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 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

New Architectural Review Decision from the Court of Appeals: Martin v. The Landfall Council of Associations, Inc.

The NC Court of Appeals issued a new architectural review committee decision this morning, April 21, 2020, in Martin v. The Landfall Council of Associations, Inc. The case is an “unpublished” opinion from the NC Court of Appeals, which means the decision is not controlling legal authority and should not be cited in other cases. However, even unpublished opinions give a sense of the Court’s thinking as to specific issues and how subsequent courts may rule. (For another recent ARC decision from the Court of Appeals, see Don’t Screw Up Your Architectural Committee and Approval Process.) In Landfall Council of … Continue reading

WEBINAR: Coping with COVID-19 for NC Community Associations

Last week the NC Chapter of the Community Associations Institute hosted a free live webinar on “Coping with COVID-19 for NC Community Associations.” The hope was to get out timely, helpful information about how HOA and condo associations should respond to the coronvirus pandemic and included participant Q&A. The webinar clearly served a need—attendance was capped at 500, and far more than that wished to attend. If you did not see the program (or did and wish to share it with someone), the NC Chapter of the Community Associations Institute has made it available as a recording on the Chapter’s … 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

“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

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

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

HOA & Condo Assessments: What Can & Can’t Be Collected from an Owner

Obligation to Pay Assessments Homeowner dues (legally called “assessments” by statute) are the lifeblood of an association. Most all HOAs and condominium are nonprofit corporations. That is, community associations are not designed to make money; they are designed to pay the association’s bills. Associations basically act as agents for collections by other entities—water, garbage, electricity, landscaping. The funds collected are not kept by the association, but are forwarded to other parties, including the government. For example, many of our associations pay the premiums insuring all units each year. Unless assessments can be collected the association will owe debts but not … Continue reading

SC Supreme Court Finds HOA Foreclosure Over $250 “Unconscionable”

Authored by Jim Slaughter In an opinion issued yesterday (December 18, 2019), the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that an HOA foreclosure for $250 was unconscionable given the specific facts of that case. The ruling is in Winrose Homeowners’ Association, Inc. and Regime Solutions, LLC v. Hale. In Winrose, the homeowners bought their property in 1998 for $104,250, but in 2011 fell behind in their association assessment payments. The HOA filed a Complaint seeking foreclosure for nonpayment of dues. After the Complaint was filed, the homeowners received and paid a bill to the Association for $250, which they thought resolved … Continue reading

SC Supreme Court Finds HOA Foreclosure Over $250 “Unconscionable”

Authored by Jim Slaughter In an opinion issued yesterday (December 18, 2019), the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that an HOA foreclosure for $250 was unconscionable given the specific facts of that case. The ruling is in Winrose Homeowners’ Association, Inc. and Regime Solutions, LLC v. Hale. In Winrose, the homeowners bought their property in 1998 for $104,250, but in 2011 fell behind in their association assessment payments. The HOA filed a Complaint seeking foreclosure for nonpayment of dues. After the Complaint was filed, the homeowners received and paid a bill to the Association for $250, which they thought resolved … Continue reading