While this is generally a North Carolina HOA law blog, we represent many South Carolina HOAs as well, and as most of them are aware by now, the new South Carolina Homeowners Association Act was enacted on May 17th, 2018 and was the first major legislation in South Carolina to regulate homeowners associations. The major focus of this new law is to provide owners access to all of a community’s governing documents and rules, regulations, policies and procedures. Obviously, this applies to HOAs located in South Carolina only.
On or before January 10, 2019, all “governing documents” and rules and regulations must be recorded with the register of deeds’ office to remain enforceable. All governing documents other than bylaws must be recorded already under present law, so no change there.
All “rules and regulations”, which presently need not be recorded, must now also be recorded by January 10 to remain enforceable. This includes:
o Rules and regulations;
o Architectural guidelines;
o Any other policies and procedures, such as collection policies.
o Basically, anything you want to be enforceable against a homeowner or a lot or unit in your HOA.
In addition to the recording requirement, all “rules and regulations” must be made accessible to members upon request, or posted conspicuously on the common areas, or posted on the community’s website.
Any amendments to any of the above made after January 10 must be recorded by January 10 of the year following their adoption.
The act also requires the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs to collect and publish online data regarding complaints by and against homeowners associations. It will provide copies of any complaint to the HOA and/or the owner. The Department will publicly report the complaints in a searchable database.
The act provides that small claims court is now a proper forum for resolving disputes between homeowners and HOAs.
Finally, the act requires sellers of homes in HOAs to provide additional disclosures to prospective buyers.
If you're a South Carolina HOA, make sure you don't miss the January 10 deadline!
Contact your attorney or management company and get your documents compiled and to your county Register of Deeds or Clerk of Court (depending on how your particular county handles these types of recordings).
You should also post all of these same documents in PDF form on your website.
Call us if we can help! Good luck!