Understanding Robert’s Rules of Order: A Guide for HOA Board Meetings

Maintaining order and fairness in meetings is crucial when managing a homeowner’s association (HOA). Robert’s Rules of Order provides a structured framework to ensure that all board members have a voice and that decisions are made efficiently. This article will explore Robert’s Rules, their origins, and how they can be applied to board meetings.   Read […]

Feeding Wild and Feral Animals in HOAs

As development continues to crowd out open space previously occupied by wild animals, North Carolina community associations find themselves increasingly close neighbors with deer, racoons, foxes, and other “wild” animals. These animals come into yards and happily munch on gardens, landscaping and occasionally someone’s beloved cat or dog. Combine development issues, poor control of domestic […]

SC Community Association Legislative Update – June 17, 2024

With the second regular session of the 125th South Carolina General Assembly now adjourned, it is time to look at where things are now that the session has ended. Over this most recent legislative session, South Carolina saw a number of bills potentially affecting homeowners associations and condominiums filed.   Read the article…………………………….

Service Provider Selection Process for HOA Board Members: A Comprehensive Guide

Selecting the right service providers on behalf of the association is a critical responsibility for HOA board members. This process impacts the quality of services provided to the community and reflects on the board’s ability to manage community resources effectively. Here’s a detailed guide to help board members navigate the service provider selection process efficiently […]

Keeping Your Community Association Solvent in A High Inflation Economy

If you are like me, you are becoming acutely aware of rising costs in our current economic environment. While inflation appears to be cooling off a bit, it certainly is not coming down at the rate necessary for most Americans to see much of a difference. In a post COVID world, we have seen prices […]

South Carolina Homeowners’ Association Act – Executive Privilege – Accounting Records – Corporate Records – Amendment to Agreement – Bylaw

Resident was entitled to inspect Gate Pass Agreement and any amendments under the South Carolina Homeowners’ Association Act because they were bylaws as defined by the Act.  We affirmed.  Nonprofit corporation Community Services Associates, Inc. (CSA), appealed the circuit court’s order granting the motion of Dana Advocaat, a resident of Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton […]

What New HOA Board Members Need to Know: A Comprehensive Guide

Becoming a new board member of a Homeowners Association (HOA) board is both an honor and a responsibility. As a board member, you’re entrusted with the stewardship of your community, ensuring its smooth operation and the well-being of its members and residents. Here are some things that will help you to be an effective and […]

Understanding Home Rentals in HOA Communities: A Homeowner’s Guide

As homeowners choose to rent out their properties within HOA communities, it’s essential for homeowners to understand the implications, responsibilities, and best practices associated with leasing their homes. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or looking to optimize your rental strategy, here are key considerations to keep in mind.    Read the article…………………………….

Foreclosure Bill Passed House, Now in Senate—Potential Impacts on Your HOA (SC)

As recently reported in previous articles, the South Carolina Legislature is considering a bill that impacts the ability of community associations to collect assessments from non-paying members of their communities. As originally drafted, the bill would have eliminated a community association’s ability to foreclose.  Read the article…………………………….

Creating an Emergency Event Strategy for Your HOA

Having a well-thought-out emergency plan is paramount for any community facing unforeseen circumstances. Anticipating every possible scenario may seem daunting, but establishing a plan that is adaptable to various emergencies can alleviate stress for board members and ensure a smoother response process. Moreover, tailoring your plan to address these risks is prudent if your area […]

Spring Has Sprung! Is Your Community Association Ready?

Spring has sprung! Which means that community associations through North and South Carolina will begin seeing increased community traffic, amenity use (including use of playgrounds, pools, tennis and pickleball courts), and increased social events. So, is your community ready.   Read the article…………………………….

Mastering ARC Applications: Best Practices for HOA Board Members

If you’re part of a community association board, you will become familiar with Architectural Control – the process for reviewing and approving additions or exterior modification requests for homes within the community. Whether the board is tasked with managing the process or delegated to an Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or Architectural Review Board (ARB), you […]

Legislative Update—Proposed Changes to H 3180 Could Impact HOAs (SC)

As recently mentioned here on March 28, 2024, the South Carolina Legislature is currently considering a bill that impacts the ability of community associations to collect assessments from non-paying members of their communities. As originally drafted, House Bill 3180 would have eliminated any HOA’s ability to foreclose its lien when someone didn’t pay their assessments.  […]

South Carolina Legislature Considering Two HOA Bills

Two bills, one dealing with the foreclosure process for homeowners associations and one dealing with HAM radios, have received attention from the South Carolina House of Representatives in the past weeks and are gaining momentum. On March 26, 2024, a subcommittee hearing took place at which both bills were considered.   Read the article…………………………….

Getting Your Community Ready for Spring and Summer

As the winter chill begins to fade away, it’s time for HOA communities to gear up for the vibrant seasons of spring and summer. Ensuring your community is prepared for the warmer months involves a checklist of essential tasks to enhance safety, maintain amenities, and foster a sense of community spirit. Here’s a guide to […]

Persimmon Hill – Huge Impact on South Carolina Construction and Insurance Industries

The Persimmon Hill decision is one of the most impactful South Carolina insurance coverage decisions in years. The 58-page opinion authored by Justice Konduros addresses myriad issues including insuring agreements, obligations owed to insureds and additional insureds, bad faith, and an alternative to the “time on risk” allocation formula.   Read the article………………………..

South Carolina Short Term Rentals

The number of South Carolina short term rentals has steadily increased with each passing year. Homeowners and landlords, though, should understand the different regulations and tax laws that may apply to them. Membership in a homeowners associations also adds another layer of complexity, as many of these communities enforce restrictions on rentals in general.   Read […]

Essential Cool Weather Maintenance Tasks for Community Associations

As the leaves start to fall and the temperature begins dropping, fall and early winter present an excellent opportunity for community associations to prepare their neighborhoods for winter weather. From common areas to landscaping and amenities, there are several tasks board members should address during the fall/winter season to ensure a smooth transition into winter.  […]

Creating a Safe and Festive Holiday Season in Your Community

Homeowner’s associations (HOAs) are crucial in fostering a sense of community and maintaining property values. As the holiday season approaches, board members must strike a balance between promoting festive cheer and upholding the guidelines in the governing documents. This article will go over tips to make your community’s holiday season a great one.    Read the […]

Essential Fall Maintenance Tasks for Community Associations

As the leaves change color and the temperature begins dropping, fall presents an excellent opportunity for community associations to prepare their neighborhoods for winter weather. From common areas to landscaping and amenities, there are several tasks board m   Read the article………………………………….

Is It Okay for Our Association to Have a Social Budget?

For many community associations, it is either the middle of budgeting season, or they have just completed this financial review period for the coming year. Budgets include many categories, including maintenance, landscaping, legal, accounting, and management expenses. But what about a line item for social? Is a social budget appropriate or even allowed under the […]

Keys to Effective Homeowner Association (HOA) Leadership

I recently facilitated an election at a contentious HOA meeting. The lone board member called a special meeting to fill the vacant board seats and she was concerned it would not go smoothly due to conflict amongst the members.   Read the article……………………………..

Understanding the Key Roles of Officers in a Community Association Board of Directors

Community associations play a vital role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in their respective communities. At the heart of every community association is its board of directors, comprised of dedicated individuals who serve in various officer roles. In this article, we will delve into the responsibilities and functions of these officers, shedding […]

HOA Rental Realities: Key Considerations for Property Owners

Increases in the number of homes that are owned as investment properties have become a reality for community associations, and boards are challenged because many property owners do not fully understand the rules and regulations of renting out a home within a community with an HOA.   Read the article………………………..

HOA Community Emergency Preparedness

We are in the middle of the official hurricane season for 2023. Though we have not had a storm yet, we know how quickly things can change and how fast an emergency can arise.  For the safety of community members, HOAs should implement an emergency preparedness plan for the community.   Read the article………………………..

Safeguarding Community Associations: The Annual Insurance Review Imperative

As community association board members serve as the governing body of neighborhoods, preserving their vitality and protecting their assets becomes a collective responsibility. In the realm of safeguarding, a vital practice is the annual review of insurance policies. In addition to essential coverages such as Property, Liability, and Building and Ordinance policies, let’s look at […]

The Dramatic Results of Improved Drainage Infrastructure (SC)

This barrier island community isn’t waiting to see what happens if a once-in-a-century rainfall occurs and we’re not gambling with the speed of storm surge recovery. In 2019, the community association formed a Water Management Task Force to address existing flooding susceptibilities by optimizing our drainage system.   Read the article………………………..

How HOAs Should Prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season

As we approach June, it’s time for community association board members on the east coast to begin preparing for the Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricanes can be incredibly destructive, so association leaders must do all they can to protect their residents and property.  Read the article………………………..

How HOAs Should Prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season

As we approach June, it’s time for community association board members on the east coast to begin preparing for the Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricanes can be incredibly destructive, so association leaders must do all they can to protect their residents and property. In this article, we’ll cover some tips on preparing your community for a […]

Coastal South Carolina condo ownership 101: Get smarter about buying insurance

On Hilton Head Island, two neighboring condo owners could share the same beachfront views, have similar floor plans but pay significantly different annual rates for their condo insurance. Aside from the price variance, these two neighbors may have a disparity in coverage levels including what is covered after a storm or flood hits.   Read the […]

New South Carolina Law Allows Virtual Meetings for HOAs and Condos

In short, the new law will open the door for most homeowners associations and condominiums in South Carolina to allow remote member participation and to conduct virtual membership meetings. This bill will also allow those with health concerns to more easily participate in their association’s meetings.   Read the article………………………..

SC Community Association Legislative Update – May 8, 2023

With the winding up of the SC Legislative session fast approaching, the deadline for bills to be introduced has now passed, and it is time to look at where things are now that the dust has settled. South Carolina saw several proposed bills potentially affecting homeowners associations and condominiums filed.   Read the article………………………..

Tips for Running a Successful Community Association Meeting

Have you volunteered to sit on your community’s board of directors? If so, chances are you understand how exhausting meetings can get. Nevertheless, meetings are necessary to take care of the association’s business. Fortunately, solutions are available to ensure these issues don’t derail future meetings or hamper progress; today, we have some tips for managing […]

Condo Charged with Discrimination for Delay in Approving Assistance Animal

In a recent case out of Pennsylvania, a condominium association was found to have violated Fair Housing laws for its delay in approving requests for reasonable accommodation for an emotional support animal belonging to a resident and for imposing conditions on the animals’ use of the common area.   Read the article………………………..

New South Carolina Bill Would Allow Virtual Membership Meetings for HOAs

House Bill 4049, which was initially introduced in February, was approved by the SC House yesterday (April 18, 2023) and has now crossed over to the SC Senate for consideration. The bill would allow for remote participation at homeowners association membership meetings.   Read the article………………………..

Are you Following Robert’s Rules at Your Community Association Meetings?

If you’re a board member of a community association, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with and follow Robert’s Rules of Order. This article will give you some background information on the rules and how they relate to homeowner’s association (HOA) meetings.   Read the article………………………..

The Purpose of Assessments: What Is an Appropriate Use of Association Funds?

We are often asked what an association can or cannot spend their money on. In fact, this blog was inspired by a request from one of our regular readers. Associations are tasked with performing various community functions based on the requirements of their particular governing documents and state statute. You will often hear us say […]

Top Declaration Amendments for an HOA or Condo in North Carolina & South Carolina

We are often asked by board members for HOA and condominium associations to review their community’s documents and “update” them or “make them more modern.” While there is no one-size fits all solution for any community association, we have noticed that some amendments are a good idea for most communities.     Read the article………………………..

Top Declaration Amendments for an HOA or Condo in North Carolina & South Carolina – Part Three

We are often asked by board members for HOA and condominium associations to review their community’s documents and “update” them or “make them more modern.” While there is no one-size fits all solution for any community association, we have noticed that some declaration amendments are a good idea for most communities.   Read the article………………………..

Without Reservations: Fourth Circuit Affirms That Vague Reservation of Rights Waived Insurers’ Coverage Arguments (SC)

The Fourth Circuit recently affirmed insurance coverage for a South Carolina policyholder based on the “axiomatic principle” that an insurer which fails to fully and fairly articulate its potential coverage defenses in a reservation of rights letter loses the right to contest coverage on those grounds.   Read the article………………………..

HOA/Condo Rental Restrictions & Institutional Investors (NC)

Requests for amendments to declarations tend to go in waves. Twenty years ago many associations were concerned about certain categories of sex offenders living in their communities. For several years now, the declaration amendment our firm most often gets asked about has to do with rental restrictions.   Read the article………………………..

Obligation to Pay HOA Dues Survives Even the Strangest Circumstances

As community association attorneys, we hear all sorts of reasons from homeowners to explain why they haven’t paid their assessments. These usually include legitimate explanations such as illnesses like COVID, job loss, or other hardships.  Some homeowners are more creative. One owner recently told our office that the presence of “entities” in the home was […]