Although far from comprehensive, the South Carolina legislature has successfully taken its first steps to regulate homeowners’ associations. The South Carolina Homeowners Association Act (“Act”) became official on May 17, 2018 when the governor signed it into law. Up to this point, South Carolina has never had a comprehensive law governing homeowners’ associations. Until now, there was only the South Carolina Horizontal Property Act, which governs condominiums, and the South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act, which deals with operational issues within nonprofit corporations and generally applies to homeowners’ associations since they are non-profits.
HOA collection season is in full swing in North Carolina. While homeowners association collections aren't a favorite topic of most HOA boards, the collection process is a necessary function of most HOAs.
We've worked with hundreds of HOAs over the years, and based on that experience, we have created a list of our top 8 HOA Collection Laws.
Last month, the North Carolina Court of Appeals delivered a lump of coal to one homeowners association. The case involved HOA-enforced construction bonds for ARC request, how those bonds, and any late fees associated with those bonds, are detailed in the CCRs, and the HOA Board's authority to interpret the CCRs.
“If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.” – Anonymous
In South Carolina, as in most states, there exist various consumer protection and licensing laws, intended to protect the public from the unauthorized practice of law (or “UPL”, as it is often referred). Of course, only lawyers licensed in the state in question can practice law in that state, but the question sometimes arises as to what actually constitutes “practicing law”.
From time to time we receive questions regarding the resignation of directors, term expiration and what to do in the event of a mass resignation by the existing board. The North Carolina Planning Community Act, Condominium Act, and the Non-Profit Corporation Act address certain issues with regards to directors’ terms and how to fill vacancies. Where it becomes difficult to handle is in the situation where directors resign and do not appoint their successors.
There are times in the practice of homeowners’ association law when courts make rulings with which we as attorneys disagree but where an underlying principle or best practice is affirmed. A prime example is the N.C. Court of Appeals’ opinion of November 1, 2016 in the case of Willowmere Community Association Inc. and Nottingham Owner’s Association Inc. v. City of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership.
Since many HOAs conduct their annual and/or budget meetings this time of year, we are reprinting this post from 2014 about maximizing attendance at your HOA meetings.
As homeowners’ association and commercial real estate attorneys, we typically hold our breath when the North Carolina Court of Appeals issues new opinions (“opinions” is the term it uses to refer to its case decisions). While the judges are all smart, accomplished and well-meaning former attorneys, most are former litigators who unfortunately have little if any real estate or community association law experience.
HOA disputes are not the same as regular business disputes. Sometimes conflicts escalate, but your HOA lawyer should work hard to keep you out of court if possible.
Our HOA Ninjas here at Moretz & Skufca have a little pet peeve when it comes to terminology: folks who refer to the governing documents for their community association as “the bylaws.” So (to borrow from Shakespeare) what’s in a name? Turns out that when it comes to homeowners association documents, names mean a lot.