Carolina Community Associations

October 3rd, 2016

One of the common complaints at annual meetings of homeowners associations is that assessments are being increased the following year. How much can the association directors increase future assessments without the owners’ approval? Inquiring homeowners should first direct their attention to the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions that governs their community. Most of the… Read More


September 20th, 2016

Land is developed. The developer creates the lots and, either directly or through other builders, builds houses on them. Soon, homeowners purchase their dream house. They keep their yard beautifully landscaped and clean. They keep their home in an impeccable condition. After some time, the rain comes. Out of a sudden, stormwater pours over their… Read More


January 14th, 2016

Unlike North Carolina, where daily fines for violations of the covenants are capped at $100, South Carolina does not have a similar statutory limitation. It does not have a Planned Community Act. What it does have—the Horizontal Property Act—is silent on fines. While in North Carolina homeowners’ associations may impose fines (upon notice and opportunity… Read More


June 3rd, 2015

Bottom line: A covenant violation by a homeowner does not justify or excuse a violation by another homeowner. Noticing other plastic mailboxes in the neighborhood, a homeowner installs her own without seeking the approval of the architectural committee of his homeowners association. Soon thereafter, she gets a violation notice from the association board of directors:… Read More


April 13th, 2015

I write this blog in response to a question from one of my readers, a current association board treasurer and secretary who read my previous post about recorded meetings. Scenario: The association holds an open meeting. The secretary (or any other person acting on behalf of the board) records the meeting for the purpose of… Read More


February 16th, 2015

A homeowner does not pay assessments owed to his or her homeowners association. The association files a lien and forecloses on the property. Eventually, an order for foreclosure is entered, and the property is sold at an auction. Nobody bids on the property, and the association finds itself owning the lot and the house on… Read More


November 25th, 2014

1.       Adopt Collection Rules and Regulations How soon will the first collection letter be sent? How many collection letters will be sent? How long will the association wait before sending the next letter? How long will the association wait until it sends the collection account to the lawyer? Adopting collection rules and regulations gives guidance… Read More


October 29th, 2014

The first moral of this story is HAVE INSURANCE, my dear Association. The second moral of this story is DEMAND COVERAGE from your insurer if and when you get sued. The third moral of this story is ASK THE OWNERS to approve any assessment needed for your legal defense. A disgruntled owner sues another to… Read More


September 16th, 2014

More and more I get asked whether communities may amend their declarations to add restrictions on rentals by owners. Can we set a maximum number of homes that can be rented? Can we fix the term of permissible leases? Can we fine for violations? The North Carolina Court of Appeals has recently held that an… Read More


September 5th, 2014

Many homeowners are unhappy about the management of and/or by their community associations: They don’t give me financials on time. They don’t give me the documents I want. I don’t see where my dues are going. I wasn’t provided the contract with the pool guy. The landscaping looks like… bad. My association is worthless. All… Read More


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