New Changes To HOA Laws In Charlotte

New Changes To HOA Laws In Charlotte

HOAs are found in many neighborhoods and condominium buildings and serve a useful purpose in maintaining property values and providing amenities such as swimming pools. Homeowners association | Charlotte also avoid disputes between neighbors over the use and appearance of the property.

But state lawmakers this year are taking a closer look at how these organizations operate. Here are some of the new changes HOA boards should be aware of.

HB 1795

HOAs play a vital role in maintaining property values, running amenities and heading off neighbor disputes. Yet, despite their importance, they are virtually unregulated. A recent bipartisan proposal at the state legislature aims to change that.

The bill would give homeowners the right to request access to financial reports and other documents. It also allows homeowners to sue HOA board members if they feel they are being treated unfairly.

In addition, the bill would require condominium associations and master associations to use an independent reviewer when there are more candidates than open positions on the board. This requirement will allow voters to meet candidates and make informed choices.

The bill would also prohibit associations from restricting owners’ rights to display flags or political signs. It would also prevent associations from imposing fines for nonpayment of dues or enforcing liens on properties. The law will apply to all condominiums and planned communities in North Carolina. Our Charlotte association attorneys at Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A. represent clients in a wide variety of community association cases, including litigation over HOA dues, fines, improvements, architectural control issues and other matters.

HB 1410

As the filing deadline for bills in the NC legislature passed today, it’s time to consider legislation that could impact homeowners and condo associations. The Community Association Institute’s North Carolina Legislative Action Committee (LAC) has been tracking proposed bills that could affect HOAs.

HB 1410 would amend the Planned Community Act and Condominium Act to clarify that associations cannot amend their CCRs to the detriment of builders who purchased lots with the expectation of reduced assessments. It also would require any physical evidence used to determine a violation be made available to the member accused of violating the governing documents, including any photograph, with a date stamp or digital metadata.

Many homeowners’ and condo associations impose rules that prohibit parking on streets, and in some cases, this creates frustration among residents. However, legal experts say state law allows associations to enforce these bans. Until this law changes, that may be the only way to solve this issue.

HB 806

HOAs are common in North Carolina subdivisions, known as planned communities. They include single family homes or townhomes in an area with common grounds and amenities that homeowners and the association share. While no state or federal agency regulates them, they are subject to laws that protect members’ rights, including limiting parking on public streets.

For example, the NC Supreme Court recently ruled that a homeowners association could not require solar panels to be out of sight. This was an exception to the rule that all amendments to the CCRs of a community association must be reasonable and in line with the original developer’s intent for the subdivision.

Other HOA law changes include stricter requirements for contacting homeowners to notify them that their home will be put up for sale or foreclosure. This includes a mandatory notice via phone, email or letter. It also includes the right to request a mediation. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with these laws so they know what their legal rights are in their community.

HB 895

In North Carolina, HOAs can be regulated by the NC Planned Community Act or their own governing documents. Regardless of which, the laws surrounding HOAs provide concrete legal parameters that should be familiar to all board members.

HOAs must be transparent with members in all areas of operation. This includes a right to access financial reports, budget reports, vendor contracts, membership lists and board meeting minutes. HOAs must also provide homeowners a reasonable opportunity to request a mediation.

Lastly, homeowners have the right to sue HOA boards if they believe they have exceeded their authority. The bill would also place stricter requirements on how an HOA can evict a homeowner.

Galvin also pointed to the fact that many developers who are in control of HOAs wear two hats. “One is the developer hat, which is to make money and sell lots, and the other is the HOA hat, which is to do things in the best interest of the homeowner,” he explained.