Tag Archives: leaders

Legislators hear both views of HOA boards

Last year, the N.C. legislature appointed the House Select Committee assigned to gather input from the public and recommend changes to laws that affect HOAs. The committee held several public hearings last year, and we saw some legislation passed – House Bill 165, which I discussed in my Aug. 19 column found here: bit.ly/pPRA4K.

The committee held another public meeting again this week to seek input from homeowners on what changes, if any, are needed to the laws governing HOAs. Some 45 homeowners from across the state spoke at the meeting – some were board members, others were simply concerned homeowners.

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Super Bowl of the HOA!

Interestingly, the emergence of the HOA in America began in the 1960s, around the same time that the football Super Bowl began. Of course, the HOA had been around for quite a long time before that, however, it was largely restricted in nature. With the development of housing communities with architectural uniformity about them, the HOA grew rapidly in the 1960s. Sadly, many of the HOA’s began to keep out people who were unwanted, especially those of other races. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that such rules were unenforceable. However, the HOA had been birthed out of much more important purposes: to maintain a standard of housing to protect owners from loss of value, to offer guidelines for architectural beauty, to provide well maintained community areas, and to create a comfortable atmosphere for family life.

The Super Bowl of the HOA can be defined as the Annual Meeting. That meeting is of SUPER importance. Annually, the HOA must meet to consider several critical issues related to the past, present, and future aspects of the community. This meeting may not be as exciting as a Super Bowl in football, but it is significant and crucial to the neighborhood.

First, the HOA must elect officers and committee members for the “new year”. These individuals will essentially shape the community for the next year. The HOA has guiding principles defined in legal documents, but poor leadership can always find a way to bring about a decline in any organization. For this reason, it is essential that residents participate in the work of the HOA and that they choose leaders carefully and thoughtfully. A willingness to serve on various committees ensures that a broad and inclusive view will be taken in the decisions made for the coming year.

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Keeping Watch

The eyes and ears of community volunteers are needed to help keep neighborhoods safe.  But what’s the boards role?   

After finding his home ransacked in 2004, Art Hanson tallied the losses.  Thieves had broken into a basement window and stolen laptops, cameras, even a piggy bank from the family’s home. 

“As upsetting as that was, what really got under my skin was the fact that it was a persistent problem in my neighborhood,” he says.

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A Few Good Men (and Women)

Some homeowners run for the community association board because they’re upset about an assessment hike.  Others want to overturn what they consider unfair architectural rules.  It is not unusual for personal agendas to be strong motivators for homeowners to seek office. 

But more often, it seems, homeowners are too busy to serve on the board or don’t want to take on the responsibility.  The same people remain stuck on the board because others aren’t willing to step up.

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