Reserve Studies - The Complete Guide is 436 pages explaining the concepts and process for making a reserve study. For more information and to order, click here.

 

 

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State of Virginia


The state of Virginia has adopted specific statutes related to reserve studies, which are emobodied in Section 55-79.83:1 of the Virginia Condominium Act, which states:

A. Except to the extent otherwise provided in the condominium instruments and unless the condominium instruments impose more stringent requirements, the executive organ shall:


1. Conduct at least once every five years a study to determine the necessity and amount of reserves required to repair, replace and restore the capital components;

2. Review the results of that study at least annually to determine if reserves are sufficient; and

3. Make any adjustments the executive organ deems necessary to maintain reserves, as appropriate.

B. To the extent that the reserve study conducted in accordance with this section indicates a need to budget for reserves, the unit owners' association budget shall include, without limitations:

1. The current estimated replacement cost, estimated remaining life and estimated useful life of the capital components;

2. As of the beginning of the fiscal year for which the budget is prepared, the current amount of accumulated cash reserves set aside, to repair, replace or restore the capital components and the amount of the expected contribution to the reserve fund for that fiscal year; and

3. A general statement describing the procedures used for the estimation and accumulation of cash reserves pursuant to this section and the extent to which the unit owners' association is funding its reserve obligations consistent with the study currently in effect.

 

Common industry practice is that homeowners associations should perform periodic reserve studies as a prudent business practice.  Directors of associations are generally held to a “prudent businessman” rule in determining whether or not they have met the fiduciary duty of their position for the association.  A prudent businessman would establish a capital replacement budget (reserve study) to make sure he is generating enough revenues (reserve assessments) to provide for major repairs and replacements.

There is little discussion about whether an association should perform a reserve study.  The only significant areas of discussion revolve around how frequently a reserve study should be performed, and if there should be any minimum funding requirements.  Most states that have reserve study statutes require physical site inspections on 3 or 5 year cycles.  We believe that 5 years is too long.  3 years may be too long if significant reserve expenditures are being made during the subject time period.  However, the association should perform an update without site inspection every year as part of the annual budget process.

 

 

Additional State Reserve Study Laws