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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102523
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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I live in Haymarket, Virginia (Regency at Dominion Valley).

Customer Question

I live in Haymarket, Virginia (Regency at Dominion Valley). Part of our HOA dues every month goes toward Comcast cable services. Because of horrible service, we switched to Verizon many years ago and were told by our HOA that we had to continue paying for Comcast and that the Comcast contract would expire 12/2016.
A recent private meeting between our HOA Board and Comcast took place last month to discuss a lawsuit, because Comcast was overcharging all of the residents. The HOA (without any notice to the residents) settled for $230,000 and renewed the contract, even before its expiration date, to 2019/2020. A letter was sent to all residents also stating that the $230,000 would go to the HOA budget, with no reimbursement to residents.
My question: Is there any way that we can opt out of this ridiculous contract as a private resident?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
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I am sorry to hear about this situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize. Thanks in advance for not "shooting the messenger."
Yes, you are a private citizen - this is true. However, what is happening is that the HOA is acting as your agent in this matter. See here. The HAO derives its power as agent from the covenants, declarations, and/or bylaws, which likely give it that express agency power to negotiate cable connection.
If this is so, then there is really no way to opt out unless the covenants, declarations, or bylaws allow it.
So what can one do now?
1) Ask for a copy of covenants, declarations, or bylaws;
2) Read them through carefully;
3) If there is a clause that allows one to opt out of the HOA's decision somehow, then one would need to exercise it, which normally means sending a letter.
If you need help/directions asking the HOA for covenants, declarations, and bylaws, let me know.
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I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.