Things Community Management Companies Should Not Do in South Carolina

We often are asked by managers and Board members what duties are appropriate to delegate to a property manager. First, a property manager is almost always going to be considered an agent of the homeowners association. As an agent, what authority does the property manager have?  In general, an association manager has whatever power is granted by the Board of Directors for the HOA.  It is common for management companies to manage the day-to-day running of the association, leaving the decision-making for the Board.  Some common duties include collection of assessments, helping to enforce restrictions, helping with the annual budget, … Continue reading

Short-Term Rentals in North Carolina and South Carolina HOAs and Condominiums

We live in an increasingly sharing world and culture. For a small fee we share rides to get to work, can leave our pets at someone’s house while on vacation, or we can rent our neighbor’s car, high-end household items like cameras or kitchenware, and even musical instruments (although I’m not sure I would want to share some of those).  With the explosion in our sharing economy, it should come as no surprise that owners in homeowners associations and condominiums have found ways to take advantage of technology to market their homes to those in need of lodging on a … Continue reading

Guardianships in North Carolina

When an older person is suffering from a serious illness or impairment, whether physical or mental, which prevents that person from handling their own personal and/or financial affairs, or causes that person to be vulnerable to fraud, a court action known as a guardianship proceeding may be the best solution to address the problem and assist the impaired person. If a guardian is appointed for an adult who is deemed incompetent, the guardian appointed has the legal authority to make decisions on the incompetent’s behalf to ensure his or her personal well-being and/or estate (financial assets and property) remains protected. … Continue reading

Reviewing Your Beneficiary Designations – Retirement Plans and Life Insurance

I tell my clients to review their Wills, Trust and Powers of Attorney every three to five years to be sure that they still meet their intent. Often, all remains the same and no changes are needed. Other times, those named as fiduciaries have died or have had major life changes that no longer make them good candidates to serve as executor, trustee or attorney in fact. Despite the diligence in this review, many people neglect to review their beneficiary designations on some of the most important documents; the beneficiary designation forms on their 401K, IRA, life insurance and other … Continue reading

2017 National Community Association Law Seminar

The national Community Association Law Seminar is by far the best HOA or condo legal program I attend each year. The year’s Law Seminar, sponsored by the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), is the 38th annual and will be held January 18-21 in Las Vegas, NV. While the Law Seminar provides about 13-20 hours of CLE and is mostly attended by attorneys, it’s not only for attorneys. Attendees include community association managers, bankers, other industry professionals and even homeowners who want to learn about HOA/condo law changes and trends. For insurance professionals who work … Continue reading

NC-CAI Chapter 2016 Year-End Update

New Year’s Day begins a new CAI-NC Chapter year. As this is my last Chapter update, I’d like to look back at some of our Chapter’s 2016 accomplishments and look forward to upcoming changes in 2017. The Chapter has accomplished much this year, including: a redesigned annual sponsor program with new benefits and greater value one of our largest and most successful Annual Conferences ever two Chapter Achievement and Excellence Awards from national CAI (a record!) a successful 7th Annual Community Law Day for homeowners and community managers a CAI-NC Golf Tournament to help fund the work of the Legislative … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – December 15, 2016

Well, this is a first—I’ve never done a community association legislative update just before Christmas. After all, the General Assembly doesn’t meet in December. But what’s been normal about politics in 2016? Earlier this week the General Assembly convened for a special legislative session to deal with issues related to hurricane disaster relief. At the end of that session, legislators issued a proclamation convening a new special session to deal with other unnamed issues. A number of bills have been filed, ith many dealing with restructuring aspects of state government following the recent elections. However, at least one proposal has … Continue reading

Ham it Up – HAM Radio in Your Community Association

A recent topic that we have been following is the congressional bill to permit HAM radio towers in community associations. We learned today that H.R. 1301 regarding HAM radio operation in planned communities failed to pass the Senate. The Community Associations Institute (CAI) opposed the original version of H.R. 1301, which would have required homeowners associations to allow installation of HAM radio antennas regardless of any prior restrictions or architectural requirements. With CAI’s support, H.R. 1301 was amended to require that antennas be approved prior to installation. The new Congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2017 and it … 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

Creating a Contract: Help Me, Help You; Part 1: Who is the Seller? Are They Married?

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 of the parties involved.  I find … Continue reading

Legally, Do I Need Something in Writing To Be Separated From My Spouse?

This is probably one of the frequent questions we as family law attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. hear when meeting with clients for initial consultations. Movies and televisions shows have led viewers to believe that before you are separated from your spouse, you must have an agreement in place or some other document signed by both spouses declaring that you are separated. While this may be the case in some states, in North Carolina no document or other writing is required in order for spouses to be considered separated.  Spouses are considered separated under North Carolina law when … Continue reading

Using the Motion to End Debate to Keep Meetings on Time

I am regularly asked how to keep a meeting from going on too long. While there are avariety of different procedural tools that can keep a meeting from running on forever, the motion to end debate (also known as the motion for the previous question) is probably one of the best procedural options available if your group utilizes Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. Put simply, the motion to end debate is the motion that seeks to end discussion now and to take a vote on a pending question (or questions). The motion requires a second and then a two … Continue reading

Pet Patrol: Can Homeowners Associations and Condominiums Restrict or Prevent Pets in a Community?

We all love our pets, and most consider them part of our families. However, homeowners may be surprised to learn that their Association may be able to restrict the number, type, or breed of pet allowed in their community.  With certain limitations, the presence of pets or other animals may even be prevented altogether.  While some, including myself, may choose not to live in a planned community with these type of restrictions, there may be perfectly good reasons for their implementation, including prevention of pet waste on common areas, damage to Association property, and increased liability. In order to restrict … Continue reading

HOA’s: Follow Your Bylaws & Proper Parliamentary Procedure

We are regularly asked by association clients if it really matters how precisely meeting rules are followed. “Can’t we just vote on this proposal by e-mail?” “What’s the consequence if the meeting notice is not exactly right?” Without exception, our advice is always: FOLLOW THE RULES. As an example of “what can happen?” comes the North Carolina appellate case of Willomere Community Association, Inc. and Nottingham Owners Association, Inc. v. City of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. (November 1, 2016). The moral of the story is that procedural rules for meetings and voting when making decisions should be followed very … Continue reading

Adding Your Adult Child to Your Bank Account

Often times a client will ask if they should add their child’s name to a bank account and the answer is usually No! The client believes that it will be easier during life if the child is on the account as the child can assist with tasks such as bill payment. They believe it will be easier when client dies if one child is in control. Clients also believe it will save probate costs, and my favorite, even if only one child is added to the account, client’s often misguided belief that child will share the account with siblings on … Continue reading

Political Signs in Your Homeowners Association and Condominium in South Carolina

With election time upon us, we always get questions regarding political signs in homeowners associations and condominiums. My colleague, Jim Slaughter, authored a blog on “Q&A on Political Signs in HOAs and Condominium Associations” a few weeks ago that addresses some of the most common questions we get.  As a quick follow-up to his blog, here are a few items from South Carolina to keep in mind: First, it is always important to remember that unlike North Carolina, South Carolina does not have any HOA-specific statute that affects the display of political signs. So, if your association has specific rules in … Continue reading

Q&A on Political Signs in HOAs and Condominium Associations

Political Signs in NC & SC Associations With a month to go before a major political election, questions about political signs are rolling in. Can we do something about political signs on association property? How many signs can an owner have in his yard? Can the association remove signs from a homeowner’s yard? One reason we get so many questions about political signs is that North Carolina has one of the most complicated sign statutes in the country. (South Carolina has no such statute). Adopted in 2005, the NC statute provides different authority for community associations based on when the … Continue reading

North Carolina Digital Asset Law

There is a question of what happens to a person’s “digital assets” upon death. A Digital Asset is an electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest. Digital assets and content include but are not limited to individual files such as images, photos, videos, and text files.  It also includes other digital content and databases owned and/or stored either on a devise owned or used by an individual on devices accessed via the Internet or in a Cloud.  Digital Assets also include but are not limited to email accounts, social media profiles (YouTube or Flickr), social networking … Continue reading

Electronic Voting and Electronic Notices for Homeowners Associations and Condominiums

Modern society is moving toward better, faster, and easier methods of communication and transacting business. There was a time when sending a letter was the standard form of communication.  Indeed, “regular mail” and hard-copy printed versions of documents are still the standard in most legal systems in the United States.  However, the trend over the past several years has been to move to faster, more efficient methods of communicating and operating. Unfortunately, legal systems are often the last to join the party. The laws involving homeowners associations and condominiums are no different.  In fact, many associations find themselves stuck with … Continue reading

When Does My North Carolina Child Support Obligation End?

Each parent has a duty to support their minor children. As most of us know, when the parents no longer live together the parent that has the child most of the time has the right to request child support from the other parent. An Order for child support is often entered by the Court requiring that one parent pay the other parent a monthly amount for support of the child or children. So, the question is then raised: When does my obligation to pay child support in North Carolina end? North Carolina General Statute Section 50-13.4 states that the Order terminates automatically when … Continue reading