Q: I read your article in the Charlotte Observer about HOAs being nonprofit corporations and the rights of members to inspect the HOA’s records. Where can I find all of the information that you referred to in your column?
A: 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 www.ncleg.net. 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 www.ncleg.net/gascripts/statutes/Statutes.asp. You can also look up the status of pending legislation affecting homeowners’ associations at www.ncleg.net/Legislation/Legislation.html.
• Another helpful website is offered by the Community Association Institute (CAI). This may be found at www.caionline.org. 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 befound at www.cainc.org (NC) and www.cai-sc.net (SC).
• The website of HOA-USA, located at www.hoa-usa.com, 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 www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/CSearch.aspx 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, www.jimslaughter.com, includes many charts and articles on meeting procedures, parliamentary news updates, and links to resources on running effective meetings.