Covenant

by Lawrence Szabo, Esq. | Mar 7, 2018
. . .  a dispute between a homeowners association (“Association”) and homeowners (“Owners”) over the construction of a shed on Owners’ property without prior Association approval. Because the subject restrictive covenants had been disregarded over a period of years, Association waived or abandoned its right to deny Owners permission to build the shed in question and their action in bringing the suit against Owners was arbitrary. Thus, the trial court’s judgment in favor of Owners was affirmed. . . .

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February 24, 2018 Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities

by:  National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
Several EPOHOA members have asked about the their “forever” perpetuity beyond their lifetime stated in their DCCR.  That being: “continue only until twenty-one (21) years after the death of the last survivor of the now living descendants of Elizabeth II, Queen of England”  (its origin in the Duke of Norfolk’s Case of 1682). Many jurisdictions have statutes that either cancel out the rule entirely or clarify it as to the period of time and persons affected, in this case Common Law. We have provided the most recent, Sept. 11, 2014, at this writing for recommendations to all states concerning the appropriate handling & definition of perpetuity.

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February 16, 2018 Homeowners Association Hit With $20M Verdict Over Faulty Swing Set

by: David Siegel, Courtroom View Network (CVN)
Las Vegas – A Nevada state court jury slapped a homeowners association with a $20 million verdict on Thursday, including $10 million in punitive damages, in a lawsuit filed by a teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury when a swing set’s metal bar broke and landed on his head.

The jury found the Lamplight Village at Centennial Springs Homeowners Association responsible for . . .  the HOA opted out of a $150/month safety and inspection plan offered by the swing set’s installer . . .

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The full trial was webcast live and recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN.


February 13, 2018 Form 1120H, [Federal] Tax Return for a Homeowners Association

by: Brett Hersh – EPOHOA Guest Speaker sharing information
Press Release:  OvernightAccountant.com  has created an online course to help Homeowner Associations prepare Form 1120H, [Federal] Tax Return. The course, Form 1120H Basics, provides step by step instruction on the preparation of Form 1120H, simplifying the tax filing process and saving hundreds, even thousands of dollars in professional fees. The web-based educator has also created a series of articles that center on answering the most common question Brett Hersh, author & course instructor, has received over the years, “Does my HOA have to file a tax return?” and his article, “Do HOAs Need to File a Tax Return?” answers this question (hint: It’s yes) and links to other HOA tax articles.

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Additionally: 2-minute HOA VIDEO

January 28, 2018 Bentwood Estate homeowners seek [road] remediation

by: Jim McConville – Staff writer – Martinsburg Journal
Richard Lindvig appeared before the Berkeley County Planning Commission on Jan. 16 to ask the commission to write the group a letter of support in his dispute with housing developer Phil Cogar. According to Lindvig, developer Cogar is obligated to finish off all portions of the development’s main roadway, Bentwood Drive, and construct a secondary outlet from the community. According to Lindvig, Cogar has told residents he does not want to finish the road until all construction is complete. Lindvig said the commission previously had approved a change in the development road width from 60 feet to 50 feet. “You can hardly get through roads right now, if people are . . .
[Bentwood Estates established 1997]

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January 9, 2018 Policy Forcing Residents to Keep Garage Doors Open

by: Kyle Cheromcha, KCRA TV, California
. . . residents of Auburn Greens in Placer County, California were shocked to find notices taped to their doors informing them that their garage doors must be kept open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, effective immediately. The punishment for violating the rule is a $200 fine and . . .

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January 1, 2018 HOA Board of Directors Training

provided by: Montgomery County, Maryland
Members of a community association board of directors in Montgomery County, Maryland have been provided with basic training at the start of the new year of 2016. This unique free training is conducive to good management skills to handle the business of an HOA even in West Virginia. EPOHOA encourages any HOA Member, director or not, to increase their knowledge.

reference correspondence:
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Community Governance Fundamentals

TIP: this unique online training course is geared for your own speed. The course will remember where you left off – that’s right,  you have the freedom to come and go at will.

EPOHOA Formal Recognition Board of Directors Training Certificate of Successful Completion