Category Archives: Legal Compliance

Best bet is to use attorney for filings

Q. Is it possible for an HOA to file a foreclosure on a residence without an attorney?

As to whether a non-lawyer can file foreclosures, I checked with David Johnson, an attorney with the N.C. State Bar.According to Johnson, the N.C. Court of Appeals has held that corporations may not appear before the courts unless represented by counsel, except for cases in small claims court or to avoid the entry of a default in a higher court. Because a foreclosure proceeding requires the preparation and drafting of court pleadings and a court appearance, an incorporated HOA may not lawfully conduct its own foreclosure without an attorney.

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Homeowner wants to change the HOA board

Q. We have a homeowners association that refuses to give documents to homeowners, grants board members architectural changes after refusing others the same changes, and has suspect practices in their elections. They even wanted candidates for the board to sign a gag order so that, if they were elected, the candidate could not criticize the board. The company assisting them is a partner to their activities, so is of no help. Their concerns do not reflect the wishes of the people living here and they basically rig the elections with the proxy votes so no one new can get on the board. They claim everything they do is legal and the homeowner has no rights when it comes to their decisions.

My question: Where can I turn to get help to change the activities of this group? Another writer recently asked what to do when their board refused to let members attend meetings The following answer applies to that situation, too.

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Can HOA’s Hire bill collectors for dues?

Q. Is it legal for homeowner associations in North Carolina to use collection agencies to collect delinquent dues?

There is nothing to prohibit your HOA from using a collection agency to collect delinquent dues. The better question is whether using a collection agency is the most effective and cost-efficient method.

Collection agencies typically charge a “contingent fee” for their services – their fee is a percentage of whatever sum they collect, usually 25-30 percent.The problem is that HOAs cannot always recover this fee from the delinquent homeowner. State statutes prohibit HOAs from charging a homeowner any collection or administrative fee that is not specifically authorized in their Declaration.

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Condo parking space hog

 

Q. A homeowner in our association has been parking a vehicle with no tag in one of his two parking spaces for over three years. He has two other drivable vehicles taking up parking spaces in the guest parking area. Our rules state that uninspected, unregistered, unlicensed, abandoned or junk vehicles are not permitted on condominium property and further, that no vehicle may be stored on the common or limited common property. What can be done about this?

Part of the answer to your question depends on whether an owner’s assigned parking spaces are deeded to the owner along with his unit, or if they are common elements.If the spaces are deeded, then the association’s board, by itself, cannot impose additional restrictions on the use of those deeded spaces on top of whatever restrictions are already in the declaration. Adding additional restrictions to property owned by the homeowner would require an amendment to your declaration, approved by at least two-thirds of the voting power in the association.

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