House Bill 4049, which was initially introduced in February, was approved by the SC House yesterday (April 18, 2023) and has now crossed over to the SC Senate for consideration. The bill would allow for remote participation at homeowners association membership meetings. Up until now, unless the governing documents for a homeowners association or condominium specifically allowed remote participation at a membership meeting, there was no specific statute in South Carolina authorizing membership meetings to be held virtually.
One of the positives of the COVID pandemic was that many more people became comfortable with video conferencing and other similar means of communicating virtually. In fact, many states adopted temporary measures during the pandemic to allow membership meetings to take place virtually where they had never been authorized before. Now, many more states have made those temporary measures permanent, or are looking to do so. This map from the Community Associations Institute (CAI) shows the current status of virtual membership meetings in various states.
The proposed bill is aimed at allowing remote participation, including voting, by members not physically present at a membership meeting. The decision whether to do so would be within the discretion of the board of directors and subject to any guidelines or procedures the board adopts.
If passed, this bill could change the way that many homeowners associations and condominiums operate meetings and improve member participation, especially for those who may otherwise not be able to attend for various reasons.
As more information connected to this new legislation is available that information will be posted.
Firm partner Jim Slaughter just published this summary of legislative proposals for North Carolina. As he notes, the Community Associations Institute maintains chapters in both North Carolina and South Carolina and our firm is involved with the legislative action committees in both states. Both the NC-LAC and the SC-LAC monitor and make recommendations on legislation that affect community associations, and their members talk with legislators on issues of concern to HOAs and condos. I am currently serving as the Chair of the SC-LAC, and firm partners Steve Black and Harmony Taylor are past and present members of the NC-LAC.
The SC-LAC is a diverse group of homeowner leaders, community managers, and representatives from community association business partners that provide perspective to legislators on how proposed legislation could impact people living and working in community associations. They volunteer countless hours to track legislation, give you a voice with legislators, and keep you informed and involved if problematic legislation is introduced or beneficial legislation needs your support.
Please consider a contribution to the SC-LAC by visiting the CAI* Legislative Action Committee donor page.