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 Two

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 […]

Robert’s Rules of Order & Sturgis Motions “Cheat Sheets”

This year saw the publication of my two new books on proper meeting procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order Fast Track and Notes and Comments on Robert’s Rules, Fifth Edition. With the publication of these books (based on the new 12th Edition of Robert’s), I’ve been asked if there are updated “cheat sheets” to the motions […]

Increasing Events of Extreme Rainfall and Flooding Cause Headaches for HOAs and Homeowners: Part II

A townhome community in Salisbury suffered unprecedented flooding rainfalls over the last two years. One townhome located in the community’s low-lying area sustained damage to the Foundation and other structural components, to the point that the structure was starting to settle. Like most townhome communities, the HOA only provides exterior maintenance on the townhomes. The […]

Should Towing In An HOA Community Be Allowed?

There may come a time when a board will decide that towing in an HOA is necessary to mitigate parking violations. But, is a homeowners association even allowed to tow vehicles?  Read the article………………………..

Drone Surveillance in Community Associations

Ah, spring. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the sound of power saws, stone cutters and earth moving equipment fills the air. This country is in the midst of a construction boom, and more homeowners than ever before are undertaking home improvement projects. In community associations, these improvements usually require some type of architectural […]

The Importance of Emergency Planning for Community Associations

In the Carolinas, we are pretty familiar with natural disasters, particularly hurricanes. Though they arrive by sea, there have been many instances of them making their way inland and causing just as much, if not more, damage than they do in coastal cities.  Read the entire article……………………………….

Voting Cards at Conventions & Annual Meetings (NC)

Although COVID-19 is (hopefully) waning, there are still concerns about immediately going back to the way things used to be done at annual meetings. For instance, the most common method pre-pandemic of voting during large meetings was by voice. On any matter to be decided, the presiding officer would ask all those in favor to […]

Thoughts on Bylaws: Individual Amendments, Bylaws Revisions, and Best Practices on Amending Bylaws (NC)

There are usually three main governing documents that most nonprofit corporations have today—corporate articles, bylaws, and board policy. The corporate articles (or “articles of incorporation” or “corporate charter”) are a legal document filed with the state and should have only statutory requirements, such as name of organization, address, service agent, etc.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Maintaining Confidentiality on your Board (or in your Committee) (NC/SC)

Individuals who agree to serve on boards for their community associations will inevitably find themselves receiving confidential information about their friends and neighbors. This may be information about an alleged architectural violation, or an unpaid balance due to the association. Sometimes the association will receive complaints about police called to a home, only to learn […]

What Does The Champlain Tower Collapse Mean For NC / SC Condos?

With the collapse of the Champlain Tower South (a part of a condominium located in Surfside, Florida) in June of last year, there has been a search for answers. Condominium owners want to know whether their building is safe, and boards of directors want to make sure they are taking appropriate steps to prevent another […]