Successful Real Property Listing Agreements

The real estate market has been getting hot again recently in the Charlotte market, as well as other areas in NC, and this is driving many homeowners to contemplate listing their homes for sale.  Some may choose to attempt to market their own properties, but most will find the assistance of a knowledgeable real estate professional to be invaluable. Along with the services of a real estate broker comes documentation.  The main document that defines the relationship between a seller and his or her agent is the Listing Agreement.  As you might expect, this agreement should ALWAYS be in writing … Continue reading

CREATING A CONTRACT: HELP ME, HELP YOU PART 1: WHO IS THE SELLER? ARE THEY MARRIED?

At Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A., 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 … Continue reading

Tenant’s Rights: What is the Implied Warranty of Habitability?

Renting residential property can have great perks for a tenant. Typically, you’re not responsible for home maintenance and costs of repairs. If something happens, like an appliance stops working, the toilet backs up, or some other repair is needed, all you have to do is call your landlord. In fact, once a landlord has received notice of an “imminently dangerous condition”, the landlord is required to repair the condition within a reasonable time, based upon the severity of the condition. Imminently dangerous conditions include, but are not limited to: – unsafe wiring; – unsafe flooring or steps; – unsafe ceilings … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – Community Association Property Management Act

While most NC General Assembly bill filing deadlines have passed, legislation considered appropriations or finance can be filed through next week. A bill introduced yesterday would, if adopted, significantly impact North Carolina’s HOA/condo associations as well as community managers. House Bill 865: Community Association Property Management Act was filed April 20, 2017 by Rep. Jonathan Jordan (Ashe, Watauga), Rep. John Blust (Guilford), and Rep. Rodney Moore (Mecklenburg) and provides that: beginning October 1, 2017, all community association managers must have an NC real estate broker license association community managers would not be permitted to exercise control over (a) the reserves or investment … Continue reading

Turning Eighteen or Going Off To College – Estate Planning

Most people don’t think about an “estate plan” until they are well in to adulthood. However, planning for unknown events is something that should be considered as young as age eighteen. Once a person turns18, there is no one with legal authority to act on his or her behalf if the young person should become incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently. A Durable (financial) Power of Attorney as well as a Health Care Power of Attorney would allow that young adult to designate the person or persons that he or she wants to have decision making ability in the event of … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – April 19, 2017

Several important legislative deadlines have passed in recent weeks. Tuesday, April 4 marked the NC Senate deadline for filing public bills and resolutions. Tuesday, April 11 marked the NC House deadline for filing public bills and resolutions (other than appropriations or finance bills). While there are a still a few ways for bills impacting HOAs or condos to be introduced in the General Assembly this session, now is an appropriate point to look at the filed bills that, if adopted, would directly impact North Carolina’s community associations. (1) Senate Bill 491/House Bill 625: HOA/Condo Crime & Fidelity Insurance Policies. Senate Bill 491: … Continue reading

NC Community Association Legislative Update – Fidelity Coverage & Audits

While there are still several weeks for legislative proposals to be introduced in the General Assembly, one bill introduced yesterday (March 29) would directly impact North Carolina condominium and homeowner associations: Senate Bill 491: HOA/Condo Crime & Fidelity Insurance Policies filed by Sen. Norman Sanderson (Carteret, Craven, Pamlico). The bill’s purposes are to (1) require more financial transparency in community associations, and (2) help ensure associations recover monies in the event of financial wrongdoing by an association leader or community manager. In short, SB 491 takes a different approach than some prior proposals on how to address concerns about financial … 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

HOAs/Condominiums Want to Know: What is a Transfer Fee in North Carolina?

A common question that we get from developers, managers, and HOA Boards is “what exactly is a transfer fee?” Although the term “transfer fee” is often used loosely to mean several different things, state statute defines the term generally to mean “a fee or charge payable upon the transfer of an interest in real property.” In other words, it is a fee charged when property is transferred from one party to another.  North Carolina law now prohibits transfer fee covenants.  Specifically prohibited are covenants that require the payment of a transfer fee to a developer or other person upon a … Continue reading

Lesson Learned: What North Carolina Management Companies Should be Thinking About

In a recent post on a South Carolina Supreme Court case from just a few weeks ago I provided a quick breakdown of things that management companies in South Carolina must not do. As always, lessons learned from different jurisdictions can be instructive to neighboring jurisdictions.  North Carolina and South Carolina share many things, including a border.  They also share a similar approach to making sure that the practice of law in each state is limited to only licensed attorneys. Here are some specific things that the Supreme Court in South Carolina mentioned that constitute the unauthorized practice of law … Continue reading

HOA / Condo Budgets and Increased NC Sales Taxes

Benjamin Franklin said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” As community association attorneys, we’re not CPAs. And every association has different circumstances. Having said that, it is almost certain that due to a shift in how North Carolina taxes certain services, association budgets will need to be increased. North Carolina has traditionally relied heavily upon income taxes as a revenue stream. Without getting into any pro or con political discussions, the NC General Assembly over the past several years has begun shifting to a model of lower personal and corporate income … Continue reading

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