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.

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.

What The Architectural Committee Does For You

What the Architectural Committee Does for You

Are you getting ready to make an addition to your house or build a new shed or fence in your back yard? Before you break out the miter saw, make sure to get your plans approved by our association’s architectural committee.

While it may seem arbitrary from an individual homeowner’s standpoint, the architectural committee looks out for the entire community. Aside from stopping residents from painting pink polka dots on their houses, the committee’s job is to make sure that the size and style of the project, the type of building materials being used and the overall look of the new structure adhere to the association’s design requirements. Not only does this keep the community looking cohesive, it also helps to keep property values up by preventing individual structures from standing out. Of course, it’s also important to note that unapproved structures might legally have to be removed at the owner’s expense, so save yourself money and headaches by getting approval before building.

When you’re ready to start your new project, or if the design of your project changes midway through building it, send your plans to the architectural committee first so that we can make sure they’re in compliance with the association’s design standards. If we do find any issues, we’ll let you know what they are and try to help you come up with other options. We appreciate all the hard work residents have done to make their homes and this community beautiful—help us keep this association looking great by keeping us in the loop of all your building projects.

 

How The Budget Committee Works

How the Budget Committee Works

The budget committee is comprised of members of your community association, which enables residents to have a say in how their money is spent. How does the budget committee work and who serves on it?

The Treasurer’s and Accountant’s Roles

It makes sense for the board treasurer to chair the budget committee. As chair, it’s the treasurer’s job to keep everyone on track as the budget is prepared. The treasurer also presents the budget for approval to the board and members. If the association works with an accountant, he or she may offer consulting, but the accountant really has no significant role in the process of devising the budget.

Who Should Be on the Committee?

The owners who serve on the budget committee should represent a cross-section of the community. Of course, if there are members willing to serve who have expertise in areas such as insurance, that’s even better. When it comes to size, a good general guideline is that the committee shouldn’t be so large that it becomes unwieldy.

What the Committee Does

The treasurer will make sure that all committee members understand the three basic components of the budget:

 

  1. Working with funds needed for daily operation of the community, such as common electricity and water, grounds maintenance, management, insurance, and general maintenance. These expenses are either contractual or can be reasonably estimated based on experience. An important consideration when looking at items in the operating budget is the expectations of the community—for example, do members want a landscaper who is a “blow, mow, and go” type, or do they want a landscaper who provides a higher level of service?
  1. Making sure funds needed to maintain our reserves are at sufficient levels. Reserve funds provide money for the repair and replacement of the community’s assets—such as the pool, roofs, pavement, etc.
  1. Keeping funds for additions or enhancements to the existing property. This is a function of what members of the community want and are willing to pay for. The community should provide input and approval for this component.

Armed with this knowledge, the committee will estimate total expenses for the coming year and compare that sum to the association’s potential revenue (assessments, interest on investments, concession income, and so on). If expenses are greater than revenue, the committee will look for ways to lower expenses without compromising service. If that doesn’t balance the budget, the committee may have to make a tough decision—whether to increase assessments or levy a one-time special assessment.