The Covenants Department is responsible for enforcing the protective covenants which are found in the Association Covenants By-Laws and Articles. It helps protect property value through fair and consistent enforcement of the protective covenants regarding individually owned lots. It also assists the Architectural Committee with review of proposed exterior alterations.
This department oversees single family detached and townhome properties. It does not oversee apartments, condominiums or commercial properties, with the exception of large scale architectural changes. For assistance with those properties, please contact the responsible property manager.
- Is there a list of pre-approved items and colors approved for my house?
- Does the Association recommend contractors?
- Why were you taking photos of my house?
- Can I see the photos you took of my house?
- What if I don’t want you on my property?
- Once I have completed repairs/changes from a violation letter, what do I do?
- What happens if I don’t fix the violations?
- What if I need more time?
- Does the Covenants Department handle criminal or county matters such as overcrowding or damaged property?
Residents who are part of a Homeowners Association in the Commonwealth of Virginia are required to abide by the Virginia Property Owners' Association Act (POA). Part of this process involves the acquisition of a POA Disclosure Packet in the process of buying or selling a home. Along with some other important information, this packet discloses any open property violation details that become the purchaser's responsibility.
Properties must be continually refreshed including, but not limited to, removal of discoloration, fresh paint, replacement and repair of elements and other general tasks such as regular yard maintenance. The diligence of owners in performing these tasks helps ensure the aesthetic beauty of Lake Ridge and contributes to the overall property values. Through the review of proposed exterior alterations, performance of inspections for sale disclosure packets, investigation of resident concerns and regular observation, staff strives to ensure fair and consistent enforcement. Voluntary compliance through communication of the protective covenants is a goal of the department.
Properties which are not maintained in good condition or which have unapproved exterior alterations can negatively impact surrounding property values. Therefore, staff will take owners with violations through the enforcement process:
If your property has a violation, you will receive a letter in the mail with the details of the violation(s). If you have any questions, please contact the Covenants Department.
The next steps of the enforcement process involve re-inspections and eventual placement on a Property Owners' Act (POA) hearing agenda. At this hearing, an assessment of charges may be authorized by the Lake Ridge Board of Directors in the amount of $10/day for up to 90 days.
Architectural Guidelines (PDF)
The Association requires that Homeowners follow a list of guidelines to maintain property values. Please refer to these guidelines when considering making any exterior changes.
Any change to the exterior appearance of a lot requires approval prior to the alteration. This includes alterations in the yard and window replacements as well as any other exterior alteration. If an element, such as a roof, is being replaced, approval is needed unless the replacement will exactly match the existing element in appearance, dimensions, color and material.
Applications for exterior alterations should be submitted to the Covenants Department by completing the Exterior Alteration Application Form (PDF).
Any color changes will require submission of a color sample and many alterations, such as fences, also require submission of a property plat with the alteration clearly marked on the plat. This is a map drawn to-scale of all property lines and existing structures on an individual residential lot. You may have received a house location survey plat of your property at closing when you purchased the home. If not, your plat can be retrieved from the Prince William County complex at the McCoart Administration building. For more information, see Prince William County's website. The purpose of the documentation is to thoroughly explain your proposal. You must write what you are applying for on the request form.
Your application and supporting documentation may be dropped off during office business hours. If samples are not required, you can submit via email to or fax to 703-497-7145. Once an application is received, Covenants staff may inspect the property and take photos for use during the review of the proposed alteration.
The Architectural Committee (AC) reviews appeals of architectural violations and applications for large projects, such as additions. The AC also reviews alterations that are not common or pre-existing in the neighborhood, are not in conformance with the Architectural Guidelines and are not architecturally and aesthetically appropriate for the architecture and color scheme of the lot.
Neighbor Property Concern
For concerns about a neighbor’s yard, please complete and submit a Covenants Concern Form (PDF).
For concerns about something on common area, please complete and submit a Common Ground Concern Form (PDF) by email to the Facilities Department. The Covenants Department does not oversee common ground.
The Association cannot provide assistance with neighbor-to-neighbor disputes or criminal or county matters. For non-emergency police matters please call 703-792-6500. Depending on the situation, you may need to contact the police, your attorney or your home owners’ insurance company if speaking with your neighbor does not resolve the matter. Prince William County has an Office of Dispute Resolution which may be able to provide assistance (703-792-4756). If someone has damaged your property, this is a criminal matter for the police.
Please contact the Covenants Department via email at email@example.com, fax 703-497-7145 or call 703-491-2154 with any questions, such as confusion about a violation letter. We look forward to working with owners to accomplish the mutual goal of enhanced property values.