Many home buyers purchase a house that comes with either an HOA (Home Owners Association), or a community association. These HOAs create and enforce rules and restrictions for the community they manage in order to keep residents’ homes secure and maintain property values.
Though buying a home with an HOA NC may seem like a great idea, there are some things you may not be aware of about your community’s HOA. Read on to discover some common misconceptions and how to avoid them when looking to purchase your next residence!
While North Carolina does not formally regulate homeowners’ associations, it does have a variety of laws that apply to these communities. For instance, the NC Planned Community Act lays out requirements for these organizations and clarifies many terms and limitations associated with their operation.
HOA statutes contain several essential requirements that homeowners should be aware of.
Before anything else, homeowners’ associations in North Carolina must first be incorporated as nonprofit corporations with the Secretary of State’s office.
Second, for a community’s governance documents such as its Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), to be valid, they must be filed with the county recorder’s office in its area.
Third, it’s wise to store your community’s CC&Rs, Bylaws, and other legal documents in a secure location so they are easily accessible when required.
Fourth, ensure your HOA adheres to the regulations set out by the North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act and Planned Community Act of 1999.
These statutes guarantee that HOAs operate legally and fairly for all their members.
Another legal requirement for homeowners’ associations is that they hold an annual meeting of members. Both NCGS SS 47F-3-108(a) and NCGS SS 47C-3-108(a) require such gatherings to occur at least once annually.
Additionally, special meetings of the members can be called as needed by the board of directors with at least one-third of the total membership approval.
Additionally, it’s wise to stay abreast of your association’s financial records, which should be made accessible to all homeowners upon request.
Finally, remember to pay your HOA fees on time in order to avoid late charges or fines from the association. These can be costly and, if not paid promptly, may lead to foreclosure on your home.
When dealing with your HOA, you should also take into account the NC Debt Collection Act. This law sets similar rules to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and protects consumers from unfair or deceptive debt collection practices.
Finally, it’s essential to remember that the North Carolina Supreme Court has declared any restrictions in HOA governing documents prohibiting residents from installing solar panels on their roofs void and unenforceable. This only applies to HOAs formed after October 1, 2007.