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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


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Architectural

Do I need approval from the Board to place a storage shed on my property?

YES. According to Article 5 of the Deed of Dedication, it clearly states that you must have "submitted to and written approval obtained from the Properties Owner Association" prior to adding a structure such as a shed to your property. Refer to the Application for Approval of Construction for details.

What happens if I add a structure without prior approval?

The Board will consider you in violation of the Deed of Dedication and will work with you directly in order to bring your property into compliance.

Can I clear trees from my property?

Live evergreens under 6 inches in diameter and live hardwoods under 4 inches can be removed. Larger trees require permission of the Architectural Committee. Dead and severely damaged trees may be removed without Board approval if there is a question of safety. Refer to the Application for Environmental Modification for details.

Signs: what is the exact policy on placing signs on my lot?

During the April 28, 2012, Annual Meeting, the membership voted to modify a covenant related to signs in Malvern. The revised covenant was recorded in the Madison County Clerk's office on June 14, 2012. Subsequently, the Board issued an Architectural Signs Policy. Refer to the Architectural Signs Policy for details.

Buildings and Grounds

What is the wildfire assessment for Malvern?

In 2012, and reported in the Fall 2012 Communicator, the Department of Forestry conducted a fire hazard/safety evaluation on Malvern. The primary purpose of the evaluation was to determine the level of risk to our homes and residents in the event of forest fire or natural disaster. The evaluation included, but was not limited to, the following: water access for firefighting; cleanliness (brush and leaves); location of homes (proximity to woods and brush); and road design and access (for fire fighting vehicles and evacuation of residents).

Each of these areas were scored individually and added together for an overall rating of low to extreme risk. Malvern received a "Moderate Risk" rating. Malvern is participating in Firewise Communities, a national program that focuses on creating defensible space and safe access for homes in the event of a wildfire. To learn more about the program and for contact information please visit our own Firewise Malvern page.

What are the laws concerning open fires and the "4 p.m. rule?"

Visit the Virginia Department of Forestry to see the full 4 p.m. rule details. But remember, local weather conditions, fire restrictions, and bans may temporarily supersede the general burning laws. So, if in doubt, please call the non-emergency number or email the Madison County Volunteer Fire Department.

What is "CodeRed" the Emergency Communications Network and how do I sign-up?

Madison County has partnered with Emergency Communications Network to keep you informed of potential emergency situations. The following is a quote from their website: "Raising the bar in public safety, CodeRED Weather Warning is a unique service that automatically calls citizens in the path of severe weather just moments after a warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. This limited CodeRED Weather Warning subscription is available to you at no direct cost." To find the latest information and sign-up, visit the Madison County website today.

Clubhouse

How do I rent the Clubhouse?

Refer to the Clubhouse Reservation form for details.

How much cleaning do I have to do after using the Clubhouse?

You are responsible to leave the Clubhouse in as good or better condition than it was when your use began.

Covenants and Deed of Dedication

What are the Covenants/Deed of Dedication?

A covenant is a legal obligation built into the deeds of all the homes in a common interest development such as one governed by a homeowner association (HOA). Examples might be to maintain a property in a reasonable state of repair, to preserve a sight-line for a neighboring property, not to run a business from a residence, or not to build on certain parts of the property.

The Malvern Club Inc. By-Laws state: "Covenants" shall mean and refer to the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions applicable to the Subdivision and contained in the Deeds of Dedication of Subdivision recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Madison County, Virginia.

The lots in Malvern were created in the early 1970s by a series of recorded deeds. A deed that creates lots is commonly known as a Deed of Dedication. The deed will contain Virginia statutory phraseology, will contain or refer to a plat of the lots being created and may contain or will refer to covenants of record. Ownership of lots is conditioned upon adherence to the covenants.

As time progresses certain covenants may need clarification or updating, or it may be necessary to add to the existing covenants. The Malvern By-Laws allow these periodic amendments to occur by vote of the membership. The approved amendment or resolution will then be recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Madison County, Virginia.

Where are the Covenants/Deed of Dedication?

The various recorded Deeds of Dedication along with recorded amendments and resolutions may be viewed in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Madison County, Virginia, where you may obtain copies for a fee. Your settlement papers should include a "Disclosure Packet" which will contain copies of pertinent deeds listing the covenants of record at the time of your settlement. A current Disclosure Packet may be obtained by following the instructions listed herein—see menu item "Disclosure Packet".

For convenience, Malvern members may refer to Deeds of Dedication and Resolutions listed herein—see menu item "Articles, Bylaws, Covenants". Please be advised though that only a title search by those qualified to perform them will insure an all-inclusive list of pertinent deeds, easements and restrictions that apply to your property.

Homeowners' Association

How are the membership dues determined?

Membership dues are recommended by the Malvern Club, Inc. Board of Directors. Rationale for any change in dues is provided to the membership with vote, for or against, at an annual membership meeting. A two-thirds ballot vote by the attending membership is needed for approval.

How/when are membership dues collected?

About January 30 of each year, an invoice is mailed to each member with payment due March 1. The notice details the amount due and provides members the option to pay in two installments. For those members paying in 2 installments, a second notice for the remaining dues will be mailed about August 1 of each year, with payment due September 1. Malvern bylaws state, "Members shall be suspended from good standing automatically for non-payment of assessments, when such assessed amounts are unpaid more than sixty (60) days after date of notice of assessment."

The Malvern Club's Financial Policy states that a late payment fee will be applied to the amount due for payments postmarked after March 31 for full or 1st payment installment and/or September 30 for the 2nd payment installment.

Are yearly membership dues the same for all lots regardless of size/location/value/improvement?

Yes, the dues are the same for each member lot. The dues are for membership in the Malvern Club, Inc. and are used for the maintenance of the infrastructure and amenities in Malvern. Unlike real estate taxes, membership dues are divided equally among the membership regardless of lot size, location, value, or improvement.

What infrastructure and amenities?

Malvern has over 8 miles of roadways including pavement, shoulders and culverts, a clubhouse, pool, playground, lake, dam, docks, mailbox area, and common areas. These items are owned in common by all Malvern residents.

Can I consolidate my lots into a single lot or remove it from the subdivision in order to reduce or eliminate association dues?

Based on an April 2003 written opinion by the Malvern Club, Inc., attorney, the covenants, bylaws, and corporate documents do not allow it.

How do I submit a complaint to the Board?

In 2012, the Governor signed legislation that required HOA's to adopt a written complaint procedure prior to the end of September 2012. Accordingly, the Board adopted a written complaint process that establishes the procedure that must be followed by members submitting a complaint. Upon receipt of a completed and accepted form, a defined process begins which may result in a "final determination" by the Board, depending on the circumstances. There is an appeals process through the State for those who may be dissatisfied with the final determination. Refer to the Complaint Process Procedures for details.

Are my communications with the Board kept private?

In 2012, the Board adopted a written privacy and access to HOA records policy. Refer to the Privacy and Access to Records Procedures for details.

How do I get a printed copy of HOA records?

In 2012, a Virginia legislative mandate required HOA's to specify in writing the charges for labor and materials of providing copies of any books and records to a requesting member. In this regard, the Board adopted a written privacy and access to HOA records policy. Refer to the Privacy and Access to Records Procedures for details.

And don't forget, many of the HOA documents and forms are available on this website, where you can also find contact information if you wish to purchase the core documents contained within the latest "Disclosure Packet."