WVC 36 A-
CHAPTER 36A. CONDOMINIUMS AND UNIT PROPERTY.
WVC 36 A- 1 -
ARTICLE 1. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS.
WVC 36 A- 1 - 1
§36A-1-1. Short title.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Unit
WVC 36 A- 1 - 2
The following words or phrases as used in this chapter shall
have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the
context of this chapter clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Building" means any multi-unit building or buildings or
complex thereof, whether in vertical or horizontal arrangement, as
well as other improvements comprising a part of the property and
used or intended for use for residential, commercial or industrial
purposes or for any other lawful purpose or for any combination of
(b) "Code of regulations" means such governing regulations as
are adopted pursuant to this chapter for the regulation and
management of the property, including such amendments thereof as
may be adopted from time to time.
(c) "Common elements" means and includes:
(i) The land on which the building is located and portions of
the building which are not included in a unit;
(ii) The foundations, structural parts, supports, main walls,
roofs, basements, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairways and
entrances and exits to the building;
(iii) The yards, parking areas and driveways;
(iv) Portions of the land and building used exclusively for
the management, operation or maintenance of the common elements;
(v) Installations of all central services and utilities;
(vi) All apparatus and installations existing for common use;
(vii) All other elements of the building necessary or
convenient to its existence, management, operation, maintenance and safety or normally in common use; and
(viii) Such facilities as are designated in the declaration as
(d) "Common expenses" means and includes:
(i) Expenses of administration, maintenance, repair and
replacement of the common elements;
(ii) Expenses agreed upon as common by all the unit owners;
(iii) Expenses declared common by provisions of this chapter,
or by the declaration or the code of regulations.
(e) "Council" means a board of natural individuals of the
number stated in the code of regulations who are residents of this
state, who need not be unit owners and who shall manage the
business, operation and affairs of the property on behalf of the
unit owners and in compliance with and subject to the provisions of
(f) "Declaration" means the instrument by which the owner of
property submits it to the provisions of this chapter as
hereinafter provided, and all amendments thereof.
(g) "Declaration plan" means a survey of the property prepared
in accordance with section two, article four, of this chapter.
(h) "Majority" or "majority of the unit owners" means the
owners of more than fifty percent in the aggregate in interest of
the undivided ownership of the common elements as specified in the
(i) "Person" means a natural individual, corporation,
partnership, association, trustee or other legal entity.
(j) "Property" means and includes the land, the building, all
improvements thereon, all owned in fee simple, and all easements,
rights and appurtenances belonging thereto, which have been or are
intended to be submitted to the provisions of this chapter.
(k) "Recorded" means that an instrument has been duly entered
of record in the office of the clerk of the county court of the
county in which the property is situate.
(l) "Clerk" means the clerk of the county court of the county
in which the property is situate.
(m) "Revocation" means an instrument signed by all of the unit
owners and by all holders of liens against the units by which the
property is removed from the provisions of this chapter.
(n) "Unit" means a part of the property designed or intended
for any type of independent use, which has a direct exit to apublic street or way, or to a common element or common elements
leading to a public street or way, or to an easement or right-of-way leading to a public street or way, and includes the
proportionate undivided interest in the common elements which is
assigned thereto in the declaration, or any amendments thereof.
(o) "Unit designation" means the number, letter or combination
thereof designating a unit in the declaration plan.
(p) "Unit owner" means the person or persons owning a unit in
(q) "Mortgage" means either mortgage or deed of trust.
WVC 36 A- 1 - 3
§36A-1-3. Application of chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable only to
real property, the sole owner or all the owners of which submit
the same to the provisions hereof by a duly recorded declaration.
WVC 36 A- 2 -
ARTICLE 2. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
WVC 36 A- 2 - 1
§36A-2-1. Status of units; ownership.
Each unit, together with its proportionate undivided
interest in the common elements, is for all purposes real
property and the ownership of each unit, together with its
proportionate undivided interest in the common elements, is for
all purposes the ownership of real property.
WVC 36 A- 2 - 2
§36A-2-2. Common elements.
The percentage of undivided interest in the common elements
assigned to each unit shall be set forth in the declaration and
such percentage shall not be altered except by recording an
amended declaration duly executed by all of the unit owners
affected thereby. The undivided interest in the common elements
may not be separated from the unit to which such interest
pertains and shall be deemed to be conveyed, leased or encumbered
with the unit even though such interest is not expressly referred
to or described in the deed, lease, mortgage or other instrument.
The common elements shall remain undivided and no owner may
exempt himself from liability with respect to the common expenses
by waiver of the enjoyment of the right to use any of the common
elements or by the abandonment of his unit or otherwise, and no
action for partition or division of any part of the common
elements shall be permitted, except as provided in section two,
article eight of this chapter. Each unit owner or lessee thereof
may use the common elements in accordance with the purpose for
which they are intended. The maintenance and repair of the
common elements and the making of any additions or improvements
thereto shall be carried out only as provided in the code of
WVC 36 A- 2 - 3
§36A-2-3. Invalidity of contrary agreements.
Any agreement contrary to the provisions of this chapter
shall be void and of no effect.
WVC 36 A- 3 -
ARTICLE 3. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 1
§36A-3-1. Administration governed by code of regulations.
The administration of every property shall be governed by a
code of regulations, a true and correct copy of which, and all
duly adopted amendments of which, shall be duly recorded.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 2
§36A-3-2. Adoption, amendment or repeal of code of regulations.
The council has authority to make, alter, amend and repeal
the code of regulations, subject to the right of a majority of
the unit owners to change any such actions.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 3
§36A-3-3. Contents of code of regulations.
The code of regulations shall provide for at least the
following and may include other lawful provisions:
(a) Identification of the property by reference to the place
of record of the declaration and the declaration plan;
(b) The method of calling meetings of unit owners and
meetings of the council;
(c) The number of unit owners and the number of members of
council which shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of
(d) The number and qualification of members of council, the
duration of the term of such members and the method of filling
(e) The annual election by the council of a president,
secretary and treasurer and any other officers which the code of
regulations may specify;
(f) The duties of each officer, the compensation and removal
of officers and the method of filling vacancies;
(g) Maintenance, repair and replacement of the common
elements and payment of the cost thereof;
(h) The manner of collecting common expenses from unit
(i) The method of adopting and of amending rules governing
the details of the use and operation of the property and the use
of the common elements.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 4
§36A-3-4. Compliance by owners with code of regulations,
administrative provisions, etc.
Each unit owner shall comply with the code of regulations
and with such rules governing the details of the use and
operation of the property and the use of the common elements as
may be in effect from time to time, and with the covenants,
conditions and restrictions set forth in the declaration or in
the deed to his unit or in the declaration plan.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 5
§36A-3-5. Remedy for noncompliance with code of regulations,
administrative provisions, etc.
Failure to comply with the code of regulations and with such
rules governing the details of the use and operation of the
property and the use of the common elements as may be in effect
from time to time and with the covenants, conditions and
restrictions set forth in the declaration or in deeds of units or
in the declaration plan shall be grounds for an action for the
recovery of damages or for injunctive relief, or both,
maintainable by any member of the council on behalf of the
council or the unit owners or, in a proper case, by an aggrieved
unit owner or by any person who holds a mortgage lien upon a unit
and is aggrieved by any such noncompliance.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 6
§36A-3-6. Duties of council.
The duties of the council shall include the following:
(a) The maintenance, repair and replacement of the common
(b) The assessment and collection of funds from unit owners
for common expenses and the payment of such common expenses;
(c) The adoption and amendment of the code of regulations
and the promulgation, distribution and enforcement of rules
governing the details of the use and operation of the property
and the use of the common elements, subject to the right of a
majority of the unit owners to change any such actions; and
(d) Any other duties which may be set forth in the
declaration or code of regulations.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 7
§36A-3-7. Powers of council.
Subject to the limitations and restrictions contained in
this chapter, the council shall on behalf of the unit owners:
(a) Have power to manage the business, operation and affairs
of the property and for such purposes to engage employees and
appoint agents and to define their duties and fix their
compensation, enter into contracts and other written instruments
or documents and to authorize the execution thereof by officers
elected by the council; and
(b) Have such incidental powers as may be appropriate to the
performance of their duties.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 8
§36A-3-8. Work on common elements.
The maintenance, repair and replacement of the common
elements and the making of improvements or additions thereto
shall be carried on only as provided in the code of regulations.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 9
§36A-3-9. Certain work prohibited.
No unit owner shall do any work on his unit or the common
elements which would jeopardize the soundness or safety of the
property or impair any easement or hereditament without the
unanimous consent of the unit owners affected thereby.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 10
§36A-3-10. Easements for work.
The council shall have an easement to enter any unit to
maintain, repair or replace the common elements, as well as to
make repairs to units if such repairs are reasonably necessary
for public safety or to prevent damage to other units or to the
WVC 36 A- 3 - 11
§36A-3-11. Common profits and expenses.
The common profits of the property shall be distributed
among, and the common expenses shall be charged to, the unit
owners according to the percentage of the undivided interest of
each in the common elements as set forth in the declaration and
any amendments thereto.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 12
§36A-3-12. Voting by unit owners.
At any meeting of unit owners, each unit owner shall be
entitled to the same number of votes as the percentage of
ownership in the common elements assigned to his unit in the
declaration and any amendments thereto.
WVC 36 A- 3 - 13
§36A-3-13. Records of receipts and expenditures; examination by
owners; records of assessments.
The treasurer shall keep detailed records of all receipts
and expenditures, including expenditures affecting the common
elements, specifying and itemizing the maintenance, repair and
replacement expenses of the common elements and any other
expenses incurred. Such records shall be available for
examination by the unit owners during regular business hours. In
accordance with the actions of the council assessing common
expenses against the units and unit owners, he shall keep an
accurate record of such assessments and of the payment thereof by
each unit owner.
WVC 36 A- 4 -
ARTICLE 4. DECLARATIONS, CONVEYANCES, MORTGAGES AND LEASES.
WVC 36 A- 4 - 1
§36A-4-1. Contents of declaration.
The declaration shall contain the following:
(a) A reference to this chapter and an expression of the
intention to submit the property to the provisions of this
(b) A description of the land and building;
(c) The name by which the property will be known;
(d) A statement that the property is to consist of units and
common elements as shown in a declaration plan;
(e) A description of the common elements and the
proportionate undivided interest, expressed as a percentage,
assigned to each unit therein, which percentages shall aggregate
one hundred percent;
(f) A statement that the proportionate undivided interest in
the common elements may be altered by the recording of an
amendment duly executed by all unit owners affected thereby;
(g) A statement of the purposes or uses for which each unit
is intended and restrictions, if any, as to use;
(h) The names of the first members of council;
(i) Any further details in connection with the property
which the party or parties executing the declaration may deem
WVC 36 A- 4 - 2
§36A-4-2. Declaration plan.
The declaration plan shall bear the verified statement of a
registered architect or licensed professional engineer certifying
that the declaration plan fully and accurately (i) shows the
property, the location of the building thereon, the building and
the layout of the floors of the building, including the units and
the common elements and (ii) sets forth the name by which the
property will be known, and the unit designation for each unit
WVC 36 A- 4 - 3
§36A-4-3. Contents of deeds of units.
Deeds of units shall include the following:
(a) The name by which the property is identified in the
declaration plan and the name of the political subdivision and
the ward, if any, and the name of the county in which the
building is situate, together with a reference to the declaration
and the declaration plan, including reference to the place where
both instruments and any amendments thereof are recorded;
(b) The unit designation of the unit in the declaration plan
and any other data necessary for its proper identification;
(c) A reference to the last unit deed if the unit was
(d) The proportionate undivided interest, expressed as a
percentage, in the common elements which is assigned to the unit
in the declaration and any amendments thereof;
(e) In addition to the foregoing, the first deed conveying
each unit shall contain the following specific provision:
"The grantee, for and on behalf of the grantee and the
grantee's heirs, personal representatives, successors and
assigns, by the acceptance of this deed covenants and agrees to
pay such charges for the maintenance of, repairs to, replacement
of and expenses in connection with the common elements as may be
assessed from time to time by the council in accordance with the
Unit Property Act of West Virginia, and further covenants and
agrees that the unit conveyed by this deed shall be subject to a
charge for all amounts so assessed and that, except insofar as
section five, article seven of said Unit Property Act may relieve a subsequent unit owner of liability for prior unpaid
assessments, this covenant shall run with and bind the land or
unit hereby conveyed and all subsequent owners thereof"; and
(f) Any further details which the grantor and grantee may
WVC 36 A- 4 - 4
§36A-4-4. Mortgages and other liens of record affecting property
at time of first conveyance of each unit.
At the time of the first conveyance of each unit following
the recording of the original declaration, every mortgage and
other lien of record affecting the entire building or property or
a greater portion thereof than the unit being conveyed shall be
paid and satisfied of record, or the unit being conveyed shall be
released therefrom by partial release duly recorded.
WVC 36 A- 4 - 5
§36A-4-5. Sales, conveyances or leases of or liens upon separate
Units may be sold, conveyed, mortgaged, leased or otherwise
dealt with in the same manner as like dealings are conducted with
respect to real property and interests therein. Every written
instrument dealing with a unit shall specifically set forth the
name by which the property is identified and the unit designation
identifying the unit involved.
WVC 36 A- 5 -
ARTICLE 5. RECORDING.
WVC 36 A- 5 - 1
§36A-5-1. Instruments recordable.
All instruments relating to the property or any unit,
including the instruments provided for in this chapter, shall be
entitled to be recorded, provided that they are acknowledged or
proved in the manner provided by law.
WVC 36 A- 5 - 2
§36A-5-2. Recording a prerequisite to effectiveness of certain
No declaration, declaration plan or code of regulations, or
any amendments thereto, shall be effective until the same have
been duly recorded.
WVC 36 A- 5 - 3
§36A-5-3. Place of recording.
The clerk shall record declarations, deeds of units, codes
of regulations, and revocations in the same records as are
maintained for the recording of deeds of real property. Mortgages
relating to units shall be recorded in the same records as are
maintained by the clerk for the recording of real estate
mortgages. Declaration plans, and any and all amendments
thereto, shall be recorded in the same records as are maintained
for the recording of subdivision plans.
WVC 36 A- 5 - 4
§36A-5-4. Indexing by recording officer.
The clerk shall index each declaration against the maker
thereof as the grantor and the name by which the property is
identified therein as the grantee. The clerk shall index each
declaration plan and code of regulations and any revocation in
the name by which the property is identified therein in both the
grantor index and the grantee index. The clerk shall index each
unit deed and mortgage and lease covering a unit in the same
manner as like instruments are indexed.
WVC 36 A- 5 - 5
§36A-5-5. Recording fees.
The clerk shall be entitled to charge the same fees for
recording instruments which are recordable under this chapter as
the clerk is entitled to charge for like services with respect to
the recording of various similar instruments under the general
WVC 36 A- 6 -
ARTICLE 6. REMOVAL OF PROPERTY FROM PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER;
WVC 36 A- 6 - 1
Property may be removed from the provisions of this chapter
by a revocation expressing the intention to so remove property
previously made subject to the provisions of this chapter. No
such revocation shall be effective unless the same is executed by
all of the unit owners and by the holders of all mortgages,
judgments or other liens affecting the units and is duly
WVC 36 A- 6 - 2
§36A-6-2. Effect of removal.
When property subject to the provisions of this chapter has
been removed as provided in section one of this article, the
former unit owners shall, at the time such removal becomes
effective, become tenants in common of the property. The
undivided interest in the property owned in common which shall
appertain to each unit owner at the time of removal shall be the
percentage of undivided interest previously owned by such person
in the common elements.
WVC 36 A- 6 - 3
The removal of property from the provisions of this chapter
shall not preclude such property from being resubmitted to the
provisions of the chapter in the manner herein provided.
WVC 36 A- 7 -
ARTICLE 7. ASSESSMENTS, TAXATION AND LIENS.
WVC 36 A- 7 - 1
§36A-7-1. Assessments and taxes.
Each unit and its proportionate undivided interest in the
common elements as determined by the declaration and any
amendments thereof shall be assessed and taxed for all purposes
as a separate parcel of real estate entirely independent of the
building or property of which the unit is a part. Neither the
building, the property nor any of the common elements shall be
assessed or taxed separately after the declaration and
declaration plan are recorded, nor shall the same be subject to
assessment or taxation, except as the units and their
proportionate undivided interests in the common elements are
assessed and taxed pursuant to the provisions of this section.
WVC 36 A- 7 - 2
§36A-7-2. Assessment of charges.
All sums assessed by resolutions duly adopted by the council
against any unit for the share of common expenses chargeable to
that unit shall constitute the personal liability of the owner of
the unit so assessed and shall, until fully paid, together with
interest thereon at the rate of six percent per annum from the
thirtieth day following the adoption of such resolutions,
constitute a charge against such unit which shall be enforceable
as provided in section three of this article.
WVC 36 A- 7 - 3
§36A-7-3. Method of enforcing charges.
Any charge assessed against a unit may be enforced by a
civil action by the council acting on behalf of the unit owners,
provided that each suit when filed shall refer to this chapter
and to the unit against which the assessment is made and the
owner thereof and shall be indexed by the clerk of the county
court of the county in which the unit is situate as lis pendens.
Any judgment against a unit and its owner shall be enforceable in
the same manner as is otherwise provided by law.
WVC 36 A- 7 - 4
§36A-7-4. Mechanics' liens against units.
Any mechanics' liens arising as a result of repairs to or
improvements of a unit by a unit owner shall be liens only
against such unit. Any mechanics' liens arising as a result of
repairs to or improvements of the common elements, if authorized
in writing pursuant to a duly adopted resolution of the council,
shall be paid by the council as a common expense and until so
paid shall be liens against each unit in a percentage equal to
the proportionate share of the common elements relating to such
WVC 36 A- 7 - 5
§36A-7-5. Unpaid assessments at time of voluntary sale of unit.
Upon the voluntary sale or conveyance of a unit, the
purchaser shall be jointly and severally liable with the seller
for all unpaid assessments for common expenses which are a charge
against the unit as of the date of the sale or conveyance, but
such joint and several liability shall be without prejudice to
the purchaser's right to recover from the seller the amount of
any such unpaid assessments which the purchaser may pay, and
until any such assessments are paid they shall continue to be
charged against the unit which may be enforced in the manner set
forth in section three of this article: Provided, however,
any person who shall have entered into a written agreement to
purchase a unit shall be entitled to obtain a written statement
from the treasurer setting forth the amount of unpaid assessments
charged against the unit and its owners, and if such statement
does not reveal the full amount of the unpaid assessments as of
the date it is rendered, neither the purchaser nor the unit shall
be liable for the payment of an amount in excess of the unpaid
assessments shown thereon. Any such excess which cannot be
promptly collected from the former unit owner may be reassessed
by the council as a common expense to be collected from all of
the unit owners, including the purchaser, his successors and
WVC 36 A- 8 -
ARTICLE 8. MISCELLANEOUS.
WVC 36 A- 8 - 1
The council shall, if required by the declaration, the code
of regulations or by a majority of the unit owners, insure the
building against loss or damage by fire and such other hazards as
shall be required or requested, without prejudice to the right of
each unit owner to insure his own unit for his own benefit. The
premiums for such insurance on the building shall be deemed
WVC 36 A- 8 - 2
§36A-8-2. Repair or reconstruction.
Except as hereinafter provided, damage to or destruction of
the building or of one or more of several buildings which
comprise the property shall be promptly repaired and restored by
the council using the proceeds of insurance held by the council,
if any, for that purpose, and the unit owners directly affected
thereby shall be liable for assessment for any deficiency in
proportion to their respective undivided ownership of the common
elements: Provided, however,
That if there is substantially
total destruction of the building or of one or more of several
buildings which comprise the property, or if seventy-five percent
of the unit owners directly affected thereby duly resolve not to
proceed with repair or restoration, then, and in that event, the
salvage value of the property or of the substantially destroyed
building or buildings shall be subject to partition at the suit
of any unit owner directly affected thereby, in which event the
net proceeds of sale, together with the net proceeds of insurance
policies held by the council, if any, shall be considered as one
fund and shall be divided among all the unit owners directly
affected thereby in proportion to their respective undivided
ownership of the common elements, after discharging, out of the
respective shares of unit owners directly affected thereby, to
the extent sufficient for the purpose, all liens against the
units of such unit owners.
WVC 36 A- 8 - 3
If any provision of this chapter, or any section, sentence,
clause, phrase or word, or the application thereof in any
circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of
the chapter and of the application of any such provision,
section, sentence, clause, phrase or word in any other
circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.