Law Firm Carolinas: New Shareholder, Partners, Offices and Lawyers

Law Firm Carolinas announces the following changes: Harmony Taylor, who is in the Charlotte office and practices community association (HOA and condo) law and civil litigation, has been named a Shareholder. Three attorneys have been named Partners: Joe Thompson, who practices residential and commercial real estate, and David Wilson, who practices North and South Carolina community association (HOA and condo) law, both from the Charlotte office; and Jon Raymer, who practices commercial and residential real estate, from the Greensboro office. There have also been several recent additions to the firm: Nancy Guyton and Hunt Harris have joined the Wilmington office. … Continue reading

New NC Appellate Case: Belmont Association, Inc. v. Farwig (Solar Panels/ARC)

Today, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the NC Court of Appeals issued its decision in Belmont Association, Inc. v. Farwig (the first appellate review of North Carolina’s solar law!). The decision may impact the installation of solar panels in planned communities, and is a “published” decision. That means the decision is controlling legal authority and can be cited in other cases. When N.C. Gen. Stat. § 22B-20 (“Deed Restrictions and Other Agreements Prohibiting Solar Collectors”) became law in North Carolina in 2007, it changed the way homeowners associations handle architectural requests. Prior to this statute, an HOA could simply follow the … Continue reading

Automatic-Renewal Contract Clauses

Consider this hot-off-the-press from an agreement I reviewed this morning: “If neither party has given the other thirty (30) days written notice of the desire to terminate this Agreement at the end of the any given contract period, then the term shall be automatically renewed for an additional contract period term.” As service providers—e.g., landscapers, vendors, and pool services—aim to retain clients, an increasing presence in service contracts is the automatic-renewal clause (“Evergreen Clause”). Essentially, an Evergreen Clause provides for automatic renewal following the expiration of an agreement. That is, granting prior consent to extend the term of an agreement … Continue reading

Order Extend Protections for Tenants; Reaffirms Requirements for Landlords

In late December 2020, both President Trump and North Carolina Governor Cooper extended existing Orders providing protections to individuals at risk of eviction through January 31, 2021. As a result, eviction of some residential tenants for nonpayment of rent may continue to be halted during this time period. However, protection from eviction is not automatic and relates only to situations involving nonpayment of rent. In order to receive relief from eviction, a tenant at risk for eviction for failure to pay rent must submit a Declaration under penalty of perjury that the tenant meets certain requirements. The Declaration must state … Continue reading

The Cloudy Future: What New Statutory Trends Concerning Marijuana Means for Associations

In a historic first, the United States House of Representatives voted on legislation this year that, if passed by the Senate, would de-schedule marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act was originally introduced by House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler last fall and passed the Committee by a vote of 24-10 in November. On December 4, 2020, the House passed the MORE Act—the bill passed by a vote of 228 to 164.If enacted into law, the MORE ACT would decriminalize marijuana use at the federal level, expunge federal marijuana convictions and arrests, and, most importantly for … Continue reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) HOA & Condo Blog Articles

Since February of this year, 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 … Continue reading

Executive Order Imposes New Requirements for Landlords

Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 171, which relates directly to residential evictions in North Carolina and attempts to provide some clarity of the CDC Agency Order issued earlier this fall. This Executive Order is effective October 30, 2020 at 5p.m. through December 31, 2020. The CDC Agency Order provides for protection from eviction for nonpayment of rent for certain residential tenants. In order to receive protection, the tenant must submit a Declaration under penalty of perjury that the tenant meets certain requirements. See CDC Moratorium on Evictions for a previous blog post containing more information about the CDC Agency … Continue reading

Justice Beasley Extends Emergency Directive 18 Relating to Evictions in North Carolina

Eviction actions commenced for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges are subject to Emergency Directive 18, which was extended on September 15, 2020 for an additional thirty (30) days. Under this Emergency Directive, no writ of possession for real property shall be issued in summary ejectment actions commenced on or after March 27, 2020, unless the magistrate or judge concludes that either: (1) the property is not a “covered dwelling” as defined by Section 4024(a)(1) of the CARES Act or (2) the property is a “covered dwelling” and the tenant had 30 days of notice to vacate as … Continue reading

Reopening Gyms and Fitness Centers in North Carolina’s Phase 2.5: Three Steps to Consider

North Carolina’s “Phase 2.5” allows gyms, fitness centers, and exercise facilities to reopen their doors, so long as they comply with the requirements of North Carolina Executive Order #163. The order’s broad language in defining fitness facilities means that this reopening applies to homeowners associations and condominiums just as much as any other gym or center. This guide is no substitute for reading through the executive order and following the rules it puts in place. However, this guide may be helpful in figuring out what to do and where to start. FIGURE OUT YOUR EMERGENCY MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY. The first step … Continue reading

CDC Moratorium on Evictions

President Trump has issued a directive authorizing the CDC to stop the eviction of some renters effective immediately through the end of 2020, citing public health threats during the pandemic. Under the CDC Agency Order, a landlord “shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies during the effective period of the Order.” In order to qualify as a “covered person”, the tenant, lessee or resident of a residential property must provide a declaration under penalty of perjury to their landlord, the owner of the residential property, or other person with … Continue reading

New Firm Name & Partners

New Firm Name The law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black, PA 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 … 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

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

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

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 Law Firm Carolinaswe are experienced with our attorneys utilizing a variety of methods to close transactions, including video … Continue reading

How to Leave Money, Assets or an Inheritance to a Minor Child in North Carolina

Until a child reaches the age of eighteen (18), they cannot inherit property outright, or in their own name. It needs to be held for that child in one of several different ways. First, money or property can be left to a minor in a trust. Second, it can be left to a child under a court-supervised guardianship and third, it can be left to a child under the North Carolina uniform Transfer to Minors Act. Trust – A trust can be established during life or through a Will at someone’s death. If money is left to a minor child … Continue reading

WEBINAR: The Next Normal – Lifting COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders & The Impact on Community Associations

This week the Community Associations Institute (CAI) hosted a free live webinar on “The Next Normal – Lifting COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders & The Impact on Community Associations.” The goal was to provide timely, helpful information on how community associations prepare for the lifting of stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic and the approaches homeowner and condominium associations will need to take to reopen common areas and amenities.  Jim Slaughter of Law Firm Carolinas participated as a panelist. If you did not see the program (or did and wish to share it with someone), CAI has made webinar available as a recording … Continue reading

Stimulus Funds Could Be Accessed by Creditors

Starting this week, many North Carolinians will be receiving emergency stimulus payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). For many individuals, that payment will be directly deposited into their bank account. Our Attorney General joined with several other state attorneys general on April 13, 2020 to request that the U.S. Department of the Treasury take immediate action to protect these funds from being accessible to creditors and instead ensure that the money goes to individuals to use for housing, food and other urgent needs. Right now, however, unlike Social Security, disability, and veterans’ payments, … Continue reading

North Carolina Estate Planning and the Coronavirus

Estate Planning practices are busier than ever. Clients are very concerned whether their estate plans are up to date and in order. Often clients have been meaning to make changes and do not get around to it. Something as frightening as a pandemic makes us stop and think about the important things in life—like making sure our loved ones are cared for in the event of an unlikely circumstance. Here are some suggestions of what you might consider at this time. Review your Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust – do they accurately reflect your wishes if you … Continue reading

Live Webinar for SC Community Associations Responding to COVID-19

The South Carolina Chapter of the Community Association Institute (CAI) will host a 1-hour “Coronavirus Update and Q&A” webinar this Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 10:20 am.  The Facebook Live webinar (you do not need a Facebook account to participate) will provide timely, helpful information on how HOA and condo associations should respond to the coronvirus pandemic and will include live Q&A. Attorneys Steve Black and David Wilson (who are licensed in both North and South Carolina) will be participating. More details and a sign-up can be found at this CAI-SC Facebook Webinar Page Topics to be covered include: Member and … Continue reading