Community Associations maintain reserve accounts as a means of funding their long term needs for repair and replacement of major capital items. These Association assets typically include all common property under Association control such as roads, roofs, swimming pools and pool decks, sidewalks and clubhouses. Reserves are not intended to fund the Association’s everyday operating expenses, which are set forth in its annual budget.
Raymond B. Via, Jr.
For more than 20 years, Mr. Via's practice has primarily involved the representation of condominium and homeowners associations throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is experienced in all facets of association representation including drafting and amending governing documents for community associations. Mr. Via has successfully litigated numerous cases involving community associations in Maryland and the District of Columbia in both trial and appellate courts.
Mr. Via is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and a past president of the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake Chapter of CAI. He has written and lectured extensively on community association issues and regularly teaches homeowner education courses. He is also a member of CAI's National Faculty and served for many years as a delegate to the Maryland Legislative Action Committee. He remains actively involved in the process of both creating and monitoring national, state and local legislation affecting community associations.
Memberships & Activities
- Member: Maryland State Bar Association, Real Estate Section
- Board Member: Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute, Legislative Action Committee; CAI National Public Policy Committee
- Member: Bar Association of Montgomery County
- Member: District of Columbia Bar Association
Common-Interest Community Associations
- Mr. Via is experienced in representing community associations through Maryland and the District of Columbia
Counsel to Boards of Directors
- Advises association boards on day-to-day business operations, compliance with governing documents, operating procedures, meetings, quorum, voting and proxy issues, insurance matters, director issues and disputes, member issues and disputes, financial and real property transactions, land use and rezoning issues, assessment collections, and appropriate responses to changing federal, state and local laws
Contract Negotiations and Dispute Resolution
- Experienced in negotiating agreements for construction, maintenance and improvements of the Association's property and common facilities
Real Estate and Land Use
- Represents large master property owner association clients in obtaining rezoning for capital improvements to the community facilities
- Represents community association clients before local, county and city governments on land use and zoning issues
- Represents large and small association clients in real property transactions involving the acquisition and sale of land, boundary dispute issues, and the negotiation of public and private easements, licenses and covenants, including considerable experience in negotiating bulk cable television and internet contracts
- Extensive experience in consulting on and preparing amendments to the governing documents for both traditional and age-restricted communities
- Prepares corporate and governing documents for large master property owners' associations and smaller property owners' associations
Community Association Litigation
- Represents both large and small association clients in litigation and administrative proceedings involving fair housing disputes, foreclosures, eminent domain and condemnation matters, covenants and rules compliance, and contract disputes. Mr. Via is also regularly retained by insurers to defend Common Interest Communities in claims against associations involving alleged breach of fiduciary duty by Directors
- Recently successfully defended a DC condominium association in a several hundred thousand dollar breach of fiduciary duty/retaliation claim in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the DC Court of Appeals
- Negotiated favorable results for associations in numerous statutory warranty claims in Maryland and DC
- Successfully litigated numerous cases in Maryland and the District of Columbia in a wide variety of issues including employment law, fair housing complaints, contract disputes, construction law and insurance coverage issues
Commercial and Residential Development
- Advises real estate development clients on the formation and administration of both residential and commercial common-interest community associations, including preparation of condominium instruments, declarations, corporate documents and rules and regulations, and common-interest community association administration during the development control period
Client Alert: Department of Justice Enacts New Americans with Disabilities Standards That Could Affect Community Associations
Members of community associations must be aware that the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") has recently issued standards for how it interprets the ADA provisions. Under those standards, if a community association's swimming pool is open to other than members of the association and their guests; it will be deemed a place of public accommodation. If it is a place of public accommodation, then the ADA requires that there be at least one means of ingress and egress to the pool for persons with disabilities if the perimeter of the pool is 300 linear feet or less and a second means if the pool perimeter is more than 300 linear feet.
On 5/7, Chad Toms and Ray Via co-present with Ron Kirby from Associa Building Reserves at the Legum and Norman Annual Board Training Seminar at the Clarion Resort Fountainebleau Hotel, Ocean City, MD. The presentation, “Key Things Every Board Member Should Know,” will cover: Board responsibilities, how to run an election/nominating committee, how technology and social media can affect community associations, how to read and understand a reserve study, and legislative updates.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston (WTP) announced today that Raymond B. Via, Jr., has joined the firm's Community Associations practice as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office.