What Is a Reserve Study and Why Is It Important for My Association?

Community associations play a crucial role in maintaining the quality of life and property values. They oversee a wide range of responsibilities, from maintaining common areas to enforcing community rules and regulations. One often underappreciated but critical aspect of appropriate association management is long-term financial planning. One of the most valuable tools for ensuring a sound financial future for your association is the reserve study. In this article, we will discuss why community associations in North Carolina should prioritize conducting regular reserve studies, and what role the community’s attorney plays in that process. The Importance of Financial Planning for Community … Continue reading

Pickleball Court Conversion Considerations to Avoid Placing Your Association in a Pickle

Homeowners associations are tasked with managing and overseeing the common areas of a neighborhood, which many times include recreational facilities such as tennis courts. In recent years, pickleball, a game that is a mixture of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, has grown in popularity, and residential developers are now regularly including pickleball courts as an amenity in newer neighborhoods. Some more established communities are also engaging with the trend, and are considering converting their existing tennis courts into pickleball courts. This decision to accommodate pickleball as a neighborhood amenity can be surprisingly controversial, as it can reduce the number of … Continue reading

Are Pickup Trucks “Commercial Vehicles” and Can HOAs Ban Them? Florida Pickup Man Says “No.”

In North Carolina, many Associations have covenants that prohibit “commercial vehicles” or “trucks.” In North Carolina, the top two best-selling vehicles and three of the top five vehicles in the state are pickup trucks. With the volume of pickups on North Carolina roads, and the number of truck-related covenants in place, the intersection is a common one to encounter, and the HOA is the traffic cop that is stationed at that intersection. Recently in Florida, this intersection was the subject of a dispute between an HOA and a homeowner. The homeowner purchased a 2022 Rivian R1T, which recently was named MotorTrend’s Truck of … Continue reading

Yes, Owners of a Restricted Lot Can Be Fined for THEIR TENANT’S Violations of Covenants!

With the appreciating residential real estate market, rental homes are becoming an increasingly common feature in residential neighborhoods subject to restrictive covenants.  Restrictive covenants will typically have a few main types of provisions that lot owners opt into when purchasing their restricted lots—architectural standards, obligations to pay assessments to a homeowners’ association, provisions outlining the common area/amenities- but also some regulations that relate to conduct of individuals who reside on a lot.  Sometimes the practice of leasing will even be prohibited or limited in the restrictive covenants of a community, or even provide that the HOA can screen prospective tenants. … Continue reading

Fraud Alert:  New Burglary Scheme Targets Owners by Posing as HOA-Sanctioned Contractors

Depending upon your community structure and governing documents, it is entirely possible that your HOA will provide maintenance within the community.  Examples of this are where townhome community documents provide that assessments cover select items of exterior maintenance (such as roofing systems, siding, or yardwork).  Condominium associations also may have an easement to access the interior of owner units in order to access the “common elements” (frequently the interior “guts” of the walls—utility lines/plumbing).  Such maintenance will involve the community association sending out contractors to assess the maintenance needs, and also performing work.  These contractors will be arranged and hired … Continue reading

New Appellate Decision Related to Application of Insurance Proceeds in Older Condominiums

Earlier this week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a decision in Grooms Property Management v. Muirfield Condominium Association. The case dealt with interpreting and applying insurance provisions in the declaration of an older condominium governed by the NC Unit Ownership Act, and determining the association’s obligation to purchase insurance and the application of proceeds in the event of a total destruction. The condominium building in question had been entirely destroyed by fire, and the cost of complete exterior and building repairs was estimated to be between $1.36 and $1.46 million.  The Declaration in this case required the association … Continue reading

CARFAX for Condos

Last month, a federal judge approved a $1.2 billion settlement for unit owners and affected families in the Champlain Towers South condo collapse in Surfside, Florida.  The 2021 collapse was the deadliest condominium collapse in United States history and the third deadliest structure failure in United States history.  While the collapse is still under investigation, a leading factor in the collapse appears to be structural support degradation and corrosion caused by water intrusion. Champlain had obtained an engineering report in 2018 which found major errors in the construction of the pool deck, which had allowed rainwater to penetrate into and … Continue reading