Firm Recognition

The readers of YES! Weekly magazine have selected the firm as a “Best Lawyer/Law Firm.” It’s nice to be recognized! For more information on Black, Slaughter & Black, PA, and our practice areas, please visit www.lawfirmcarolinas.com

NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 22, 2017

I’m asked frequently about the status of  proposals filed this session in the General Assembly that, if adopted, would directly impact North Carolina HOAs and condominium associations. The “crossover deadline” (the date on which a bill must have cleared one chamber to move forward) has passed, which means this a good time to check in on various bills. (FYI, while the crossover deadline is a big deal, keep in mind the News & Observer’s warning several years ago: “[Legislative] rules are made to be circumvented, so there are many ways to keep legislation alive.”) UNDERSTAND THAT ALL OF THESE ARE PROPOSALS, … Continue reading

Communities for Those 55 Years of Age or Older

Recently we have been approached by multiple associations inquiring about making their housing community one that is restricted to those residents that are 55 years of age or older.   The ability and requirements for establishing or becoming a housing community for those 55 years of age or older is governed by the federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA).  The Act applies to homeowners associations and condominium associations that wish to impose this type of age requirement.  HOPA is an exemption to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) which prohibits discrimination in housing-related transactions based on race, color, religion, sex, national … Continue reading

Bidding Wars and Low Appraisals

The current real estate market in Charlotte has a very low inventory for homes being sold.  One result of low inventory is the increased likelihood of multiple offers being submitted for a single property.  This results in bidding wars where the offers submitted by buyers far exceed the original listing price to ensure that their offer will be accepted over the other offers.  However, what many buyers are not aware of is that their winning offer also exceeds the actual appraised value of the property. When the property appraises for a lower amount than what was offered, who should bear … Continue reading

Challenging the Chairman of a Meeting

Have you ever been at a meeting that you did not believe was being run properly?  Is the chair ruling every motion out of order?  Were you unsure on what you could do or did you feel like there was nothing you could do?  Fortunately, there are actions that you can take in these situations.  If your group utilizes Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, then there are several procedures that allow you to challenge the chair if you believe the meeting is not being run properly. One procedure some people might not be aware of to challenge the ruling … Continue reading

Do You Know Who Your Registered Agent Is?

North Carolina corporations, whether for-profit or nonprofit, must have a registered agent name filed with the NC Secretary of State. Planned communities (i.e., homeowner associations) created on or after January 1, 1999 by statute must be incorporated. And almost all homeowner and condominium associations in North Carolina ARE incorporated, regardless of when they were created. So an important question is, “Do you know who your registered agent is?” Finding Your Registered Agent The process of determining your current registered agent is fairly straightforward. Just visit the Secretary of State’s corporate search page and search for your corporate name (be careful, as different corporations often … Continue reading

Grandparent Rights? Requesting Visitation with Your Grandchild

People often call our offices at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. asking about grandparent rights.  In North Carolina, grandparents do not have unlimited access to their grandchildren and there is no formal acknowledgement of grandparent rights.  For instance, if the mother and father of your grandchild are married and decide at some point that they do not want you or certain other  grandparents to spend time with or otherwise have access to a child, the grandparents are left with limited legal options to seek access to their grandchild. Absent a showing of unfitness or acts inconsistent with a parent’s constitutionally … Continue reading

CREATING A CONTRACT: HELP ME, HELP YOU PART 2: WHERE IS THIS?

If you followed along with me on Part 1, you should know that purchase contracts come in all shapes and sizes.  Drafting a good contract considers not only the buyer and seller, but also everyone else in the closing process who will need the purchase contract for making decisions and producing paperwork. Delays are caused where there is incorrect or an incomplete information.  This blog will look at common legal description errors and suggest how to list a legal description to assist those who will follow in the closing process. Where is this? I have a purchase contract sitting on … Continue reading

Successful Real Property Listing Agreements

The real estate market has been getting hot again recently in the Charlotte market, as well as other areas in NC, and this is driving many homeowners to contemplate listing their homes for sale.  Some may choose to attempt to market their own properties, but most will find the assistance of a knowledgeable real estate professional to be invaluable. Along with the services of a real estate broker comes documentation.  The main document that defines the relationship between a seller and his or her agent is the Listing Agreement.  As you might expect, this agreement should ALWAYS be in writing … Continue reading

CREATING A CONTRACT: HELP ME, HELP YOU PART 1: WHO IS THE SELLER? ARE THEY MARRIED?

At Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A., we have the great privilege of working on real estate transfers in every step of the process, but we usually begin our residential closing work with the receipt of a purchase contract.  We find there are good contracts out there and some, well, not so good contracts. So what separates the good from the bad? A good contract is complete and accurate.  In the light most favorable, a bad contract has the essential information but leaves Realtors, Brokers, and attorneys trying to fill in the blanks.  This can cause frustration and delays to all … Continue reading

Tenant’s Rights: What is the Implied Warranty of Habitability?

Renting residential property can have great perks for a tenant. Typically, you’re not responsible for home maintenance and costs of repairs. If something happens, like an appliance stops working, the toilet backs up, or some other repair is needed, all you have to do is call your landlord. In fact, once a landlord has received notice of an “imminently dangerous condition”, the landlord is required to repair the condition within a reasonable time, based upon the severity of the condition. Imminently dangerous conditions include, but are not limited to: – unsafe wiring; – unsafe flooring or steps; – unsafe ceilings … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – Community Association Property Management Act

While most NC General Assembly bill filing deadlines have passed, legislation considered appropriations or finance can be filed through next week. A bill introduced yesterday would, if adopted, significantly impact North Carolina’s HOA/condo associations as well as community managers. House Bill 865: Community Association Property Management Act was filed April 20, 2017 by Rep. Jonathan Jordan (Ashe, Watauga), Rep. John Blust (Guilford), and Rep. Rodney Moore (Mecklenburg) and provides that: beginning October 1, 2017, all community association managers must have an NC real estate broker license association community managers would not be permitted to exercise control over (a) the reserves or investment … Continue reading

Turning Eighteen or Going Off To College – Estate Planning

Most people don’t think about an “estate plan” until they are well in to adulthood. However, planning for unknown events is something that should be considered as young as age eighteen. Once a person turns18, there is no one with legal authority to act on his or her behalf if the young person should become incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently. A Durable (financial) Power of Attorney as well as a Health Care Power of Attorney would allow that young adult to designate the person or persons that he or she wants to have decision making ability in the event of … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – April 19, 2017

Several important legislative deadlines have passed in recent weeks. Tuesday, April 4 marked the NC Senate deadline for filing public bills and resolutions. Tuesday, April 11 marked the NC House deadline for filing public bills and resolutions (other than appropriations or finance bills). While there are a still a few ways for bills impacting HOAs or condos to be introduced in the General Assembly this session, now is an appropriate point to look at the filed bills that, if adopted, would directly impact North Carolina’s community associations. (1) Senate Bill 491/House Bill 625: HOA/Condo Crime & Fidelity Insurance Policies. Senate Bill 491: … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – Fidelity Coverage & Audits

While there are still several weeks for legislative proposals to be introduced in the General Assembly, one bill introduced yesterday (March 29) would directly impact North Carolina condominium and homeowner associations: Senate Bill 491: HOA/Condo Crime & Fidelity Insurance Policies filed by Sen. Norman Sanderson (Carteret, Craven, Pamlico). The bill’s purposes are to (1) require more financial transparency in community associations, and (2) help ensure associations recover monies in the event of financial wrongdoing by an association leader or community manager. In short, SB 491 takes a different approach than some prior proposals on how to address concerns about financial … Continue reading

Purchasing a Dental Practice? Things to Consider

Whether you are a recent Dental School graduate, will be graduating in the near future, or have been working for some time in another practice, the decision to purchase an established dental practice may be your biggest career decision. It is important that you do your homework and assemble a competent team of advisors, such as an experienced CPA and attorney, to help make sure that you have a successful transition into owning your own business.  The following is a list of items to consider in the purchase process: Finding the Practice: Before you ever approach your attorney about purchasing … Continue reading

HOAs/Condominiums Want to Know: What is a Transfer Fee in North Carolina?

A common question that we get from developers, managers, and HOA Boards is “what exactly is a transfer fee?” Although the term “transfer fee” is often used loosely to mean several different things, state statute defines the term generally to mean “a fee or charge payable upon the transfer of an interest in real property.” In other words, it is a fee charged when property is transferred from one party to another.  North Carolina law now prohibits transfer fee covenants.  Specifically prohibited are covenants that require the payment of a transfer fee to a developer or other person upon a … Continue reading

Lesson Learned: What North Carolina Management Companies Should be Thinking About

In a recent post on a South Carolina Supreme Court case from just a few weeks ago I provided a quick breakdown of things that management companies in South Carolina must not do. As always, lessons learned from different jurisdictions can be instructive to neighboring jurisdictions.  North Carolina and South Carolina share many things, including a border.  They also share a similar approach to making sure that the practice of law in each state is limited to only licensed attorneys. Here are some specific things that the Supreme Court in South Carolina mentioned that constitute the unauthorized practice of law … Continue reading

HOA / Condo Budgets and Increased NC Sales Taxes

Benjamin Franklin said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” As community association attorneys, we’re not CPAs. And every association has different circumstances. Having said that, it is almost certain that due to a shift in how North Carolina taxes certain services, association budgets will need to be increased. North Carolina has traditionally relied heavily upon income taxes as a revenue stream. Without getting into any pro or con political discussions, the NC General Assembly over the past several years has begun shifting to a model of lower personal and corporate income … Continue reading