RD515 - Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman - Annual Report 2015-2016

Executive Summary:
In 2008, the General Assembly created the Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman (“Office”), and the Common Interest Community Board (“CICB”), at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (“DPOR”). In accordance with statutory requirements, this document reports on the activities of the Office for the period from November 26, 2015, through November 25, 2016.

Although the Ombudsman Regulations (“Regulations”) became effective more than four years ago, we continue to receive a sizable number of complaints related to associations that have failed to adopt an internal complaint process. Fortunately, only in rare instances has the Office been unable to obtain compliance with these associations and assist them in implementing the required complaint procedure.

The submission of reviewable Notices of Final Adverse Decision (NFAD) improved during this reporting period, with 83% of NFADs submitted this year deemed appropriate for the internal association complaint procedure—a substantial improvement over last year when only 66% were found eligible for review. In addition, the overall number of NFADs received by this Office increased by 21% over the prior year. Determinations issued in response to NFADs are published periodically at http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/CIC-Ombudsman/Determinations/.

In our ongoing efforts to reach out to individuals and groups that work with community associations and seek to better understand them, the Ombudsman provided outreach to a number of Realtors® Associations around the Commonwealth this past year. We continue to make every effort to be responsive to anyone who contacts the Office, whether by phone, regular mail, email, via elected officials, or any other form of inquiry.