When the disclosure laws were first enacted in Virginia, HOAs were allowed to charge for the actual cost of preparing the packages, but there was a cap of $50.  At the time, associations scrambled to justify charging $50.  A couple of years later, when the cap was raised to $100, overnight the “actual cost” had doubled from the $50 fee to $100.  There were no spot checks to ensure that the fee was justified so here was another law on the books no one really worried about.  As long as the homeowners paid it, what’s the harm?  And why would anyone quibble about it when clearly $100 was the law, right? They’re at it again. 

This year the Virginia legislature amended the HOA laws with respect to the disclosure package again only this time they got really creative with it.  Now, the disclosure package is sent by email unless the buyer requests a paper copy, the cap has been raised to $325 which now goes to the management company instead of the HOA.  I wonder how Sen. Jeanmarie Devolites Davis ever thought that one up.  Not bad if you are a manager, is it?  $325 for sending an email has to be the ultimate junk fee homeowners in associations are charged.  But the nicest thing is that managers get to charge this while on association time, so they are getting paid twice, if part of their contractual tasks are to take care of the paperwork.   

It’s a bit like going to the store and being charged for what you bought PLUS paying the clerk for ringing up your purchases, despite the fact that the clerk was being paid a salary by the store.  - Shu

From the Washington Post
By Elizabeth Razzi
Sunday, July 15, 2007

Buying a condominium? A house in a neighborhood run by a homeowners association? You had better stay on top of your e-mail.

A very large and extremely important document could be coming your way. Its arrival starts the clock ticking on a short period during which you can cancel the deal, should you desire to back out of your purchase contract.  Read the Whole Story