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 […]

Questions About Filing Your Association’s Taxes? We’ve Got Answers.

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again! No, winter is no picnic for those who aren’t fans of cold weather. But the beginning of the year comes with more than just frigid temperatures and a lack of daylight. It also heralds in the menace known as tax season. Let’s face it – filing taxes is […]

Fourth Circuit Upholds Finding That Excess Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith Where Insured Would Not Be Liable To Pay

The underlying dispute centered around a construction-defect claim in South Carolina state court brought by a homeowners’ association against a construction company. The construction company asked its excess insurer to provide coverage for the lawsuit but the excess insurer concluded it had no duty to defend.    Read the entire article……………………………….

How Should The HOA Deal With Neighbor Harassment

Neighbor harassment can happen anytime and anywhere, even in your community. Having an HOA harassment policy can prevent these incidents from occurring. It also gives your board a clear path to follow in case there is harassment in a community. Whether your association is big or small, you need to have a plan. Here’s how […]

Fourth Circuit Upholds Finding That Excess Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith Where Insured Would Not Be Liable To Pay (SC)

The underlying dispute centered around a construction-defect claim in South Carolina state court brought by a homeowners’ association against a construction company. The construction company asked its excess insurer to provide coverage for the lawsuit but the excess insurer concluded it had no duty to defend.     Read the entire article……………………………….

How to Ensure Your Community Has a Peaceful, Cheery Holiday Season

When it comes to holidays, the last thing many of us want to think about is rules – especially when they are in relation to “decking the halls”. But, without some holiday guidelines in place, your community may turn into something akin to Clark Griswold’s house meets The Grinch’s lair on Mount Crumpit.  Read the entire […]

Don’t Sweat the Threats (parts 1-4)

This is a four part series that explores the protections the law provides for those who serve their communities as association directors and officers in North and South Carolina.   Part 1 – The Business Judgment Rule    Part 2 – Director & officer Immunity   Part 3 – Director & Officer Indemnification   Part 4 – Director & […]

3 Safety Measures Condominium Boards Should Take Today (NC/SC)

The tragic collapse of the Champlain Tower South in Surfside, Florida, in June 2021 has condo owners and boards of directors across the U.S. questioning the safety of their own communities. Ninety-eight people died as a result of the collapse, bringing scrutiny to the legal requirements and standards related to the ongoing maintenance and structural […]

The Ultimate Guide to Interpreting & Enforcing Architectural Restrictions (NC/SC)

Architectural guidelines, review, and enforcement are undoubtedly some of the more confusing and contentious responsibilities of volunteer community leaders. Though reviewing applications, approving or denying them, and enforcing the guidelines may sound straightforward, many things must be considered when reviewing architectural-related matters in your community.    Read the entire article……………………………….

After Surfside, Heightened Focus on Condo Association Insurance

In a perfect world, condominium associations would hire a structural engineer to inspect their property every couple of years. The engineer would inform the association of any compromises to the building’s structural integrity or electrical system, and the association’s board of directors would authorize repairs in timely fashion, simultaneously managing risk and controlling costs —including […]

South Carolina HOA Laws

Homeowners associations must adhere to applicable federal laws as well as the relevant laws in their state. For those in South Carolina, there are a handful of titles and chapters that apply. These are the different South Carolina HOA laws you must know about.      Read the entire article……………………………….

Whether to Hold In-Person HOA or Condo Meetings in South Carolina

While prior Executive Orders contained clear requirements about how to address COVID-19, the most recent South Carolina Executive Orders leave much to the imagination. For those familiar with South Carolina and its approach to legal issues, this might not be surprising.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Thinking Of Amending Your HOA Documents? Here’s How (NC/SC)

In a recent “Ask the Experts” webinar, Attorneys Hope Carmichael and Nute Thompson of Jordan Price, PLLC, discussed some best practices for board members to employ when it becomes necessary to adopt rules or amend covenants/bylaws in their communities. In this article, we’ll discuss cultural trends and shifts that may require rule changes, the differences […]

To Open (or Not Open) HOA and Condo Pools in North and South Carolina

One of the most frequent questions we receive is whether it is “OK,” “allowed,” or “legal” for homeowners associations or condominiums to open their pool this spring. Every community is different and boards of directors will have to make the decision to open based on several factors, including the type of community, whether that community […]

Special Meetings in NC & SC Homeowners Associations and Condominiums

Community associations (homeowners associations and condominiums) hold several different types of membership meetings. Most will hold an annual meeting at which typical agenda items are common: reviewing or ratifying a budget, electing new members to the board of directors, and other regular business. Sometimes the governing documents for the association will specify the exact date […]

The Case for Fining in South Carolina HOAs and Condominiums

My community association practice is split between North Carolina and South Carolina. One of the primary differences between the law in these two states is the fact that North Carolina has a comprehensive HOA statute while South Carolina does not. I’ve written more than once about the need for a comprehensive HOA statue in South […]

The Attorney-Client Privilege and Community Associations (NC/SC)

As our community association clients settle into a new year and new issues, many boards with new members find themselves with questions or confusion about the attorney-client privilege. Because this privilege is complicated but incredibly important, we thought it would be helpful to go over the basics and how boards can and should preserve the […]

Obligation to Pay Assessments (NC/SC)

Homeowner dues (“assessments” by statute) are the lifeblood of an association. Most all HOAs and condominium are nonprofits. That is, community associations are not designed to make money; they are designed to pay the association’s bills. Associations basically act as agents for collections by other entities—water, garbage, electricity, landscaping. The funds collected are not kept […]

Dealing with Owners Who Bully or Harass

Recently on a national HOA/condo list serve, a community association professional lamented that civility has fallen in HOAs and condos and asked about how to deal with homeowners who regularly bully or harass.    Read the article………………………….

Removal of an Officer vs. Removal of a Board Member of a Community Association (NC/SC)

Removal issues are almost always sensitive and highly charged emotional issues. It is important that the of directors follows the required process correctly and seeks legal guidance when necessary.  If your board directors has questions regarding removal of an officer or removal of a board member, please contact one of our community association attorneys here at […]

Should an Announcement of Election Results Include Votes by Candidate?

This question was recently asked on a national HOA/condo list serve: “In a board of directors election, should the vote totals by candidate be announced?”  Without question, the answer of how election results are announced could vary by state, depending on state statutes. If a statute provides a specific process for elections, that process should […]

Managing Recovery Efforts after a Hurricane

A fter battering the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the Carolinas bringing heavy rain, strong winds, and leaving more than 200,000 people without power, according to The New York Times.  As residents begin to rebuild after Hurricane Dorian, disaster recovery is usually an incremental and extended process. Here are […]

Recent South Carolina Solar Law and What it Means for Your HOA

A South Carolina solar bill that was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster in May this year might have impacts on your homeowners association by increasing the number of property owners looking to install some sort of solar technology on their property. Since most HOAs have architectural approval procedures for changes to properties, that […]

Recent HOA Case a Good Reminder in North Carolina & South Carolina

At Black, Slaughter & Black we keep track of legal trends and recent case law that impacts our HOA and condo clients. Although it is a case out of Virginia, the decision in Sainani v. Belmont Glen Homeowners Association, Inc. highlights three important themes that HOAs in North Carolina and South Carolina should be aware […]

NC local governments try to navigate changing golf course economics

The arches and terraces of the Ballantyne Hotel in south Charlotte have framed a view of the smoothly sloping adjacent golf course since the place opened 18 years ago.  Visitors had better take a good look while they can. The lawn will soon be replaced by a winding creek, walking paths, trees and midrise residential […]

Condominium Defects in the Carolinas

Condominium owners associations (COAs) are usually responsible for maintaining and repairing roofs, exterior walls, and other building envelope components. If the building envelope has not been designed or constructed properly, water will find its way into the building and attack studs, sheathing, and other structural components that hold the building up. The resulting decay, hidden […]

Top 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. Over the next few articles, […]

Malicious Prosecution – Can It Result From Filing A Lis Pendens? (SC)

Those of us with any significant history of practice in South Carolina have made an allegation or defended against an allegation of slander of title. Such allegations, and actions for slander of title, were significantly limited, however, with the advent of Pond Place Partners.[1] There, the South Carolina Court of Appeals found the filing of […]

Major changes coming to SC HOA laws in January!

There have been multiple attempts by the South Carolina Legislature over the years to enact laws concerning planned communities and homeowners’ associations (“HOAs”). Unlike North Carolina, until recently South Carolina had no laws for planned communities other than one pertaining to horizontal properties (condominiums). This year, legislation dealing with planned communities was finally adopted by […]

Top 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………………….

South Carolina Court Affirms Lien Foreclosure

A recent class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina served as another chapter in the national debate of the legality of lien foreclosure for community association assessments.  In January 2018, seven South Carolina real estate owners in community associations, sued not only their seven associations but also six management companies and […]

The Wild West, Tamed a Bit (SC)

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, […]

Transgender Issues in Community Associations

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Community Association Institute Law Seminar. One of the topics covered at the seminar was transgender issues in community associations. We all know that community associations are microcosms of the society at large, and transgender issues are no exception. Transgender persons face violence, discrimination in the workplace, […]

Can we just enforce the rules we like?

Most board members don’t relish the idea of fining their friends and neighbors for minor infractions of their community’s restrictive covenants. Boards are typically willing to issue fines and citations when an owner has piles of garbage in their front yard, windows and siding falling off the exterior, or nipping dogs running around common areas […]

Protect Your HOA Board Against Embezzlement

It is essential to know how to protect the funds of your community as a member of an HOA Board of Directors. Here are certain practices that will ensure that the accounts of the members of your HOA Board are protected against embezzlement:    Read the article……………..

South Carolina Court of Appeals Reiterates Importance of Clear Rental Restrictions

I am often asked by homeowners, property managers, and HOA boards to review restrictive covenants to determine whether their community may restrict leasing in some way. The usual answer is “it depends,” and the South Carolina Court of Appeals made it clear in Community Services Associates, Inc. v. Wall that restrictive covenants must be clear […]

What to Do About Subdivision Roads—The Orphan Road Conundrum

For many homeowners associations roads can be a source of constant consternation. Most homeowners do not make their home-buying decision based on the condition of the roads in the community or on the responsibility of the community to maintain subdivision roads. Where the community is responsible for the roads, it can be one of the […]

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 or unfairly implemented. In some cases, a resident may plead “selective enforcement” in a court. […]