New Appellate Case May Impact Townhome Exterior Repairs

Today (August 4, 2020), the NC Court of Appeals issued an opinion that could impact townhome exterior repairs. The case is Shearon Farms Townhome Owners Ass’n II, Inc. v. Shearon Farms Dev., LLC. Shearon is a “published” case, which means the holding is binding on other parties with similar facts. Complex appellate cases are difficult to summarize. Facts matter. Different circumstances can lead to different results. That said, here’s the short version of this 19 page decision: Several townhome owners reported to the association that the exterior siding on their townhomes was severely damaged, as if it had melted. The … Continue reading

How to Hold a North Carolina HOA or Condo Virtual Membership Meeting

Normally (not during a pandemic), virtual membership meetings of homeowner and condominium associations are not permitted. As noted in this Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings article, members usually have two options for making decisions outside of meetings: (1) “action by written (unanimous) consent” and (2) “action by written ballot.” In addition, for declaration amendments the NC Planned Community Act and Condominium Act allow adoption by “written agreement” from members, which is a different no-meeting process. But recognize that none of these count as a “meeting.” They are all methods of making decisions without a meeting. So, if you want … Continue reading

Updated NC Condominium Act (NCGS 47C)

The NC General Assembly in 2020 has made a number of changes to the North Carolina Condominium Act (NCGS 47C). All of the updated statutes have been signed by the Governor and are now law. Here is a PDF of the revised NC Condominium Act. The document also distinguishes between those provisions that are retroactive to all condos and which apply only to condominiums created after October 1, 1986. For more details on the specific 2020 amendments, you may wish to read this article: NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 24, 2020 For any North or South Carolina HOA/condo … Continue reading

2020 CAI-NC Annual Conference Educational Sessions ONLINE

The Annual Conference of the North Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute will be virtual this year. While the Conference is officially next week, July 23-24, there will be many more educational opportunities on issues of concern to HOAs and condos. Registered attendees at this year’s Conference will choose 4 of 12 learning sessions to attend on Conference days (July 23-24). But one of 12 recorded sessions will be opened each day for viewing online Monday-Thursday in the 3 weeks following the Conference. You can attend or re-attend any as part of Conference registration. In addition, presenters will “attend” online the day … Continue reading

New Firm Name & Partners

New Firm Name The law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black will now be doing business as Law Firm Carolinas. The firm, which practices in North and South Carolina, has four offices: Greensboro, Charlotte, Triangle (Garner) and Coastal (Wilmington). New Partners In addition, three attorneys have been named partners in the firm: Jennifer Ruby, who does general civil litigation, business litigation and appeals. Ruby is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006) and Elon University School of Law (2010) and is based in the Greensboro office. Michael Taliercio, who manages the firm’s HOA/condo assessment collections … Continue reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) HOA & Condo Blog 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 – 2/26/20 Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do? – 3/1/2020 “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” – 3/14/2020 How to Hold Your North Carolina HOA/Condo Hearing in a Pandemic – 3/24/2020 Should My Community Close Its Common Areas Due to COVID-19? – 3/25/2020 What to Do About … Continue reading

New Law Offers Important Protection to NC Pool Operators

House Bill 902 was signed into law by Governor Cooper on July 2, 2020 and grants some limitations on liability for privately owned swimming pool operators who open their pools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Bill applies to community pools owned by private entities, such as apartment complexes, homeowners associations and condominium associations, and protects those pool operators from liability for injury or death allegedly related to COVID-19 if those pool operators have opened the pools in compliance with the various Executive Orders for pool safety issued by the Governor.  Probably the most important Executive Order here is Executive Order … Continue reading

New NC Executive Order Again Allows Electronic Nonprofit Membership Meetings

NC Executive Order #141 issued on May 20 (and still in effect as of July 3) currently limits indoor meeting attendance to 10 and outdoor attendance to 25, which makes it rather hard to hold an in-person association membership meeting. By statute, NC nonprofit association boards have long been allowed to meet by telephone conference or video conference, so long as everyone can simultaneously hear everyone else. However, there has been no such statute for association member meetings. On April 24 the Governor issued Executive Order #136, which allowed for nonprofit membership meetings to be held virtually under certain conditions. … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 26, 2020

Pool Immunity & Fee Cap on Statement of Unpaid Assessments According to Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” At this point in the legislative session, things more pretty fast. And it’s easy to miss things. There have been several significant changes since my NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 24, 2020 two days ago! Summaries follow, and more fuller reviews will be done as a part of our HOA/Condo blogs. House Bill 806: “HOA/Condo Pool Opening Limited Immunity” HB 806 has been amended to … Continue reading

COVID-19 Update: North Carolina to Remain in Phase 2, Additional Restrictions

NC Governor Roy Cooper announced today, June 24, that on Friday, June 26 the State will NOT move to a “Phase 3” with regards to coronavirus restrictions. North Carolina will instead remain in Phase 2 for at least an additional 3 weeks as a result of failing to meet certain key benchmarks. In addition, new face mask requirements have been added. Here are some highlights for North Carolina’s homeowner and condominium associations: Phase 2 restrictions will remain in place through at least 5 pm on July 17, 2020. Restrictions on gatherings remain in place. Executive Order #141 issued on May … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – June 24, 2020

Like most everything else in 2020, this year’s legislative session has not been typical. This is the second legislative year of the 2019-2020 Session. Normally, some of the bills that survived “crossover” in 2019 (see NC Community Association Legislative Update – May 10, 2019) would be tweaked and considered, but new significant legislation is not all that common in the second year of a session. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and everything related to that, the financial crisis, and numerous social issues that risen to the forefront, the focus of this year’s legislative session has mostly been on new proposals … Continue reading

Requirements for South Carolina HOA/Condo Pools for Re-Opening After May 18, 2020

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the community association attorneys at Black Slaughter Black, P.A. have been closely monitoring the Executive Orders from the South Carolina Governor, county and city Orders, and the recommendations of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Controls, along with those of the Center for Disease Control. On May 11, 2020 Governor Henry McMaster announced that fitness centers and pools (“Amenities”) may re-open on Monday, May 18, 2020 with certain requirements which are mandated (“Requirements”) and with guidelines that are strongly recommended but not mandated (“Guidelines”). As of the time of this writing … Continue reading

North Carolina Extends Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions

Governor Cooper and Justice Beasley signed Orders over the weekend which place an additional 21 day moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, effective May 30, 2020. While tenants are still encouraged to timely pay rent as it becomes due, the Orders place restrictions on the steps that landlords may take to remove a tenant from the property, at least from May 30, 2020 through June 20, 2020 (the “Effective Period”). Below is an overview of the Orders as they apply to residential and commercial property. Residential: -All evictions pending in the trial divisions, whether summary ejectment or otherwise, are stayed … Continue reading

Pools in Phase 2: Requirements for Reopening NC HOA/Condo Pools

NC Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 141 (“Easing Restrictions on Travel, Business Operations, and Mass Gatherings: Phase 2”) on May 20, 2020  which will allow homeowner and condominium association pools to re-open on Friday, May 22 at 5:00 p.m. However, certain requirements must be in place. The Order imposes mandated “Requirements” that must be followed as well as “Guidelines” that are strongly recommended (but not mandated).  If the directors of an NC community association are discussing opening the association’s pool, the board should, at a minimum, consider the following Steps: STEP 1 – The Governor’s announcement and authorization to … Continue reading

Title Fraud or Deed Theft and Preventative Measures

Recently our office has received inquiries regarding advertisements from companies offering services to protect against home title fraud, also frequently called deed theft. Many do not know what title fraud is, or whether they need to pay a service to guard against it. The concept of title fraud generally involves recording forged or altered documents in a county’s registry that purport to transfer ownership of real estate from one party to another. Once a county’s records have been updated to show the fraudster or their affiliated entity as the property’s owner, the criminal may attempt to sell the property or … Continue reading

Can Your Association Require A Survey as Part of the Architectural Process?

For some property owners, the Coronavirus pandemic has been an opportunity to spend some meaningful time at home working on long neglected projects. This could mean finishing up a landscaping plan, cleaning out a natural area, or finally getting around to building a fence. As owners go about these tasks, it is inevitable that some will ignore or not be aware of the architectural approval process. This may be a good time for boards to- in a friendly way- check in with their neighbors and  provide a refresher course on the necessary steps to get an architectural change submitted and … Continue reading

Emergency Video Notarization in North Carolina in the Real Estate Transaction Context during the COVID-19 Crisis

On May 4, 2020, the North Carolina Governor signed into law Senate Bill 704.  The Law was drafted specifically to respond to hardships created by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Crisis.  One of the key provisions of the Law, in consultation with and at the recommendation of the North Carolina Secretary of State, authorizes all Notaries Public of the State of North Carolina to, “temporarily perform emergency video notarizations so that notarial acts will not impede crucial business transactions, real estate transactions, medical documents, court documents, and most other important document notarizations.”  This emergency authorization is a temporary authorization, as … Continue reading

Re-Opening Risks and Liabilities for Businesses in the Era of COVID-19*

As businesses throughout North Carolina begin to plan for and undertake re-opening, concern for the safety of customers and employees is a central focus for many. Prudent businesses of all types or areas including, for example, realtors, management companies, construction companies, retailers, and accountants or other professionals, should also pause to consider and understand their potential liability to those customers, employees and third-parties they serve, utilize and otherwise come into contact with while fulfilling their business functions. A business’ risk, however, isn’t as straightforward or simple as most of us would assume or like, and assessing your potential liability requires … Continue reading

Emergency Video Notarization: What Real Estate Agents Need to Know

This past Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 704, enacted as Session Law 2020-3, which is designed to aid North Carolinians in response to the Coronavirus disease. Of particular interest to Real Estate Agents is the portion of the bill found in Part IV entitled “Emergency Video Notarization.” Currently, when a real estate document requires notarization, that means the homebuyer must be “physically present” in front of the notary in order for the notarization to take place. Here at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. we are experienced with our attorneys utilizing a variety of methods to close … Continue reading

What Your NC & SC Community Should Consider Before Opening Pools Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Many of our association clients are asking whether the board should open the association’s pool in May as originally scheduled, and if so, what additional rules should the board consider in light of the ongoing COVID-19 health concerns. As an initial step the board of directors must confirm whether there are state, county, city, or other municipal restrictions, including health department restrictions, that may prohibit the association’s pool from being open.  If there are, the pool must remain closed.  In the event that no executive order or government regulations require the pool to remain closed there are still portions of … Continue reading