I RARELY take condo/townhouse properties in self-managed HOAs because of the burden of educating many board members on the nuiances of their rules and regulations NOT conforming to state and federal laws.
I did take a townhouse a few months ago and got it rented with almost a month lee-way to get lease approval from the 4-person board of directors.
I sent a copy of the 6-page lease to the designated board member and as well as my owner and waited a week.
After conferring with my owner on the NON-response from the board member, I sent all 4 members a copy of the lease with evidence that the lease had been submitted a week earlier.
The designated board member acknowledged the second e-mailing and indicated he would respond SHORTLY. 2 weeks go by and the owners and I are moving forward with their new tenants moving in this weekend...they are moving furniture out, applying mulch to the back yard and we are organizing for my plumber to fix the exterior faucet and my carpet cleaning firm to clean the carpets today.
The owners reconfirm with the designated board member that their tenants are moving in this weekend and that no response has been received on the lease document that had been submitted twice for their approval.
The designated board member responds promptly that there is a section of the HOA rules and regulations regarding no more than 2 unrelated members and then the HOA documents DEFINES what a SINGLE FAMILY CONSISTS of.
While I was glad to have the e-mail with board approval, my response to the entire board was that they should have that section of their rules and regulations reviewed by a fair housing attorney. While the HOA and county zoning laws may want to DEFINE what a single family means, the Virginia Fair Housing laws have been amended (2012) to PROHIBIT such restrictive covenants when applying to a foster home, group home, or property where persons with residential disabilities reside.
In my responding e-mail I provided 2 attorney resources for them to contact as well as a link to Community Association Institute as an additional resource for having their documents reviewed.
There are relatively few rental units in this townhouse property and so this issue may not have come up before; however, most HOA insurance policies do not not cover fair housing litigation costs OR awards so individual unit owners/HOA members would pay if this restrictive language resulted in a fair housing complaint.