Election 2012 Issue Brief - Abuses by Homeowners Associations

Background

North Carolina, like most states, has laws that authorize and govern homeowner associations. Associations can levy fines, collect monthly assessments, and regulate the color of houses or the size of mailboxes. An HOA can even foreclose on a homeowner for not paying association dues or fees for rule violations.

Well-run HOAs that treat homeowners fairly and respectfully can improve community living. Unfortunately, some HOAs in North Carolina abuse their authority. The problem is so prevalent that the NC General Assembly has formed several committees to study these associations.

One legislative committee has heard a wide range of complaints from homeowners, including the following:

  • Abusive and unnecessary use of the power of foreclosure
  • Unpredictable demands for payment of fees months or even years after they were allegedly due
  • Misuse and/or embezzlement of association funds
  • Failure to offer payment plans to homeowners who have fallen behind on payments
  • Assessment of unnecessary attorney fees
  • Giving of association business to friends and family for overpriced services
  • Selective, arbitrary, and discriminatory enforcement of covenants
  • Unfair association elections and dismissal of officers
  • Proxy voting that concentrates voting power in a few officeholders
  • Improper notice of meetings
  • Unfair assessment of fines for alleged failure to abide by association covenants

 

Questions for Candidates

  • Do you support new laws to stop abusive homeowner associations?
  • Do you support the creation of a Homeowners Association Division in the NC Real Estate Commission to regulate associations and help homeowners with complaints against abusive associations?
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