Homeowners in one Virginia community association are allowed to display string lights year-round after the state supreme court ruled that the community’s holiday light guidelines were unenforceable.
In 2013, the Belmont Glen Homeowners Association in Ashburn, Va., began fining a family that displayed a string of lights on their front door and on their back-deck railing to celebrate Hindu, Sindhi, and Sikh religious holidays throughout the year, according to WTOP.
A Loudoun County circuit court ruled in favor of the association in 2018, siding with the community’s claim that it had a responsibility to preserve and protect property values and that meant adhering to the associations covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
Earlier this week, Virginia’s highest court ruled that the HOA’s CC&Rs didn’t adequately specify the conditions in which the lights violated the association’s rules and, therefore, the rules were unenforceable.
Kenneth E. Chadwick, shareholder and founding member of Chadwick, Washington, Moriarty, Elmore & Bunn, P.C., in Fairfax, Va., and a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers, weighs in on what this ruling means for how associations interpret and enforce exterior home guidelines going forward.
HOAresources.com explores questions and comments from community association members living in condominiums, homeowners associations, and housing cooperatives. We then assemble trusted experts to provide practical solutions to your most commonly asked, timely questions. We never use real names, but we always tackle real issues. Have a question or comment about your community association? Submit here for consideration:
Join CAI’s online community for access to the industry’s most in-demand community association resources.
Thousands of your peers are sharing advice.