We have strict accounting protocols in place that provide the highest level of security to your association funds. Learn more about fiscal responsibility at SCS.

Expected Upkeep Enforced By The Community Association Management Firm

Expected Upkeep Enforced by the Community Association Management Firm

The staff or volunteers you see occasionally walking around your community with clipboards or tablets, are the association’s covenants enforcement officers. They’re inspecting the property to ensure that everything is working properly, that conditions are safe and that nothing is reducing property values or your quality of life in your Carolina community.

In short, they’re making sure policies and rules are being followed—from pet behavior, parking and unkempt lawns to improper exterior modifications and more. They field complaints from fellow homeowners and, if necessary, remind you (or your neighbor) when a rule has been overlooked.

The officers report their findings to the Carolina Home Association board with photos and detailed notes. Most violations are easily resolved without board action. If not, the next step is a hearing before the board—we want to hear your side of the story. Those who continue to ignore rules may be fined, or worse. The most serious cases may end up in court, though we try very hard never to get to that point.

The association’s covenants enforcement officers perform a vital function; please treat them with courtesy and respect. If you have any questions about the rules, the officers should be able to explain them. The association manager and board members also are happy to listen and respond to your concerns.

When you purchased your home in our common-interest community in the Carolinas, you became contractually bound to abide by the covenants that protect the association. Please review them and ensure you are in compliance. You can find them on our website.

Why Are Quorums Important To HOAs?

Why are Quorums Important to HOAs?

A quorum is the minimum number of North or South Carolina homeowners who must be at a meeting before business can be discussed. State law tells us what that minimum number is for our association. It’s relatively low, but we still have a tough time reaching our minimum. This is a common problem in many homeowner associations.

Meetings that don’t have a quorum must be adjourned and rescheduled at a later date. This costs the association money and creates more work for their teams. Further, achieving a quorum at a second meeting—if we couldn’t get one the first time—is even harder.

So, why bother to try again? Because the Home Owners Association board is legally obligated to conduct an annual meeting. It’s an important part of conducting association business. During the annual meeting, new board members are elected and the coming year’s budget is presented to the Carolina homeowners for approval. No quorum—no election, no budget. This means the current directors will have to continue serving until an election can be conducted. It also means that last year’s budget will remain in effect until a valid meeting (one with a quorum) can be held to approve a new budget.

Good news: You can be “at” a meeting in the Carolinas and across the country at the same time by signing a proxy! That’s how you assign your vote, in writing, to another person. Proxies count toward the quorum, so they’re very important to the association.

We ask you to complete a proxy form, even if you plan to attend the meeting. That’s just in case something comes up that prevents you from attending. And, when you do attend the meeting, your proxy will be returned to you.

Because proxies are so important to achieving a quorum, you may find us knocking on your door, calling on the phone, or even stopping you in the common areas asking you to sign a proxy form. We’ll do anything to achieve a quorum. Without it, we can’t do business, and eventually that affects you, the Carolina homeowner.

About The Association Attorney

About the Association Attorney

Community associations retain an attorney who specializes in community association law. Attorneys serve associations in several ways that protect and enhance each member’s assets. For example, they:

Ÿ Review documents: Review governing documents, rules proposed by the board and contracts with service providers.

Ÿ Provide legal opinions: Advise the board in all matters pertaining to the association.

Ÿ Collect delinquent assessments: Write and send routine demand letters, file liens, process foreclosures and litigate if necessary.

Ÿ Litigate: Litigate for collections, enforce deed restrictions and defend the board.

Ÿ Educate: Attend meetings to answer questions, explain concepts or documents and provide information to homeowners or board members.

Ÿ Enforce deed restrictions: Write and send routine demand letters, and file lawsuits.

Clarifying The Community Manager’s Role

Clarifying the Community Manager’s Role

Association management boards employ highly qualified professional community managers. It is often times helpful for residents to know what the manager has—and has not—been hired to do. A paid association manager has two primary responsibilities: to carry out policies set by the board and to manage the association’s daily operations.

Some residents expect the manager to perform certain tasks that are not part of their job. When the manager doesn’t meet those expectations, residents are naturally unhappy. Since we want you to be happy, we’re offering a few clarifications to help you understand what the manager does.

  • While the manager works closely with the HOA board, he or she is an advisor, not a member of the board. Also, the manager is not your advocate with or conduit to the board. If you have a concern, send a letter or email directly to the board.
  • The manager is responsible for monitoring contractors’ performance, but not supervising them. Contractors are responsible for supervising their own personnel. If you have a problem with a contractor, notify the manager, who will forward your concerns to the board. The board will decide how to proceed under the terms of the contract.
  • The manager inspects the community regularly, but even an experienced manager won’t catch everything. Your help is essential. If you know about a potential maintenance issue, report it to the manager.
  • The manager is trained to deal with conflict, but he or she will not get involved in quarrels you might be having with your neighbor. However, if association rules are being violated, the manager is the right person to call.
  • Although the manager works for the board, he or she is available to residents. That doesn’t mean the manager will drop everything to take your call. If you need to see the manager, call and arrange a meeting. If a matter is so urgent that you need an immediate response, call the association emergency number or 911.
  • The manager is always happy to answer questions, but he or she is not the information officer. For routine inquiries, like the date of the next meeting, please read the newsletter or ask a board member.
  • The manager has a broad range of expertise, but he or she is not a consultant to the residents. Neither he or she an engineer, architect, attorney or accountant. The manager may offer opinions, but don’t expect technical advice in areas where he or she is not qualified.
  • The manager does not set policy. If you disagree with a policy or rule, you’ll get better results sending a letter or e-mail to the board than arguing with the manager.
  • Although the manager is a great resource to the association, he or she is not available 24 hours a day—except for emergencies. Getting locked out of your home may be an emergency to you, but it isn’t an association emergency. An association emergency is defined as a threat to life or property.

If you’d like to learn more about how a community manager can help your neighborhood board, contact us at Southern Community Services for a free quote.