Failure to Hold Formal Board Votes Dooms Two Charlotte HOAs

Our latest HOA law blog post analyzes a recent case where the failure to hold proper board votes to approve legal action doomed two HOAs’ efforts to contest a proposed lower-income housing project next door to them. READ MORE

The North Carolina Court of Appeals Says… Not Much in its Recent HOA Cases

As homeowners’ association and commercial real estate attorneys, we typically hold our breath when the North Carolina Court of Appeals issues new opinions (“opinions” is the term it uses to refer to its case decisions). While the judges are all smart, accomplished and well-meaning former attorneys, most are former litigators who unfortunately have little if any real estate or community association law experience. READ MORE

HOA Disputes: Consider Mediation or Arbitration Before Going to Court

HOA disputes are not the same as regular business disputes. Sometimes conflicts escalate, but your HOA lawyer should work hard to keep you out of court if possible. Mediation/arbitration is a great option for avoiding legal debacles in HOAs like the ones described in this article.  READ MORE

Your Homeowners Association’s Governing Documents: Please Don’t Call Them Bylaws!

Our HOA Ninjas here at Moretz & Skufca have a little pet peeve when it comes to terminology: folks who refer to the governing documents for their community association as “the bylaws.” So (to borrow from Shakespeare) what’s in a name? Turns out that when it comes to homeowners association documents, names mean a lot. READ MORE

Supreme Court Loosens Up Construction Warranty Claims

The North Carolina Supreme Court does not often render decisions that directly affect HOAs, but on December 19, 2014, the Court issued an opinion in Christie v. Hartley Construction that may impact your HOA, and will certainly impact many consumers and construction contractors. READ MORE

Changes… to Your HOA’s Restrictive Covenants

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently rendered an opinion reiterating that all amendments to the restrictive covenants (“CCRs”) governing a planned community must be reasonable. As background, the existing law is that amendments to the CCRs must be reasonable in light of the developer’s original intent for the subdivision. READ MORE

Spring Showers Bring Summer Weeds – How to Achieve Homeowner Compliance in Your HOA

Now that summer is here, many HOAs and their members are dusting off the grill, repairing the lawn mower and opening the pool to the summer crowds. Spring and summer bring new life to HOAs but also bring new problems in making sure members keep lots up to the HOA’s standards.  READ MORE

Protect Your Intellectual Property

I love working with entrepreneurs who are champing at the bit to get their idea to the market and make money. While your ideas may be great, understanding how to protect them best is critical and increases their marketability and likelihood of your success in the marketplace.READ MORE

So You Want to Start Your Own Business?

Tired of your boss running your schedule? Unable to get your ideas heard in the executive suite? You’ve got a business idea that has been rattling around in your brain for 10 years and you have been working on a business plan for 6 months? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are ready to start your own business.  READ MORE

Can I file for Emergency Child Custody?

Many individuals call our law office hoping to gain emergency custody of their child. Clearly, this is a process that can be abused by the public in general. In North Carolina, Judges often refuse to enter an emergency custody order unless the facts give rise to a situation that is extremely dangerous. READ MORE

Maximizing Votes at an HOA Meeting or Election

Many HOAs and condominium associations have annual meetings coming up this time of year, or special meetings to amend their covenants, conditions and restrictions (“CCRs”) or bylaws. What is the best way to collect the votes your HOA needs to elect a board or get that important change to the CCRs or bylaws passed?  READ MORE

About the New Required Notice of Voluntary Prelitigation Mediation for HOA and Condominium Disputes

All HOAs and condominium associations in North Carolina now have the legal duty to inform all members at least yearly that they have the right to request voluntary mediation of any dispute with the association, except for disputes regarding payment of dues or assessments. Either party can decline to engage in mediation. READ MORE

2013 Changes to North Carolina HOA Laws

The General Assembly has made some important, and some not-so-important, changes to HOA law in its 2013 session. With the session now nearing its end, let’s review the changes that have been enacted into law. It does not appear that any other changes to HOA laws will be enacted this year. READ MORE

When Homeowners Attack

I spoke at a “board member boot camp” Tuesday night to give legal tips to new homeowners association board members, and briefly touched on security and safety issues for board members. Luckily, I said, homeowner violence against HOA board members is very rare, and I am not aware of any in our area since I’ve been practicing law. Then on Friday, a Harrisburg, N.C. man apparently killed two HOA board members and himself in a dispute over tree removal. READ MORE

Transfer Fees

Transfer fees can be a welcome way for an HOA to cover its administrative costs when a property changes hands, and for a condo association especialy, to cover repair costs for hallways and stairwells caused by owners moving furniture in and out. In addition, they can help an HOA recover some of its losses on foreclosed properties. READ MORE

What if Fred and Barney lived in your HOA?

And what if Fred and Barney were goats? Fortunately for us, the Court of Appeals had occasion to address this burning issue recently in Steiner v. Windrow Estates HOA. READ MORE

Can a Child Testify in a Court Proceeding?

We are often asked in what circumstances a child can testify and when can a statement made by a child be used as evidence in a court proceeding. The use of child testimony is probably most common in child custody and abuse proceedings. READ MORE