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Protecting Associations from Liability for Sexual Harassment

You can’t turn on the news these days, pick up a paper or listen to the radio without hearing about someone else in the entertainment industry being accused of improper sexual behavior towards employees, coworkers or others. Community Associations are

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HOA Selective Enforcement

Enforcement of the rules and regulations of an HOA can be an intimidating challenge at the best of times. Many of the rules may seem impossible to enforce, and homeowners may often challenge an enforcement that they feel is unwarranted

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Where Do HOA Fees Go?

If you have recently purchased a home that is part of a homeowners association, you may have already starting paying your HOA fees. Each member of the community, along with signing the governing documents that provide the community with order

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Budget Ratification Meetings Basics – What You Need to Know (NC)

The Planned Community Act and the Condominium Act require most homeowners associations and condominium associations to hold budget ratifications meetings. What are these meetings?  A budget ratification meeting is a meeting of the owners of the association to review the

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Enforcement: Might a Local Ordinance Help Your Community Association?

What can an HOA or condominium association do when activity is occurring within the community that appears to be objectionable, but which is not specifically addressed in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or other association governing documents? The

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Stay Off The Naughty List When Planning Holiday Events

The trick-or-treaters have come and gone, and there is an ever-so-slight briskness in the air.  That means the holidays – and all the twinkling lights, festive decorations and parties that come with them – will soon be upon us.  But

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Budget Ratification (NC)

Q: My homeowners’ association (“HOA”) board presented members an outdated budget for us to ratify for the current year. How can an outdated budget, not previously seen or discussed, be legal?    Read the Q&A………………

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We Want Our Neighborhood Back: A North Carolina Homeowners Association’s Guide to the Use and Enforcement of Rental Restrictions

Lending you a cup of sugar, offering to watch the kids, or grilling out on a summer afternoon— whatever the activity, our neighbors are a key part of what makes our communities familiar and unique. Neighbors help make a neighborhood

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Are HOA Fees Tax Deductible?

If you have purchased a home or condo, you are likely paying a monthly fee to cover repairs and maintenance on the outside of your home or in common areas. You may be wondering whether this fee is tax deductible.

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Stormwater Permits: Preventing Your Owners Assn From Getting Stuck with Unnecessary and Potentially Large Expenses (NC)

Developers in North Carolina must obtain numerous permits from various governmental agencies prior to constructing a planned community or developing condominiums. Most construction permits end by their terms upon completion of construction of the project—but one permit, the Stormwater Permit

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Five Qualities of a Good HOA Treasurer

One of the most important jobs on the board of a homeowners association is the position of HOA treasurer. The position is much more than a simple knowledge of how to manage finances, (although this is also important). There are

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Case Alert: Emailed Notices of Foreclosure Under In Re Ackah (NC)

In re Ackah: Must Planned Communities Now Serve Notices of Foreclosure Hearing Via Email?  The North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion on September 5, 2017, that appears to add an additional requirement for foreclosure trustees regarding the due

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The Best Community Amenities for Your HOA

Staying up to date with current trends and providing competitive amenities is one of the best ways to attract tenants who care as much about your community as you do. When looking to raise the bar, looking beyond the basic

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Faulty Foreclosure Service Results in Lienholder Having to Pay Property Owner (NC)

When a lienholder starts a foreclosure, it usually is focused on getting money into its pocket. Yet a recent opinion from the North Carolina Court of Appeals (In re: Ackah – Sept. 5, 2017) should provide a warning to all

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Common Problems in Your HOA: Mold

Whether the buildings in your HOA community are old or new, mold is a common problem in moist climates. This article contains answers to some of the most common questions regarding mold in an HOA community as well as suggestions

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Three Tips to Help You Crack Down on Unenforced Rules

If you are the new manager of an HOA or a new leader in the board, it may have come to your attention that certain rules have been passed over or relaxed, lulling residents into a sense of complacency. HOAs

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Preparing Your HOA Community For Fall

As August progresses and summer draws to a close, many communities are entering into a crucial time of transition for their properties and residents. While temperatures may still be still be hovering comfortably in the 80s, August is a perfect

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Mediation and Arbitration Study for HOAs and Condos (NC)

The General Assembly met yesterday (August 3) to consider several issues remaining from the legislative session. Bills that would impact North Carolina’s homeowner and condominium associations weren’t really on the agenda, but one proposal was adopted that has a provision

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North Carolina Community Association Legislative Wrap-Up – July 2017

Courtesy of my colleague, Greensboro attorney Jim Slaughter of Black, Slaughter, Black, following is a summary of the status of various legislative bills in the North Carolina legislature that could affect condominium and community associations. Jim always has his ear

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Five Financial Mistakes That Can Be Devastating to Your Community

Being part of an HOA board is a job that comes with a lot of difficult responsibilities. When it comes to the financial side on an HOA, there are so many moving parts that it can get overwhelming. Avoiding these

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What’s the difference between HOA officers and directors?

Q: The developer of our community has sold all of the lots and turned control of the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) over to the homeowners. The bylaws for our HOA refer to “officers” and also to “directors” and “the board of

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Can an HOA collect after a mortgage foreclosure?

Q: When there are past-due HOA assessments for a property, and a mortgage lender forecloses on the property and takes title, who can the HOA collect the unpaid HOA assessments from following the foreclosure?    Read the Q&A……………

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NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 22, 2017

I’m asked frequently about the status of proposals filed this session in the General Assembly that, if adopted, would directly impact North Carolina HOAs and condominium associations. The “crossover deadline” (the date on which a bill must have cleared one

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Ask SAM: HOA Woes? (NC)

Q: Our home owners association by-laws state that it is the duty of the president to call a special meeting when 20 percent or more of members present him with a written request. A request was delivered by certified mail.

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Communities for Those 55 Years of Age or Older

Recently we have been approached by multiple associations inquiring about making their housing community one that is restricted to those residents that are 55 years of age or older. The ability and requirements for establishing or becoming a housing community

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Service Animals And Your Condominium Or Community Association

As a professional community manager for the past two decades, I have seen a rapid growth in the number of service animals within condominium and community associations.  Currently, about 79.7 million households – or 65 percent of all households in

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What NC Community Associations Need to Know about Fair Debt Collection

Nearly all Community Associations (“Associations”) must cope with owners who fail or refuse to pay their periodic assessments (also known as “Dues”). When this happens, the Association, typically acting through its property manager, may first attempt to collect the delinquent

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What NC Community Associations Need to Know about Fair Debt Collection

Nearly all Community Associations (“Associations”) must cope with owners who fail or refuse to pay their periodic assessments (also known as “Dues”). When this happens, the Association, typically acting through its property manager, may first attempt to collect the delinquent

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Bankruptcy basics for community association boards of directors

Over the last decade, community associations (like other businesses) have been forced to navigate the “Great Recession” and continued recovery. The “Great Recession” brought with it a significant increase in the number of personal bankruptcy filings across the country. Even

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Good Collection Practices Protect Lifeblood of Community Associations

Assessments are the lifeblood of every community association. For most associations, it is the sole source of income to pay for common expenses. Therefore, having tools and good practices to maximize collection of assessments are vital not just to survive

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Well-Informed Community Associations Make For Happier Residents

Being involved with a condominium or community association can sometimes make you feel like a Jack-of-all-trades.  Homeowners often expect professional managers and community volunteers – officers and board and committee members – to know something about, well, just about everything.

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Challenging the Chairman of a Meeting

Have you ever been at a meeting that you did not believe was being run properly? Is the chair ruling every motion out of order? Were you unsure on what you could do or did you feel like there was

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Do You Know Who Your Registered Agent Is? (NC)

North Carolina corporations, whether for-profit or nonprofit, must have a registered agent name filed with the NC Secretary of State. Planned communities (i.e., homeowner associations) created on or after January 1, 1999 by statute must be incorporated. And almost all

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Price vs A Job Well Done ~ Managing Maintenance Issues in a Homeowners Association

One of the largest questions we get at Key CMI is about managing maintenance issues in a Homeowners Association scenario. Has your board of directors ever embarked on a significant community project, and once completed, it became evident the quality

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Failure to Hold Formal HOA Board Votes Dooms Two Charlotte HOAs (NC)

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

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What your HOA Board Needs to Know Before You Attempt to Change Your Restrictive Covenants.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently rendered an opinion reiterating that all amendments to the restrictive covenants (“CCRs”) governing a planned community must be reasonable. As background, the existing law is that amendments to the CCRs must be reasonable

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How to Maximize Votes at a Homeowner’s Association Meeting or Election (NC)

Many HOAs and condominium associations have annual meetings coming up this time of year, or special meetings to amend their covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CCRs”) or bylaws. What is the best way to collect the votes your HOA needs to

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10 Ways to Shorten Your Board Meetings

Considering a board meeting that is too brief will not cover essential details and a meeting that is too long will exhaust all members involved, it is crucial to find the right balance. 60 to 90 minutes is generally an

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Social Media and Community Associations

If you live in a community association, serve on its board or manage a community association, you probably have to deal with social media. Gone, for the most part, are neighborhood newsletters sent out through the mail, or simple notifications

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HOAs/Condominiums Want to Know: What is a Transfer Fee in North Carolina?

A common question that we get from developers, managers, and HOA Boards is “what exactly is a transfer fee?”  Although the term “transfer fee” is often used loosely to mean several different things, state statute defines the term generally to

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Can HOA committee members be compensated? (NC)

Q: I am the chairperson for the social committee of my homeowners association (HOA). Our bylaws state that the HOA compensates committee chair positions by waiving their annual HOA assessments, after serving a full year on the committee. The members

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No Ifs, Ands, or Butts: Regulating Smoking Within Community Associations

The past twenty years have seen a dramatic uptick in the regulation of smoking, as dozens of states and hundreds of cities and counties have enacted laws making designated public places “smoke-free.” For its part, the North Carolina legislature passed

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Fire Safety Education for Your Neighborhood

When it comes to having a safe and peaceful community, it is the responsibility of everyone in the community to do their part to keep themselves and others safe. That is why education is so important in a close environment.

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The End of the Age of “Mad Men”

The past twenty years have seen a dramatic uptick in the regulation of smoking, as dozens of states and hundreds of cities and counties have enacted laws making designated public places “smoke-free”.  For its part, the North Carolina legislature passed

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Spotting and Stopping Fraud and Embezzlement in Your HOA

Fraud and embezzlement can cause a homeowners’ association’s (“HOA”) board of directors a lot of time, money, and energy. So how can the board prevent potential fraud or embezzlement before it occurs? The solutions are simple but often overlooked. The

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Lesson Learned: What North Carolina Management Companies Should be Thinking About

In a recent post on a South Carolina Supreme Court case from just a few weeks ago I provided a quick breakdown of things that management companies in South Carolina must not do. As always, lessons learned from different jurisdictions

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HOA / Condo Budgets and Increased NC Sales Taxes

Benjamin Franklin said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” As community association attorneys, we’re not CPAs. And every association has different circumstances. Having said that, it is almost certain that due

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How to Handle HOA/Condo Board Member Resignations (NC)

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

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E-mail Intelligence – Does Your Board Possess it?

Today, I am discussing the pros and cons of homeowners’ association (HOA) board members and managers using email for community correspondence, and how to craft a sound email policy for your association.  Board members, managers and association residents are no

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What is a Community Association? Unwrapping the Riddle

There are approximately 14,000 planned communities located throughout North Carolina, but very few of the nearly 3 million residents of such communities have a clear understanding of what the heck the community association really is that serves their planned community

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