Common Interest Communities

Common Interest Communities
Common Interest Communities (CICs), the collective term for Condo Associations and Property or Homeowners’ Associations, are designed for community living by a developer. The community is created by a specific set of legal documents, generally drawn up by the developer and subject to change by the 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, 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.

Two Virginia Acts, the Property Owner’s Association Act and the Condominium Act govern the activities of CICs. They grant certain powers to associations regarding the appearance of the property, allowance of accessory structures or signs, resale documents and other matters. Associations must maintain the properties to be safe. They undertake reserve studies and adjust assessments as needed to maintain reserves and make needed repairs.

For the sale of homes that are part of a CIC, resale disclosure documents, called a resale certificate under the Resale Disclosure Act, are essential tools to ensure that all relevant information that may impact a decision to purchase a home in a particular community are provided. Resale certificates are meant to educate buyers about their rights and responsibilities as an owner in the community.

Condominiums are often the most affordable homeownership option for first time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans, and many of the single-family homes for sale across Northern Virginia are part of an HOA. NVAR understands then value and importance of community associations and the role they have in the housing market.
  • State Advocacy Priorities


“Condos continue to be one of the only affordable homeownership options in our region, but hidden costs, safety, maintenance issues and lax community governance are persistent problems that many buyers encounter without realizing. We need to educate our Realtors® and clients about navigating these transactions, but also protect consumers from bad situations that can happen in these communities if they are not well managed."

The Honorable Nancy Harvey Steorts, Chair, Public Policy Committee