Category: Homeowner Associations (HOA) Law

A Guide for Homeowner Association Board Members in North Carolina

I have written and updated a general guide that includes some basic information regarding HOAs in North Carolina. It was written to help new board members understand their duties and limitations but can also be valuable for residents. Please contact the office if you would like a copy. -Bradley A. Coxe is a practicing attorney […]

View Post

Homeowner Association Records

One of the first things that happens when a homeowner has an issue with the management of an HOA and the actions of the board of directors is a records request. Therefore it is important for homeowners and boards to know what records are required to be kept and what records should be provided to […]

View Post

Private to Public Roads

Usually when a new planned community is build, the developer will build and install the infrastructure of the neighborhood, including the roads. At this time, they, along with all the lots and common areas, are owned by the developer. The developer should also incorporate a homeowner’s association at this time. The developer will then typically […]

View Post

HOA Meetings

I know, your HOA meeting is boring, at a bad time, at a bad place, and it is just a bunch of people complaining. Still, there are good reasons to attend these meetings. This article goes into more depth, but the major reason in my opinion is the election of directors. No matter how entrenched […]

View Post

Email Meetings

Homeowner Associations and other non-profit corporations are frequently managed by unpaid and part-time executive board members. These folks usually don’t think anything is wrong with circulating emails trying to make a decision, rather than the more tedious and time-consuming work of conducting an actual meeting. However, attempted action done in this manner is not the […]

View Post

The Pretty Committee

Many homeowner associations have an architectural review committee or board, whose job it is to oversee the appearance and structure of homeowner’s lots and enforce the declarations and the rules of a planned community. The declarations limit the amount of power the ARC has over each homeowner’s lot. Some are limited only to setbacks and […]

View Post

Have a Healthy and Effective Board

Attached is a Board Effectiveness Checklist from governance.pro that helps an organization determine if it is being as effective as it can be. The checklist applies to all types of organizations, so all the factors may not apply to every organization, but it is a good starting point. There are some additional specific items I […]

View Post

Electronic Meetings

With the near universal use of email, texting, Twitter, and instant messaging, small corporations and homeowner associations frequently try to use these services for the business of the company. While this practice can be valuable and efficient to manage a company or planned community, it normally cannot be used to exercise the powers and authority […]

View Post

HOA v. The Doctor

English: The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Centre and taken by me Zir (talk) 23:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC) Please credit © zir.com if used outside of Wikipedia Category:Doctor Who images (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Homeowner Associations exist to manage planned communities. Part of that duty is to enforce the restrictive covenants of the community. […]

View Post

Executive Sessions

Frequently homeowner association and other nonprofit board of directors announce they are going into “executive session” and close the meeting to only the board. The North Carolina Planned Community Act provides that meetings of the organization are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, unless the bylaws provide for a different manual of policy and procedure. […]

View Post

Can’t Give it Away.

I recently had a homeowner’s association question regarding the conveyance of common elements. Basically, the HOA owned property between a small river and about six member lots. The HOA and the rest of the property owners did not have any access to the property except by the river. The land is mostly marsh and wetlands […]

View Post

Courts curb power of HOAs to amend Declarations

I’ve written before about amending the Declarations for a homeowner association. A new case handed down this month by the North Carolina Court of Appeals could make it harder for an HOA to amend the Declarations to their liking. The Linville subdivision in north Raleigh began construction in 2003. As an incentive to builders to […]

View Post

I have a list!

One of the more frustrating things a homeowner association board deals with is unpaid assessments. I’ve written before about how the fees and costs of collecting a valid assessment can greatly exceed the amount of the assessment. Occasionally, a board will try and put social pressure on delinquent owners to pay by publishing lists of […]

View Post

Amending Your HOA’s Declarations

In North Carolina, the Declarations (also called restrictive covenants) are the main governing document of a homeowner’s association. While the general statutes of the state remain the ultimate authority, they give a large amount of leeway to a planned community to craft its own governing documents. Usually the Declarations are pulled from a boilerplate set […]

View Post

Should HOAs file liens?

I’ve written before about the lien procedure required when a homeowner’s association is attempting to collect on past due assessments. Some of the HOAs I’ve worked with have annual assessments as low as $50, but still have a handful of people who neglect or refuse to pay. My staff is trained on the process of […]

View Post

Who’s in Charge Here?

Most Non-profit corporations, including homeowner associations, have a volunteer, part-time executive board, with a full-time professional manager, management company, or executive director. The relationship between these two parties can get tumultuous. After a large turnover in board membership, the new board members may see the professional manager as a holdover and supporter of the old […]

View Post

Insurance for Homeowners and Homeowner Associations

Under Chapter 47C for condominiums and 47F for other planned communities, a homeowner’s association is required to purchase certain types of insurance. In both types of communities, the HOA is required to provide insurance for damage to the common elements of the association. A common element is anything owned by the association, and not an […]

View Post

Prelitigation Mediation for Homeowner’s Associations

  One of the new laws for homeowner associations in North Carolina is a law “encouraging” parties with a dispute with their HOA to try and resolve the dispute before filing a lawsuit. The statute provides for a voluntary prelitigation mediation that is similar to a mediation required in every North Carolina Superior Court case. […]

View Post

Business Judgment Rule in Homeowners Associations

Under the community documents (declarations/covenants, bylaws, rules and regulations) and under the planned community and condominium acts in North Carolina, an HOA has certain obligations, for example, maintaining or repairing the common elements of the association. Unless it specifically sets forth in the declarations how late the pool can stay open or how many times […]

View Post

Free Speech in an HOA

Recently, a retired police officer in Southport NC challenged a rule by his homeowner’s association prohibiting religious or political gatherings at the community’s amenities center. The homeowner felt that this was an infringement of his constitutional rights. After holding meetings and gathering petition signatures, the HOA board agreed to change the rule. Some people may […]

View Post