Legal Blog

Got HOA questions? Here’s where to go online for answers

Thanks to the Internet, there is a wealth of information available to HOA members, directors, and managers. Here are some useful websites:

• The first place to look is on the North Carolina General Assembly’s website at Here you can look up the laws that govern homeowners’ associations in North Carolina. Chapter 47C of the statutes governs condominiums. Chapter 47F governs single-family communities (or planned communities) and townhomes. Chapter 55A governs non-profit corporations, which is important because most HOAs are established as nonprofit corporations.

• You can find specific statutes at . You can also look up the status of pending legislation affecting homeowners’ associations at

• Another helpful website is offered by the Community Association Institute (CAI). This may be found at There is an enormous amount of information on this site, including lots of free articles and for-purchase manuals. CAI also conducts training and certification courses for professional community association managers. North and South Carolina also have their own state chapters of CAI, which may be found at (NC) and (SC).

• The website of HOA-USA, located at, offers summaries of state HOA laws, articles on topics of interest to HOAs, and a resource guide with listings of management companies, accountants, banks, attorneys, construction companies, and other vendors offering services to HOAs.

• The website maintained by the North Carolina Secretary of State is also a good resource. Go to to look up your HOA to see if it is incorporated and in good standing with the state. You can also download your HOA’s corporate documents that have been filed with the state, such as the Articles of Incorporation.

• In North Carolina, HOAs are required to conduct their meetings in accordance with the parliamentary rules set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order. My colleague, Jim Slaughter, is a Greensboro attorney and a registered and certified parliamentarian. Jim’s website, , includes many charts and articles on meeting procedures, parliamentary news updates, and links to resources on running effective meetings.


  1. captainsd on January 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I am part of a small group (3) of co-owners of an Interval Ownership Condominium property in North Carolina. We have been trying to get financial information and a copy of the owners’ names and addresses from the Board of Administrators in accordance with NC Statutes. So far, the Board has given us some, but not all of the financial information but has been withholding the owners’ list. We need the list of owners to contact them and advise them of our concerns about the way the Condominium is being managed. Is there any reason why the Board should not provide this information?

  2. E.B. "Gene" McLendon on January 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I have the same issues mentioned in the Captained Jan 5, 2013 has stated, but there is no answer printed.
    Where do we as members turn for help with a board that ignores N.C. Statutes and By-Laws??

  3. Mike Hunter on January 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I have written a couple of columns for the Charlotte Observer that touch on this topic in general – what to do about board members who do not follow the law or the association’s own bylaws. The columns can be found here:

  4. Mike Hunter on January 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I wrote a column for the Charlotte Observer that addressed this issue. It can be found here:

  5. bennett1704 on January 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    If the board is in violation of the governing statutes,and does not respond to legal inquirey regarding finances, etc.

  6. Mike Hunter on January 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    There is no government oversight of HOAs, and the Attorney General’s office will not get involved. However, I have written a couple of columns for the Charlotte Observer that touch on this topic in general – what to do about board members who do not follow the law or the association’s own bylaws. The columns can be found here:

  7. bennett1704 on February 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    We have a board that blatently refuses to follow the Statutes and By-Laws, and scoff at any attempt to see the minutes and financials saying “I will just send it to the attorney! this at the HOA expense
    is there any way we can bring them to answer these charges, other than hiring a private attorney? They say they are protected ny ins. and are not personally liable for any action. o we have recourse even iof we prove them negligent?

  8. Dan on March 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    How many members in a subdivision of 158 homes constitute a quorum?

  9. Mike Hunter on March 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Review your HOA’s bylaws. They should say what the quorum requirements are for meetings of members. If they do not, then the “default” quorum under the NC Nonprofit Corporations Act and the Planned Community Act is 10%.

  10. Mike Hunter on March 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I have written multiple columns for the Charlotte Observer addressing owners’ access to association records, and dealing with boards that refuse to follow the HOAs bylaws and state law. All of the columns can be found here:

  11. Phyllis Culver on April 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    From the NCCA § 47C-3-103 (c): “The budget is ratified unless at that meeting a majority of all the unit owners or any larger vote specified in the declaration rejects the budget.”
    Our declaration specifies 51% as a majority. For the budget to be rejected, is the reading below of the law legally correct?
    1) A majority (51%) of all the unit owners must personally attend the budget ratification meeting and cast their votes AT THAT MEETING to reject the budget.
    2) The majority must be counted from the total number of unit owners, not just the number of unit owners who attend the meeting. If there are 100 unit owners, 51 unit owners must attend in order to vote to reject the budget.
    3) If less than 51% of all of the unit owners attend the meeting, the budget is automatically ratified without a vote.
    4) Proxy holders from owners who do not personally attend the meeting cannot be counted as part of the total number of attendees, nor their votes as part of the total number of votes to reject the budget.
    Our new manager says its 51% of the number who attend, & proxy holders count. He says 2 votes to reject out of 3 attendees reject the budget.

  12. Mike Hunter on April 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Without seeing your community’s governing documents, I cannot give you a specific answer. But in general, owners can appear either in person or by proxy at a meeting of members. The budget is automatically ratified unless a majority of ALL owners (not just those at the meeting) appear in person or by proxy and reject the budget.

  13. Ellen on August 14, 2013 at 4:00 am

    I am a resident of a home in South Carolina. I have lived in this home for 23 years. We do not pay any HOA fees or know of any HOA that exists in our community. However, recently we were notified that we were in in violation of the community covenants because our boat can be seen in our back yard from the road. We have never been given any by-laws or covenants for our community. We have never been given notice of any community meetings. Would community by-laws have to be on file at the court house? If there are such by-laws, can they be enforced if there is no HOA?

  14. Cynthia Jones on August 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    It sounds to me like you have restrictive covenants that affect your property but that you do not have an HOA. Often older communities have restrictions that were placed on the property back in the deed chain (these will be recorded at the clerk of courts office) and these restrictions remain on the property. There is no HOA or even meetings because there is no association established. You should be able to find copies of the restrictions if you search the title to your home at the courthouse or you may be able to find them listed in the title insurance policy you received when you purchased the home. Usually the restrictions can be enforced by other owners that are also subject to the restrictions.

  15. Paula on October 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    When I bought my home in 2004 the salesman said no POA, now more than 9 yrs later they are threatening foreclosure etc. I refuse to be a member of an org that was not mentioned by salesman. I am 71 yrs old, what should I do. They want money for nothing. No trash, so services of any kind. I am in a trailer in SC

  16. Cynthia Jones on October 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    This is a complaint that I hear quite often. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what the salesman did or didn’t tell you. If you purchase property that is subject to restrictive covenants and your ownership of that property makes you a part of the association then you are bound by those covenants. Membership is not something that is voluntary under these circumstances. You should have been advised of the association by the closing attorney and may likely find copies of the restrictive covenants in your closing documents. If you truly have a doubt regarding whether you are a member then you can ask the association to show you documentation that you are a member. You may also want to call your closing attorney and question them regarding the issue. If you are a member then you will be required to pay dues to the association just like all other owners. If not, the association may proceed with foreclosure if it is provided for in the governing documents.

  17. MarVin54 on October 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I am a condominium owner in South Carolina. We have our annual meeting coming up. I have received the required packet of information. Enclosed is a proxy for those who are unable to attend the meeting. What they failed to include is a ballot. I cannot attend the meeting but I do not want to just give my vote away by assigning a proxy. I want to submit my signed vote. I spoke to a Board member and he stated that by South Carolina HOA law for incorporated HOAs we must be present at the meeting to vote or send a proxy. It is a law that we are not allowed to submit our own ballot. Please help clear up this matter.
    Thank you for your help

  18. Mike Hunter on October 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    While we can’t say for sure without seeing your community’s bylaws, in general, members of an HOA have to vote either in person or by proxy. What you are basically referring to is voting by absentee ballot, which generally isn’t allowed except in certain circumstances. Sometimes HOAs will send members what we call “directed proxy” forms, which allows a member to appoint a proxy to cast the vote, and also instructs the proxy how to cast the votes (for certain board candidates, or for or against other proposals to be voted on). In the absence of a directed proxy, why not just appoint another owner you trust as your proxy, and tell them how you want your vote cast?

    One of my columns in the Charlotte Observer addressed this issue. It can be found here:

    It addresses the issue through the lens of North Carolina law, but I believe South Carolina law is similar.

  19. Joan Stretch on November 29, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    At our annual HOA meeting the proposed budget was tabled, pending a capital reserve and capital improvement study. A new meeting will be called in Feb. or March. Are the proxies gathered for the first meeting, still valid for the second meeting?

  20. Mike Hunter on November 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    You will need to look at your HOA’s bylaws and the language on the proxy form itself. Unless the bylaws or the proxy language limit the duration of a proxy, they are valid for 11 months or until revoked by the member who appointed the proxy:

    § 55A‑7‑24. Proxies.
    (a) Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws prohibit or limit proxy voting, a member may vote in person or by proxy. A member may appoint one or more proxies to vote or otherwise act for the member by signing an appointment form, either personally or by the member’s attorney‑in‑fact. Without limiting G.S. 55A‑1‑70, an appointment in the form of an electronic record that bears the member’s electronic signature and that may be directly reproduced in paper form by an automated process shall be deemed a valid appointment form within the meaning of this section. In addition, if and to the extent permitted by the nonprofit corporation, a member may appoint one or more proxies by any kind of telephonic transmission, even if not accompanied by written communication, under circumstances or together with information from which the nonprofit corporation can reasonably assume that the appointment was made or authorized by the member.

    (b) An appointment of a proxy is effective when received by the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate votes. An appointment is valid for 11 months unless a different period is expressly provided in the appointment form.

  21. Regina Cotter on November 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I have been faithful in paying my HOA dues. However, I was occasionally late. To date my late fees have added up. I have continually asked the HOA to clean up some severe messes in the neighborhood. It has not yet been, for this reason I have not paid my late fees. How obligated am I?

  22. Mike Hunter on December 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Your duty to pay HOA dues (and late charges when applicable) is independent from the HOA’s duty to maintain the common areas. I suggest that you request to be heard at the next board meeting to discuss your concerns about maintenance, but your disagreement with how the board has managed the community is not a defense to non-payment – it won’t make the debt “go away”.

  23. Marge Atwood on May 16, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I am on the board of the HOA of 63 homes. the president of the board refuses to have open meetings. the only time is once a year for homeowners to see the budget. How do I get him to understand it is the homeowners right to be notified and for owners to attend meetings.

  24. Mike Hunter on May 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    The NC Planned Community Act can be found here:

    The applicable statute is 47F-3-108(b): “At regular intervals, the executive board meeting shall provide lot owners an opportunity to attend a portion of an executive board meeting and to speak to the executive board about their issues or concerns. The executive board may place reasonable restrictions on the number of persons who speak on each side of an issue and may place reasonable time restrictions on persons who speak.”

    The law doesn’t define “regular intervals”, but in my opinion, once a year is not nearly enough, and once a quarter probably is.

  25. Laquinta Mason on May 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I am a board member of an HOA town home community in Cary NC, and I am trying to get the the other board members to provide more transparency to the other home owners with out any luck. What laws can require the board to provide invoice information if request by homeowners? Is there a law to require HOA Board, to notify homeowners of non-essential projects and allow homeowners the option voting on discontinue the project that the majority of residence don’t want.

  26. Mike Hunter on June 9, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Typically, homeowners do not have the right to inspect invoices or vendor contracts. They do have the right to inspect financial records, minutes of board and member meetings, copies of communications sent to the entire membership, and certain other records if they have a valid, good faith purpose for needing the records. As for “non-essential” projects, it’s hard to say based on the limited facts, but according to the Planned Community Act, the HOA board has the authority to “make contracts and incur liabilities; regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of common elements; and cause additional improvements to be made as a part of the common elements.” If your board refuses to listen to homeowners, you should gather some of your like-minded neighbors and demand to meet with the board to discuss your concerns, which is your statutory right under NCGS 47F-3-108(b), which can be found here:

  27. Gene McLendon on June 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Mike, how about 47A-20?? Does your post contradict this regarding owners right to records of receipts and expenditures?

  28. Richard Besu on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Hi. Can board members vote on only pay half of their homeowners association fees every year. We just moved to a new home and some of our neighbors told us that a couple years back the board members asked for a vote for all the board members to have half off their hoa fees every year . I was told that majority voted no but it passed anyway.

  29. Mike Hunter on June 10, 2014 at 9:44 am

    No, board members cannot exempt themselves from payment of assessments, and if a majority of the directors voted against the proposal, it did not pass anyway. NC law prohibits officers and directors of HOAs from receiving any form of compensation for serving in that capacity. From NCGS 47F-3-118(c): “no financial payments, including payments made in the form of goods and services, may be made to any officer or member of the association’s executive board or to a business, business associate, or relative of an officer or member of the executive board, except as expressly provided for in the bylaws or in payments for services or expenses paid on behalf of the association which are approved in advance by the executive board.”

  30. Mike Hunter on June 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Chapter 47A is the precursor to the current NC Condominium Act. Its provisions do not apply to any condominium formed after October 1, 1986. Note that the statute you’re referring to was enacted in 1963. It reads in part, “[the board] shall keep detailed, accurate records in chronological order of the receipts and expenditures affecting the common areas and facilities, specifying and identifying the maintenance and repair expenses of the common areas and facilities and any other expense incurred. Both said book and the vouchers accrediting the entries thereupon shall be available for examination by all the unit owners. . .] To my knowledge, the term “vouchers” is not even used in today’s accounting parlance. I will leave it to the accountants to opine whether a voucher is the same thing as a vendor’s invoice (though I doubt it).

  31. Emma on November 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I live in a in South Carolina the BOD is proposing to add fines and the ability to lien for fines to the existing CC&Rs. I told them that if fines are not mentioned in the original CC&Rs then South Carolina Law does not permit this. They said they can if they get the 50% vote. (I read one of your articles stating that this cannot be done in SC and that this is one of the differences between NC and SC.) Can you confirm this.
    thank you

  32. Mike Hunter on November 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I think you misinterpreted my article. In NC, HOA’s have the specific right to levy fines using a procedure outlined in the statute, UNLESS the declaration provides for a different process (see NCGS 47F-3-107.1). If the declaration is silent on an alternate process, then the HOA has the authority to fine as long as it uses the statutory process.

    In SC, there is no statutory process; in fact, there is no Planned Community Act or anything similar to it, like we have in NC. Therefore, most of the HOA’s rights are derived from what is contained in the declaration, and if the declaration doesn’t provide a process for fines, then the HOA cannot levy fines. If there is enough owner support for an amendment to the declaration, and an amendment is properly drafted, approved and recorded establishing a process for levying fines, then it should be enforceable, unless it violates some other state statute. My partner Cynthia Jones wrote an article on this topic, which can be found here:

  33. Emma on November 26, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Mike thank you for your response,
    I was under the impression that fines later added, even with required vote or could not be imposed upon owners that do not consent unless fines are mentioned in the original documents?. Something to do with contract law? ( Ms. Jones article seemed to give me that impression also but was not detailed). If the amendment were added to add fines would it be able to be challenged by a non- consenting owner? You said “should” be enforceable, so it is not definite? Could you or Ms. Jones clarify for me.
    thank you so much

  34. Mike Hunter on December 2, 2014 at 9:43 am

    You are asking for a legal opinion on a very fact-specific scenario. I’m sorry, but we can’t get any more specific than we already have on a simple blog post. There is no guaranty of any outcome if this issue were brought to court in a lawsuit.

  35. Greg on December 7, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Hello Mike,
    My HOA has established in 2002 and no By-Laws have ever been written nor passed. As a result, the Articles of Incorporation and the Covenants (restrictions) are the only governing documents that it has. According to the A of I, the number of board of directors is limited to 3. There’s also language about Voting Rights that “all motions sought to be passed by the corporation will require the assent of (2/3) of the members to be valid.
    This HOA has had 7 board of directors since 2003 (still does today) and on multiple occasions did not hold an election to elect new directors. Instead, people where asked if they were interested in serving on the board and that was it. In 2008, that same methodology was followed and a letter was sent asking if anyone opposed the nominations. Again, no election. Due to a dispute in the neighborhood, from 2009 to 2012 there were no board of directors meetings, no elections, no members meetings, no budgets provided to the members, but yet dues notices were sent out and collected. During that time, treasurer duties were passed off from one director to a member of the neighborhood without any discussion or voting.
    Fast forward to today and we have 7 board of directors that were not elected by 2/3 of the members. A vote was mailed out announcing the nominees, but only 21 out of a possible 46 members voted. 14 approved the nominees and 7 rejected them. That was considered acceptable to those nominees and a letter announced the new board of directors. The current president has been in possession of the A of I (verifiable) for no less than 4 months and has been conducting HOA business despite what’s outlined in them.
    From a legal standpoint, what can be done about the long term violations by this HOA regarding its A of I?

  36. Thomas Powell on March 26, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    My condo community originally had window a/c installed. Some homeowners, over the years , had central air and heat installed. The HOA now has mandated that all homeowners install central air and heat at the homeowners expense. We were told that no window units can be replaced. Can they do this.

  37. Mike Hunter on March 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    The “quick and dirty” answer is that they may be able to deny use of window air-conditioning units, but they probably can’t force owners to install central HVAC. A definitive answer would require a more extensive analysis of the facts and history of the situation, and a review of the condo’s governing documents (which we can’t do in a blog).

  38. Mike Hunter on August 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

  39. Mike Hunter on November 16, 2015 at 9:36 am

    In general, the HOA’s board of directors has the authority to enact rules governing the use of common areas – and I assume your pool parking lot is a common area. As long as all residents are given the opportunity to park on a first-come, first-served basis, I don’t see a problem with that. It’s no different from having capacity limits for the pool or clubhouse, or having a limited number of guest parking spaces – not everyone can use them at the same time. I don’t know of any law that would require the HOA to provide enough remote parking for everyone or none at all.

  40. Damon Rivera on December 30, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    My N.C. HOA was incorporated on June 17, 2008 and the developer holds full control of the community HOA. CC&R’s sate they reserve control until “1” lot remains under ownership of the developer. Today is 12/30/2015 and any reply for all requests are answered with “the developer reserves the rights at their discretion and under no obligation under the CC&R’s”. My question is “Is there a time frame under NC law for completion of construction. We are a community of 165 homes with 5 lots undeveloped. There has been 1 HOA meeting and the Architect Review Committee also answers that they reserve the right under CC&R statutes and are under no obligation to disclose meetings, minutes, times dates and or findings other than it is weekly and out of state. As a Homeowner I have never been provided the CC&R’s and retained my copy via research. Do homeowners have the right to be provided a copy of the CC&R’s and are there any safeguards to ensure that homeowners are provided with a copy from a developer at pre-construction conditions.

  41. Eileen on January 14, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Can you please clarify this? If we have 100 lots we need 51 lot owners to attend the budget ratification meeting (either in person or by proxy)? If 49 lots or less are represented the proposed budget is automatically approved?
    How do lot owners who aren’t eligible to vote due to non-payment of dues fit into this? Are they still part of the majority (51 lots)?
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  42. Mike Hunter on January 14, 2016 at 10:11 am

    The North Carolina statutes on budget ratification state that: (1) there does not need to be a quorum at the budget ratification meeting, and (2) the budget is approved “by default” unless a majority of ALL owners (not just those attending the meeting) vote to reject it. See section (c) of this statute:

  43. John Hands on February 20, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Terrific! I have a challenging situation that i’d like to submit to the blog,
    but how to do this? (I’m not technologically up to date and need specifics)

  44. Mike Hunter on February 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    You got through just fine. Just do the same thing again. Just remember that we can’t give legal advice on very specific issues through this blog – our answers have to be general in nature.

  45. Mike Hunter on February 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    It’s impossible to assess your community’s situation without a review and analysis of the governing documents, to determine if the developer is complying. We can’t offer legal advice on specific situations like that through a blog. I trust you understand.

  46. Aileen Batchelor on February 23, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Our NC HOA’s bylaws state that “No member may vote at any meeting of the Association or be elected to serve on the Executive Board or be appointed to serve on any committee if payment by such member of any financial obligation to the Association is delinquent more than sixty (60) days……” Our property management firm claims that because these are not in our Declaration, that this is not valid and that we cannot stop anyone from voting for this reason. Is he right? Our previous management company followed our bylaws>

  47. Mike Hunter on February 23, 2016 at 11:28 am

    While I can’t say for certain without reviewing the CCRs and bylaws, in general, I know of no reason why such a provision would NOT be enforceable just because it’s in the bylaws instead of the CCRs. In fact, since bylaws deal with corporate governance, that’s the more logical place for provisions dealing with director qualifications.

  48. Aileen Batchelor on February 23, 2016 at 11:38 am

    What about the ability to vote? More specifically in our annual elections for the board. Thanks so much for your time.

  49. Mike Hunter on February 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Same answer. Voting rights are typically dealt with in the bylaws.

  50. Betty Mellor on April 16, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Our HOA has not had a review meeting since January of 2015.
    It Is now April, the officers at the the HOA will not respond to the question of when is the next HOA meeting to be held.
    Is it a law that an HOA must provide review for the members??

    Thank you

  51. Mike Hunter on May 13, 2016 at 9:14 am

    We will be publishing a column in the Charlotte Observer in the coming weeks on this exact topic. The column is titled “Association Answers”, and runs in the Home|Design section every other Saturday.

  52. Linda Erickson on May 14, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Our development originally consisted of 17 lots, 12 in the west and 5 in the east, separated physically by a marsh and entrances. 3 years ago, the west ended the HOA with the east because of 10 yr. long disputes with the president of the HOA and the BOD (who were on the east). Three of the east lot owners met and decided to continue the HOA on their own and filed new covenants and articles of incorporation. Two of the lot owners now state that it was illegal to form a new HOA without all 5 lot owners present (and made aware ahead of time) of the vote. Is there law we can refer to concerning the legal start of an HOA? Thanks.

  53. Mike Hunter on May 16, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    If you are in North Carolina, chances are you are covered by the Planned Community Act, which can be found here: However, the answers to your questions will not be found there. You will need an attorney experienced in community association law to review the recorded documents that formed and later split your community to determine their validity.

  54. Mike Hunter on July 5, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I cannot give you a specific answer without reviewing all of the documents relating to original development and the documents that supposedly created the new one. In general, no property owner can have a new set of restrictive covenants “forced” onto them. However, if it was treated as an amendment to the existing documents, then the new HOA may be legitimate.

  55. William E Brown on August 17, 2016 at 10:08 am

    We have a subdivision in Granville County that only has 12 lots and are about to establish the HOA. Since NC Statute 47 does not apply for less than 20 lots, what documents are actually required to operate the HOA legally as a non-profit corporation?

    Are there other items that do not apply as well, such as reporting or exemptions.

    It is a one street (cul-de-sac) Subdivision, no playgrounds, community centers, etc. so we are only concerned with maintenance (grass cutting and landscaping) of the limited common areas and entrance to the Subdivision It is highly unlikely that there would be any additional lots available to annex or otherwise grow to reach the minimum for that Statute to be applicable

    We want to make it simple and keep formality at a minimum yet need to be 100% compliant. .

  56. John Hubbard on August 23, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Can a community code be enacted by the POA Board on a community which has been governed by R & R’s without a vote by the property owners?

  57. Mike Hunter on September 2, 2016 at 11:34 am

    The answer depends completely on the specifics of the “community code” you are referring to, and what authority the board of directors is given under the CCRs and bylaws.

  58. Mike Hunter on September 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Is your subdivision subject to a recorded Declaration of Covenants, Conditions that provides for establishment of an HOA, with the authority to levy assessments for maintenance? If not, then you may be setting up an HOA that is purely voluntary, with no real authority to collect assessments from owners who don’t want to pay them. At the very least, you need to file article of incorporation with the NC Secretary of State, and adopt bylaws. The rest depends on what your declaration says (assuming you have one).

  59. Christine Pressley on September 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I am the Social chair person for my neighborhood and have been for the past 4 years. My term will end in December of this year. In article V of our by laws it states, my neighborhood compensates the chair positions, not the board members, with no payment of their dues which come due in January, after completion of the year that they have served on the committee. We have a new board that was elected in February of this year 2016 and they want to change the by laws so committee chair members only receive a gift card for their services. They want to change it effective now which means that I have completed almost the entire year of committee work for something different than what is in the current bylaws. Can the new board do this legally? And is compensating committee chair persons illegal in NC?


  60. Georgann Gentry (@sunnygirl47) on February 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Is a property management company (manager) bound by SC law to report to the Secretary of State HOA board officers that were violating SC state statutes that are part of the governing documents?

  61. Cynthia Jones on February 22, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Board members are bound by their fiduciary obligations to the members of the community that they serve. If they are violating that duty then any member may have a claim against them for a breach of that duty. I’m not sure I completely understand your question but the members are the ones that hold the directors liable for violations of the governing documents – not the Secretary of State. If members are concerned with the actions of the Board then I suggest attending a Board meeting to get involved with your community and constructively voice your concerns. You also may want to consider running for the Board yourself at the next election. I know many communities could benefit greatly from more active volunteers!

  62. Mike Hunter on March 8, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Your question (edited for brevity and clarity) was the subject of my column in last week’s Charlotte Observer column, which can be found here:

  63. Jason Terry on April 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Is absentee voting on an annual budget required in South Carolina?

  64. Cynthia Jones on April 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I’m not sure what you mean by absentee voting as voting is either in person or by proxy at a meeting. There is no statutory requirement in South Carolina to hold a budget ratification meeting annually like there is in North Carolina. Thus, the members would need to vote on the budget only if the governing documents required such a vote.

  65. Kacie on October 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    In NC, in a planned community… one entity owns 38 of the 54 available lots. Per the CCR’s, owner of each lot is entitled to one vote. (which is fine, they have the most to lose/gain from any decisions etc..) — do they get multiple votes regardless of the subject matter being voted? The CCR’s & Bylaws say ‘owner’ in some places, and ‘member’ in other places. You are automatically a member of the poa if you own a lot. So for the multiple lot owner –is he then a multiple member, as well as a multiple owner?

  66. Christine webber on December 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Mike Hunter says:
    January 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm
    I have written a couple of columns for the Charlotte Observer that touch on this topic in general – what to do about board members who do not follow the law or the association’s own bylaws. The columns can be found here:

    This was written on this site and I tryed to get ths articles since we have an HOA board that does not follow the By-laws How do I get this- the link did not take me to the columns
    Chris Webber

  67. Mike Hunter on December 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    All of our columns have been moved to our blog, Some of the older ones may not be there, as the Charlotte Observer stopped archiving my columns a few years ago after some editorial changes, and we were not able to transfer them to our blog before they were deleted.

  68. Mike Hunter on December 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Almost without exception, community association docs are drafted such that each lot owned counts for one vote. Thus, someone who owned three lots would get three votes.

  69. Pat Decator on January 29, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    15 homes are in our HOA near Pittsboro, NC. We are in the country (used to be cow pastures) In the last year we have adolescents riding into the community which is a private drive (doesn’t meet NCDOT standards) and speeding up and down the street. It is becoming less safe for people to walk on the street and the noise really is a nuisance. Our HOA meeting is coming up soon and I want to propose we add an amendment to our covenants that would restrict fourwheelers ridden by outsiders on the street. The sheriff’s department suggests speed bumps, signs posting Private Property (ies), No trespassing and yes the amendment. I’m not sure the best way to verbalize the amendment and want to make sure it is not restrictive to the homeowners. Any ideas of resources to use or people to contact would be appreciated. Our dues are minimal and are strictly designated for road repairs so this would be out of pocket to seek an attorney.

  70. Mike Hunter on January 29, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    If the ATV riders are from outside your community, I would recommend that you simply post “no trespassing” signs, and call the police when they return. You can amend your covenants to prohibit ATVs (and dirt bikes, and anything else) from being ridden in the community, but keep in mind the covenants would apply only to property owners, their guests and tenants – not to the general public (hence, the need for “no trespassing” signs). Speed bumps would help, unless they can simply ride around them. I do not recommend that you attempt to draft and record an amendment to your CCRs on your own – drafting legal documents that affect the title to real property constitutes the practice of law – which requires a law license, for good reason. Best of luck to you, and thanks for reading.

  71. Francis DiNardo on February 1, 2018 at 7:56 am

    How can I get an ‘official’ copy of the Bylaws associated with our HOA? The HOA was incorporated in 1996 but our HOA has lost track of that document. I assume they were submitted with our Articles Of Incorporation – right?

  72. Mike Hunter on February 1, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Bylaws are not filed with the Secretary of State’s office along with the Articles of Incorporation. If no one can find a copy of the bylaws, I suggest that you have someone search the Register of Deeds office for the recorded copy of your Declaration (of CCRs, or Condominium if you are in a condo). Usually, the bylaws are attached as an exhibit to the Declaration, though they are not required to be. If they cannot be found there, you should hire an attorney to draft new bylaws for your association.

  73. Michael Cunningham on February 16, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Hi Mike,
    I have a question. My neighborhood was established in 1972. We have our own bylaws and ccrs that do not include fines.
    Wouldn’t we have to amend our documents to include sections Of 47f?

  74. Mike Hunter on February 16, 2018 at 11:10 am

    There are several parts of NCGS Chapter 47F (the North Carolina Planned Community Act) that DO apply to communities formed prior to 1999 (the year that the Act became law). If you will look at 47F-1-102(c) at the very beginning of the chapter, you will find a list of which provisions are “retroactive” and apply to pre-1999 communities. The provisions dealing with fines for violations of the governing documents are included in the list of those that are retroactive. However, there is a strict process to be followed to impose fines. If you haven’t dealt with this before (and it appears you have not), you should consult with your community manager (if you have one) or an attorney well-versed in community association law. Here is a link to the Act:

  75. Karen on February 24, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Our HOA held a vote on 3 possible options in regards to an issue in our community.
    We have 21 lots in our development.
    One option received 3 votes
    One option received 2 votes
    One option received 11 votes
    5 owners did note vote at all…
    We are being told by our board members that because no option received 67% pass, the issue is being dropped.
    Are owners who did not vote counted in the percentage?
    Or is it the percentage on those that voted ?
    Thank you !

  76. Mike Hunter on February 26, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Karen – there is no way for me to answer your question without reviewing your community’s declaration of CCRs and bylaws, and getting a full understanding of the issue that was presented to the owners.

  77. Karen on February 26, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Thanks Mike !
    We currently have no by laws( they were going to be completed when our covenants passed ) and our new and updated covenants have not passed due to lack of some residents not returning their votes ( at 67%) Hence my question of do we need a 100% return or is it a percentage of votes turned in.
    The issue at hand was there is a particular owner who owns 5 lots. It states in our current covenants that each lot owner pays per lot. The owner in question says when they bought their 5 lots, the seller told them they are only responsible for paying for 3 lots when dues are paid annually… and have done so for the last 8 years. When our covenants were brought to our attorney, he uncovered that the lots were not combined and they were responsible for paying for 5 lots.
    Of course they were outraged , so at our last meeting, a couple of owners brought up a vote to give them a pass for 1 year, 2 years or no pass you owe for all your lots.
    Hope that helps

  78. Mike Hunter on February 26, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Karen, I cannot provide legal advice on fact-specific topics through a blog site – the State Bar frowns on that. You will note that all of the material on this blog is fairly general in nature – we can’t answer questions that depend on unique facts or a review of specific documents. If your HOA board wishes to engage us to review the documents and provide a written opinion letter, have them contact me.

  79. Lamar williams on February 28, 2018 at 2:27 am

    My girlfriend and I own a condo in NC. She owns a car and I own 2 cars. We only have two spaces for parking so Ive been parking my other vehicle in the guest parking Area, which by the way is rarely used by neighbors guest. I’ve talked to my neighbors and they say it’s not an issue but the “president ” is being vigilant about me not parking there. I have no other place to park my car. Can they make me really not park there being that I own my home and pay my hoa fees on time every month. Please help

  80. Mike Hunter on February 28, 2018 at 7:46 am

    The North Carolina Condominium Act specifically gives the HOA board the authority to adopt rules/regulations governing use of common elements. I assume the guest parking spaces are common elements, so if the board has adopted written rules prohibiting residents from parking in the guest spaces, it is enforceable. Whether or not your neighbors have a problem with you parking there is irrelevant, but if enough people would like to see the rule changed, you should gather support from your fellow owners and ask the board to reconsider the rule.

  81. Lee on March 6, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Thank you for the informative site. I tried to follow the links above to search for my answers but they appear inactive.

    I live in a HOA community in Cabarrus County, NC. While the homeowners have many questions, I’ll keep this to what I view as the most pertinent.

    The amended and restated CC&Rs were filed with the county in 2007. A supplementary amendment was filed in 2012. This amendment changed the period of developer control from 7 to 10 years. Since it’s only an amendment and not a restatement is the developer control extended to 2017 or 2022?

    It’s been over 2 years since an annual meeting occurred which is a violation of Chapter 47F. The developer refuses to accept a meeting. Many homeowners want to withhold the annual assessment but fear the penalties and interest for late payment. What recourse is available to the homeowners?

    Can the homeowners hold a meeting of the HOA without the developer (holder of class B shares and control of the board of directors) attending? The only mention of a quorum in the CC&Rs is limited to the section on Maximum Annual Assessments and the section on Special Assessments. If they can hold a meeting are they legally entitled to amend any sections of the CC&Rs except for those 2 specified sections?

    Thank you in advance for any information/assistance.

  82. Mike Hunter on April 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Your question will be the topic of my column which should run in the Home|Design section of the Charlotte Observer this Saturday. We can’t get into specific issues that require a review or analysis of your CCRs, but hopefully you will find the column helpful.

  83. Karen Coldiron on May 9, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I am S/T of our HOA. I need clarification. In the state of NC is the law one (1) vote per lot/household? We recently had two members of one household voted into office. I do not want a precedent set if the law is actually only one (1) vote per lot/household. Thank you for any clarification on this issue. KC

  84. Horack Talley on May 15, 2018 at 10:27 am

    You are confusing voting by members at a meeting of the membership with voting by directors at a meeting of the board. Voting rights for members are typically set forth in the Declaration of CCRs, and almost always are one vote per lot (or per unit for condominiums). At the annual meeting, members elect directors. Unless there is language in your bylaws to the contrary, there is no prohibition against multiple owners of the same lot being elected to the board. It’s up to the members to decide who gets elected to the board. At board meetings, each director gets one vote.

  85. Tom Mays on May 29, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Hello Mr. Hunter,
    You are a valuable resource for HOA members. Our Director/President and some other Directors do not pay all their dues. There is no record in our Minutes that the Board has approved this practice. Is this violation of the statute a crime? Thank you. Tom Mays.

  86. Horack Talley on June 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I do not believe it is a criminal offense, but the members of the HOA can request a special meeting to vote on removal of the offending directors. Check your bylaws for the procedure.

  87. Janet on July 4, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Can an HOA’s BOD enact rules and regulations without express authorization to do so by the Covenants or Bylaws? The Bylaws give the BOD general authority to carry out the affairs of the Association and to exercise any powers in the general management and control of the business of the Association permitted by law and not expressly reserved to the HOA’s members (they are not so reserved.) The type of rules we are considering are minimal: elaborating on the Covenants prohibition of “nuisances and annoyances,” e.g., prohibiting noise between 10 AM and 10 PM, and requiring dog and cat owners to control their pet’s behavior when the animals go on other owners’ property. The rules are intended to apply to all residents and their guests and renters, but most of the problems we are having are with renters. We need a formal process to implement fines for violations, but we need rules to do so. One BOD member states that the BOD does not have the express authority to promulgate rules. Everything I’ve read online says that HOA BODs have this authority.

  88. richard02h on July 10, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    South Carolina:
    Is it mandatory to have a management company in a community HOA?

  89. jason22home on July 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    I am a member of an HOA for a private lake in NC, I heard from a fellow member that Board of Directors are limited to 5 years, so I went to our website and read the by- laws. To my surprise there was no mention of rules governing directors or anything about them. I am not sure if they removed this section from the site or if it is normal to not have this in the by-laws? HOA was created about 40 years ago.

  90. Horack Talley on July 13, 2018 at 7:15 am

    I have never seen a set of bylaws that had no provisions for directors – number, term, qualification, election/removal, meetings, quorum, etc. Are you sure you weren’t looking at the Declaration of restrictive covenants?

  91. Horack Talley on July 13, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Absolutely not.

  92. Horack Talley on July 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

    NC law gives HOA boards the right to “adopt and amend bylaws and rules and regulations.” See NCGS 47C-3-102(a)(1) and 47F-3-102(a)(1). However, in general those rules/regs can apply only to what residents do on common area, not what they do in their own condo or on their own lot. The board can regulate owners’ conduct on their own property only if the declaration gives the board that authority. Getting any more specific than this would require an analysis of your HOA’s governing documents. Both the Condominium Act and the Planned Community Act give HOAs the authority to levy fines (after notice and a hearing), unless the governing documents provide otherwise.

  93. Renzor on July 17, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Will the original document be located at the courthouse?

  94. Horack Talley on July 17, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Yes, the original should be on record at the Register of Deeds. Often (but not always), the bylaws are attached as an exhibit to the Declaration. If not, you need to ask one of the board members to provide you with a copy. Occasionally I encounter HOAs that have never adopted bylaws and they ask me to draft a set for them. That typically is something the developer should do at the same time the HOA is incorporated, but sometimes it gets overlooked.

  95. Dara S Haskins on July 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What happens to the HOA if the board resigns? We have two board members which includes me and we both been serving several terms. We tried everything to get new membership but no one comes to the annual meetings or get involved in any social activities we plan. Please help were both tired.

  96. Valerie L Crane on July 30, 2018 at 9:30 pm


    When a waterline breaks outside of a town home (front lawn), is the homeowner or the HOA responsible for the repair?

  97. Mike Hunter on August 1, 2018 at 7:22 am

    The answer would require a review of your HOA’s governing documents, as there are no laws governing the issue.

  98. Mike Hunter on August 1, 2018 at 7:23 am

    If the entire board resigns, the HOA simply ceases to function.

  99. Matt Keagle on August 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Can the hoa prohibit you from parking a commercial vehicle or trailer that is used daily to earn a living in your driveway

  100. Horack Talley on August 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    If your community’s governing documents prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles or trailers in driveways, the HOA’s board of directors has both the authority and the affirmative duty to enforce that rule.

  101. Leanore on October 24, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I live out of state and own property in South Carolina that is in a of an HOA Community.
    A family member lives in the property and handles all matters for me since 2016 which up to this year included voting at the annual meeting via proxy as my representative and informed me of pertinent informstion discussed. This year we were informed she could not act as my proxy as a another homeowner is only exceptionable as a proxy when I signed and returned the required forms. Is this information true since I do not feel comfortable having someone I do not know representing me. This sent up a feeling of a red flag and I feel I was denied representstion for some reason this year when for the past two I could use a family member as my proxy.

  102. Cynthia Jones on November 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I know of no requirement under the statutes in South Carolina that require a proxy to be another member of the association. In fact, the statutes don’t address who can be a proxy for another person so I’ve always taken the position that your proxy can be anyone you choose. It is possible that the bylaws for your association have a more stringent requirement but the statutes do not. If you’d like to review the statutes in the South Carolina Nonprofit Act that deal with proxies they can be found in Chapter 31 of Title 33 of the South Carolina Code.

  103. Joann Gravino on January 29, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    We llve in a subdivision where majority of lots were sold from one builder to another. Having majority of lots,new builder took over president and wife took over vice president of HOA, Appointed select people to fill the board. He then elected himself president of the Architectural Review Board.. so pretty much gave himself the keys to the kingdom. As his numbers decreased, the day before the last election, he claimed developer rights, giving him additional votes and winning the election yet again…with his choice of members. Does South Carolina have a maximum limit of term one can serve on the Board of Directors? We are at an impass as the president also uses funds for many legal fees and now is no longer paying dues as “developer” putting the HOA in financial difficulties. He has also changed due date for HOA dues from March to January. Does this mean we have to pay two additional months of dues or can we deduct the two months already paid? Any direction you can lead us in would be greatly appreciated.

  104. Cynthia Jones on January 30, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    You’ve got a lot of great questions Joann and unfortunately it’s impossible to answer them without reviewing your governing documents. My suggestion is to contact a community association attorney in your area and engage them to assist you on these matters. If you need some recommendations you can always look for a referral with Community Association Institute ( Best of luck!

  105. J. Durr on February 13, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Is there anything in federal or NC state law that would prohibit our HOA from limiting the total number of rental units allowed in the community? Some homeowners wonder if that may be considered discrimination.
    If allowed, would that restriction appropriately be covered in the Covenants & Restrictions or in the Bylaws?
    There is currently no mention in either of rentals, with one exception: Covenants say that no homeowner may rent a house for less than 6 months, and any rental for more than 12 months must be approved by the board.

  106. Horack Talley on February 16, 2019 at 11:25 am

    No, there are no North Carolina or federal laws restricting rentals in a community. Such restrictions would have to be in the Declaration of Condominium, or Declaration of CCRs (if you’re in a townhome or single-family community). If your Declaration does not have them and there is enough support among owners, the board can propose an amendment to the Declaration to add additional leasing restrictions. We draft a lot of those for our clients.

  107. Mark Clark on April 6, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Our VP is not on the deed, although legally married. Some have made this an issue and after a conversation this evening she has to resign. My question is, does the sitting president get to appoint a hand picked vp?

  108. Mike Hunter on April 8, 2019 at 10:45 am

    It sounds like you may be confusing directors and officers. Directors are elected by the members, and officers are appointed by the directors. Typically, if a director resigns the remaining board members have the authority to appoint a replacement. Check your association’s bylaws, – some HOA’s allow non-owners to serve as officers and/or directors. Also read this column:

  109. Terry Walcott on April 24, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I reside in a development of nearly 1500 homes in North Carolina.

    I have question regarding removing a director as a officer from their position. I understand they would still be a director, but does the officer get a vote in this process if it is about them? Are they able to vote one way or another on the removal of their officer status?

    Also, I would like to know the exact steps necessary to remove a director of the HOA Board by the members. I’ve heard it’s a complicated process, and our governing documents do not specify the exact steps.

    Our governing documents state:

    Removal: Any Director may be removed from the Board of Directors, with or without cause, by a majority vote of the Members of the Association present and entitled to vote at any meeting of the Members at which a quorum of the Membership is present.

    Quorum: The presence at the meeting of Members or proxies entitled to cast 10 percent of the votes of the Membership shall constitute a quorum for any action except as otherwise provided in the Declaration or these Bylaws.

    Thanks for your help!

  110. Leonard Ranager on April 30, 2019 at 9:33 am

    I live in a non-gated community, there is discussion about becoming a gated community. Since I’m the first house in,a gate would really be close to my driveway. and the HOA would have to buy part of my land to built. I do not want a gate in front of my house. and I don’t intend to sale any part of my lot to them. Can they do as the government and use the eminent domain. What would be my options?

  111. Mike Hunter on April 30, 2019 at 10:29 am

    No, HOA’s in North Carolina do not have “eminent domain” rights like governments do. They cannot force you to sell a portion of your lot, nor require you to grant them an easement.

  112. Don P Buckman on May 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Can a HOA arbitrarily annex a group of homes without the consent of homeowners in the group? I realize this is a question but not sure where to start.

  113. Lisa Brown on May 31, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I live in a condo in Charlotte NC.Our HOA president has a felony record for trafficking a controlled substance and was convicted. Also convicted on a financial card fraud. Can she still serve on the board?

  114. Mike Hunter on June 6, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Unless there is language in your bylaws that prohibits felons from serving on the board, she can serve. There is nothing in North Carolina law that would prohibit her service.

  115. Mike Hunter on June 6, 2019 at 11:39 am

    The short answer is no – a planned community cannot forcibly “annex” adjacent property that was not part of the subdivision without the consent of the affected lot owners. A document would have to be drafted, signed by the HOA and the adjacent lot owners, agreeing to make those lots part of the community and subjecting them to the CCRs. There may also be other limitations on this action, such as an amendment to the CCRs of the community voted on by the members of the HOA.

  116. Mike Hunter on June 6, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Regrettably, we cannot offer legal advice or opinions on specific issues through our blog, especially where it would require a review/analysis of an HOA’s governing documents. If your HOA board would like to engage us to review the facts and the governing documents and provide guidance, please have them contact me.

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