CARES Act Imposes 120 Day Moratorium on Some Residential Evictions

The Federal CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020 includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions of tenants in federally financed housing based solely on nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges. The CARES Act further prohibits a lessor/landlord of a covered property from charging any tenant fees, penalties or other charges for nonpayment of rent during this time. During the moratorium period, the landlord of a covered property also cannot “require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit before the date that is 30 days after the date on which the lessor provides the tenant … Continue reading

Communicating With HOA/Condo Members In The Age of Coronavirus

Association Boards are not typically groups that like to overshare.  They often can take a “need to know” approach to communicating with association membership.  However in this brave new world we are facing with Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) sharing what actions the Board is taking, or not taking, with regard to the virus is going to be of vital importance to maintaining a well informed and healthy membership. Typically when associations discuss communication, they are referring to those notices required to be provided by governing documents or state statute, such as notices required for annual meetings, collection of assessments, imposing fines for … Continue reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) HOA & Condo Articles

During the past month we have posted a number of articles on how community associations should respond to the coronavirus crisis as well as changes in HOA/condo practices that may need to be considered. For ease of finding, these articles are linked below: The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do? “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” How to Hold Your North Carolina HOA/Condo Hearing in a Pandemic Should My Community Close Its Common Areas Due to COVID-19? What to Do About HOA/Condo Finances & Assessments During the Coronavirus  . The attorneys … Continue reading

Greensboro and Charlotte North Carolina Probate in the Midst of Coronavirus

While things have generally slowed down during this pandemic, the Courts have remained open to certain departments that simply cannot be put on hold. Two of these include: (1) Estates – this is where Probate Estates are administered, Spousal Allowance applications are processed and other similar matters. Probate is the court-supervised legal process that gives someone (executor or administrator) the authority to administer an estate. Administering the estate includes gathering the assets of the deceased person, paying the taxes and final bills and at the end distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will or set out … Continue reading

What to Do About HOA/Condo Finances & Assessments During the Coronavirus

Questions to our firm about how homeowner and condominium associations should respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic have come in waves.  When news of the virus broke, we were asked by HOAs and condos how to keep homeowners safe. (See: Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do?) Then, once health concerns cancelled board and membership meetings, questions turned to how to transact association business without having physical meetings. (See: The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings and “Let’s Have Our Meeting Online!”) Now, with the extended health and economic crisis, association boards are concerned both about the association’s finances … Continue reading

Quiet Title Actions in North Carolina

We frequently field questions from clients regarding their ownership in property that has been passed down through multiple generations of family members.  Issues tend to arise due to how title is held to the property.  Sometimes, several members of a family own a small share of a piece of property but are unsure of their exact ownership interests.  This can result in confusion and the inability to immediately sell the property to an eager buyer. Frequently, property held by a family for generations is never deeded down the generational line.  This results in a perceived gap or uncertainty in ownership.  … Continue reading

Landlord/Tenant Issues In the Midst of COVID-19

In an effort to reduce courthouse traffic and slow the spread of COVID-19, Chief Justice Beasley has halted all eviction hearings through April 17, 2020. Below is some clarification of what this means for landlords and tenants in North Carolina. Keep in mind that each lease is different, so it is important that you carefully read the terms of your lease to determine exactly what your rights and obligations are. If you are in doubt, the attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black can assist you with offices in Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington and the Triangle. *Be aware that this information is … Continue reading

Should My Community Close Its Common Areas Due to COVID-19?

With everyone on high alert because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) we get a number of questions every day about how community associations (HOAs and condos) should react and what should be done.  One of the questions we’ve received a lot lately is whether the association should close its common areas.  The answer, as with most legal things, is “it depends.”  First, most community associations are nonprofit corporations and are obligated to do whatever any state or local government or health department has said should be done.  For a great discussion on general steps your community should take to deal with … Continue reading

How to Hold Your North Carolina HOA/Condo Hearing in a Pandemic

Yet another issue that is coming up frequently in the face of COVID-19:  what should an association do about violation hearings that need to proceed, and are already scheduled or need to be scheduled?  Obviously, we are recommending against any face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future.  Mecklenburg County’s stay at home order requires residents today to stay home and avoid all unnecessary trips may soon spread to the rest of North Carolina. This means we have to get creative about how to hold hearings.  The goal, as always, will be to allow owners to clearly understand the alleged violation and … Continue reading

Are Your North Carolina Last Will and Testament and Guardianship Designations up to Date in the Midst of Coronavirus

Living with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, has made many people step back and take actions that ensure they are prepared. In the short term that means fighting the lines for food and cleaning supplies but in the long term it means making sure that all recommended important legal documents are up to date. Only two weeks ago, we thought that only older people were affected but now we know that people of all ages are at risk. Persons of all ages are reminded to make sure they have a Last Will and Testament in place. Young parents are … Continue reading

North Carolina Powers of Attorney, Advanced Directives and Beneficiary Designations in the Midst of Coronavirus

Living with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for each individual to decide who it is that they trust most to make medical decisions if they cannot make those decisions themselves.  Many of us may get sick and in that case, we may need someone to make important decisions for us. If you have not already done so, this is the time, while you are well and thinking clearly, to make those decisions and memorialize them in the appropriate legal documents. This advice is not only intended for older people but for anyone over the age of … Continue reading

“Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!”

Due to the Coronavirus, in the last several weeks we have received a lifetime’s worth of questions about moving in-person business meetings and conventions to some type of electronic format. Our firm’s two Professional Registered Parliamentarian attorneys have assisted many clients in doing just that—board meetings, annual meetings, houses of delegates, etc. However, before jumping online there are considerations that should be addressed. Is an Electronic Meeting or Electronic Voting Allowed? There are two main online approaches to conducting business: (1) an electronic meeting and (2) electronic voting. An electronic meeting attempts to mirror an in-person meeting to some extent—members … Continue reading

It May Be A Tiny Home, But Is It A Tiny Price?

It’s a tempting fad if you think about it—being able to purchase a beautiful new house for half the price and only have to clean half of a house. With home prices continuing to soar, and home inventory becoming less readily available every day, Reality TV shows focused on finding the right Tiny Home are starting to plant the seed in more and more home buyers’ minds that maybe they COULD give up some of the convenience that comes with the size of a traditional home. However, before you jump onto the Tiny Home bandwagon, there may be a couple … Continue reading

Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do?

This is one of three articles on dealing with the Coronavirus and its impact. This blog looks at how associations can protect the association as well as responsibilities. See also The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings and “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” Since our blog last week on The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings, there has been an increase in U.S. Coronavirus cases, including one death in Washington state. That has led to a number of questions from association boards to the effect of: “Thanks for the blog, but what should we DO to protect the … Continue reading

The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings

This is one of three articles on dealing with the Coronavirus and its impact. This blog looks at how association boards and members transact business outside of in-person meetings. See also Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do? and “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” As of today (February 27, 2020), estimates are that the Novel Coronavirus has infected 80,000 people worldwide, and killed 3,000. Flu statistics are even more shocking, with about 26 million Americans infected and 14,000 U.S. deaths. While I hope these crises will soon go away, we have been asked what to do if … Continue reading

Annual Reports Due April 15, 2020

It’s that time of year again when most entities, with only a few exceptions (such as non-profits), that conduct business within the State of North Carolina are required to file an Annual Report with the North Carolina Secretary of State.  More specifically, entities will be required to both submit their Annual Report and to pay the accompanying fee by April 15, 2020. Annual Reports can be filed quickly and easily through the North Carolina Secretary of State’s user-friendly website (https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/business_registration).  Although it may be tempting to click through the screens to quickly complete and submit the filing, business officers and … Continue reading

Handwritten (Holographic) Wills in North Carolina

North Carolina recognizes hand written Wills known as Holographic Wills in certain circumstances. A holographic will is handwritten, not typed, and must be entirely in the handwriting of the person making the Will (known as the Testator or Testatrix). Holographic wills are valid without witnesses, but the testator must still sign it. In addition to having the Testator’s name, the holographic Will must also be found: among the his or her valuable papers or effects, or in a safe-deposit box or other safe place where it was deposited by the testator or under the testator’s authority; or in the possession … Continue reading

TWO 2020 HOA/Condo Law Days Coming Up!

Community Association Law Day is always one of the most popular programs of the North Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute. This year there are TWO: Charlotte on Friday, February 28 and Raleigh on Friday, March 13. Attendees include HOA/condo board members, community leaders, and community managers. Speakers include many of the best community association professionals in the state. Five Black, Slaughter & Black attorneys will be presenting at the 2020 Community Association Law Days (a record!). Here are their topics: What HOA/Condo Leaders Need to Know About Meeting Procedure & Robert’s Rules of Order – Jim Slaughter. Running … Continue reading

New HUD Guidelines on Assistance Animals

Yesterday, January 28, 2020, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) released new assistance on guidance animals. Notice FHEO-2020-01 (“Assistance Animals Notice”) includes two parts: “Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act” contains best practices for complying with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) when assessing a person with a disability’s accommodation request involving animals in housing, including differences between assistance animals and pets types of accommodations that a housing provider may need to grant assessing whether an animal is a … Continue reading

How a Mobile Closing is Going to Make My Transaction Smoother

            Historically, closing on a residential property and use of related vendors to do so has been a largely local (to the property location) endeavor.  It does make sense to do so since local real estate agents, attorneys and other vendors have specific knowledge of intricacies of the area and other special processes that may be required to provide relevant advice and complete a transaction most efficiently.  Most times, it also requires a trip or three to the closing attorney’s office to sign documents and meet with other parties to the transaction in order to consummate the deal.  However, whether … Continue reading