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

NC Executive Order Again Extends Electronic Membership Meetings

Membership meetings of North Carolina nonprofits, including homeowner and condominium associations, can continue to be held virtually/electronically for at least the next 60 days. Since May 20, North Carolina Phase 2 restrictions have limited indoor meeting attendance to 10 and outdoor attendance to 25, which makes it rather hard to hold an in-person association membership meeting. (It can be done, it just requires certain physical arrangements, numerous proxies, or both.) Executive Order #136 issued by the Governor on April 24, 2020, allowed for nonprofit membership meetings to be held virtually under certain conditions. That Executive Order expired on June 23, … Continue reading

New Robert’s Rules of Order

The latest Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised has been released! For organizations that follow Robert’s Rules of Order, most tend to use the newest edition. That’s because either a state or federal law or the governing documents refer not to a specific numbered edition, but to the latest edition. For instance, two North Carolina state statutes (NCGS § 47F-3-108 & 47C-3-108) provide that as to homeowner and condominium associations, “meetings of the association and the executive board shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.”  Identical language can be found … 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

Notices Required by Employers in the Era of COVID-19

Employers have long been required, in accordance with various federal and state laws and regulations, to provide notices to their employees concerning their rights.  Thanks to COVID-19, most North Carolina employers can add to that list.  In particular, employers should be aware of the following additional notices obligations: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) provides employees of covered employers with paid sick and other leave related to COVID-19.  Employers are required to post notices to employees, which posters can be downloaded for free at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic. Pursuant to newly enacted, emergency rule 04 NCAC 24G .0102, employers must, at the … 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

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

Community Associations and Registered Agents

All North Carolina nonprofit corporations are required to maintain a registered office and registered agent pursuant to § N.C.G.S. 55A-5-01. However, many board members, and some association managers, may not fully understand the purpose and duties of the registered agent. The registered agent’s sole duty is to keep the nonprofit corporation apprised of any notices, processes or demands served on the agent on behalf of the entity. For example, property taxes may be owed on property owned by the association and the local tax department may need to submit bills to the association. Local government does not keep up with … Continue reading

Should an Announcement of Election Results Include Votes by Candidate?

This question was recently asked on a national HOA/condo list serve: “In a board of directors election, should the vote totals by candidate be released to the membership?” Without question, the answer of how election results are announced could vary by state, depending on state statutes. If a statute provides a specific process for elections, that process should be followed. Similarly, if the organization has clear provisions in its governing documents, such as the bylaws, follow that process. However, for associations that follow Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, either due to state law or the governing documents, there is … Continue reading

New Firm Facebook Page

Black, Slaughter & Black has a new Facebook page where you can keep up with firm activities, read recent blogs, and find out where attorneys are speaking (and includes a photo from this morning’s Piedmont Education Breakfast where Steve Black spoke on Declaration Amendments: Pandora’s Box)? The new page can be found at www.facebook.com/BlackSlaughterBlack. We ask that you follow it, like it, and share it!

Annual Report Reminder

Entities conducting business within the State of North Carolina are required, with only a few exceptions, to file an Annual Report with the North Carolina Secretary of State every year by April 15th and to pay the accompanying fee with their submission. It is an easy task to overlook, but one that business owners or officers should take care not to miss!  While an entity caught sleeping will not likely be dissolved immediately, failure to file Annual Reports will eventually result in its administrative dissolution, thus leaving individual owners exposed to personal liability for debts and other wrongs that might … Continue reading

Update on Changes to Overtime Requirements Under Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (commonly referred to as the FLSA) applies to most employers throughout our country and, indirectly, their employees.  The FLSA sets the floor or minimum wage that must be paid to employees and dictates when employers are required to pay overtime to their employees.  An exception to such overtime requirement has long existed for administrative employees paid a set salary in excess of $23,600.00 per year.  In 2016, the Department of Labor announced changes to the minimum salary level, which changes would have raised the threshold to $47,476.00 per year.  Shortly before the changes were to … Continue reading

NC HOA/Condo Directors — Duties, Standards of Conduct, and Liability

Congratulations! You’ve just been elected to your HOA/condo association board of directors. Your new position shows your fellow members respect you and trust your judgment. By the way, did anyone describe your duties or mention that you could be financially responsible for actions? DIRECTOR DUTIES Almost without exception North Carolina community associations are incorporated nonprofit corporations. While that’s different than for-profit corporations (and governed by different statutes), the directors of both have similar duties. Directors of community association must: follow state laws pertaining to HOAs or condominiums enforce the association’s governing documents, including any declaration, articles of incorporation, and bylaws … Continue reading

New Charlotte Address & Firm News

We’re excited to announce our new, larger Charlotte office! Note our new Charlotte address: 1927 South Tryon St., Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28203. The Charlotte phone number at 704-970-1593 remains the same. This has been a busy and exciting year for our firm, so here are some updates and recent recognitions: Our Greensboro office expanded to take over neighboring office space (but has kept the same address). Two attorneys joined our firm this past year to assist with HOA/condo and real estate matters: Harmony Taylor and Brad Jones. For more information on any of our lawyers, visit our firm attorney … Continue reading

AVOIDING CORPORATE DEADLOCK

Corporations, limited liability companies and other entities have become a standard resource or mechanism to help individuals shield themselves from personal liability when going into business, holding investments, or otherwise entering into a variety of undertakings.  The ever increasing use of such structures, however, can sometimes lead to other, unanticipated problems, particularly when the shareholders or directors of an entity cannot agree on matters impacting the entity.  In a worst case scenario, disagreements can escalate and eventually lead to complete gridlock, negating many of the advantages and corporate opportunities that once existed. In order to avoid such gridlock and protect … 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

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

Changes to Overtime Requirements Under Fair Labor Standards Act Blocked

Employers and employees throughout the United States were significantly impacted yesterday following the issuance of a nationwide preliminary injunction entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. But for the Court’s ruling, which held that the Department of Labor exceeded the authority delegated to it by Congress in making changes to the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), new regulations modifying the long-standing overtime requirements were set to go into effect, after approximately two years of public comment, consideration and advance notice, on December 1, 2016. Today, many employees and employers, who have … Continue reading

Corporate Veil or Corporate Fail?

By creating a corporate entity (whether it is an S-Corporation, C-Corporation or a limited liability company), many smart business owners seek to create an additional layer of protection between their personal assets or that of their family and the potential liability that can arise when operating a business. Unfortunately, what many do not realize is that simply creating the entity isn’t necessarily enough to achieve or maintain that protection. After the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization, depending upon whether you decided to create a corporation or a limited liability company, have been filed and accepted by the North … Continue reading