Q: I am considering running for a seat on my HOA board. We are a community of about 80 homes. I am concerned about my indemnity as a board member. I tried to find a clause in my bylaws, but I can’t seem to locate wording that speaks directly to that. Our HOA property manager directed me to Chapter 47F of the North Carolina General Statutes (the NC Planned Community Act), but I still don’t see any language that would prevent a lawsuit from being directed toward me personally for action I take as a director of the HOA. Can you shed some light on this?
Q: I own a home that is governed by the N.C. Condominium Act. In the recorded Declaration of Condominium, there is a specific section regarding animals. It prohibits commercial breeding and exotic animals, but specifically allows common household pets “including but not limited to dogs, cats, canaries, parakeets, etc.” After I bought my home, the HOA supplemented its rules and regulations to change the language in the recorded covenants to allow only two cats or two dogs and no more than four pets total. I am now renting the home and I have been told that my tenant, who has three dogs, is in violation. The dogs are small, each under 8 pounds, and they have not caused a safety issue for other residents. I always thought that rights afforded in recorded covenants could not be restricted by changes in the rules and regulations. Is this not correct?
The South Carolina Court of Appeals handed down a decision last week against a group of disgruntled homeowners who attempted to create their own property owners’ association.
The homeowners live in Phase I of Wright’s Point Plantation, a waterfront community in Beaufort County. Wright’s Point was purchased by the developer in 1997, and in 1998 the Declarations of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, and Easements (“Declarations”) were recorded. Subsequently, the Wright’s Point Homeowners’ Association was incorporated. In 2003, several property owners from Phase I decided to band together and form a new entity: The Wright’s Point Property Owners’ Association. The Phase I owners disapproved of certain Architectural Committee Requirements and did not wish to share Phase I amenities with owners in future phases of the development.
The newly founded Property Owners’ Association held it’s first annual meeting, which the developer attended with his attorney. The developer contested the existence of the new association under the Declarations and stated that only the developer could appoint and remove directors, the meeting was not official, several owners had not been provided with notice of the meeting, and any meetings done without the developers’ knowledge were “not legal.”
The homeowners then filed suit asking the court to declare, among other things, that the developer’s authority to control appointment of directors and officers had terminated, the Wright’s Point Property Owners’ Association was valid, and only the owners in Phase I had a right of use and access to the common areas owned by the Association. The homeowners also sought an injunction against the developer to prevent him from trying to control the business of the Association. The developer counter claimed for damages in multiple causes of action to include civil conspiracy, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, tortious interference with contractual relationships,