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Expected Upkeep Enforced by our Community Association Management Firms

The staff or volunteers you occasionally see walking around your community with clipboards or tablets are your association’s covenant 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 the 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 taken to more extreme measures. The most serious cases may end up in court, though we try very hard to never get to that point.

Your association’s covenant enforcement officers perform a vital function, so please treat them with courtesy and respect. If you have any questions about the rules, the officers can explain them to you. Your association manager and board members are happy to listen and respond to any concerns.

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

Questions and Answers about Parking

Q: Why don’t we have enough parking?
A: Developers want to build as many homes possible to make the most money, so they often allot the fewest parking spaces required by law. Unfortunately, that leaves your homeowners association to deal with the shortage.

Q: Why can’t we park on the street?
A: The HOA’s roads are subject to local regulations that specify the space needed for access by emergency vehicles. When cars are parked on the street, there isn’t enough clearance for fire trucks to maneuver.

Q: Why do we have to park our SUVs and trucks out of sight?
A: Our governing documents were created by people who were unable to anticipate today’s lifestyles. Who knew 30 years ago that SUVs would replace station wagons as the standard family vehicle and trucks would become passenger oriented and even luxurious? Until our documents are amended, we’re obligated to abide by this requirement.

Q: Why do I have to register my car with the HOA?
A: The association’s registration system allows the community association manager to match vehicles with residents. In the case of an emergency, we can contact you. It also allows the HOA to identify nonresidents who are parking in community spaces. Be sure your parking pass is clearly visible at all times.

Q: It seems the parking lot loses another space to handicapped parking every day. Why so many?
A: It may look like a disproportionate number of spaces are reserved for handicapped parking, but for each space there is a resident in need. The Fair Housing Amendments Act makes it unlawful to “discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap of that person.” The ‘provision of services or facilities’ includes providing reserved parking. When a resident requests a handicapped parking space, the association makes every effort to reserve one. Not only does federal and state law require it, but it’s also the right thing to do.

Q: What gives the HOA the right to tell me where and how to park?
A: When you purchased your home, you entered into a contractual agreement with the HOA to abide by its covenants. Those covenants include bylaws that empower the board to adopt and enforce rules they believe are necessary for everyone’s good. The parking policy explains the parking rules and specifies procedures for enforcing them; not only is the board allowed to develop the policy, it’s legally obligated to do so.

Q: Why don’t we just assign reserved parking?
A:  Parking spaces are a type of property called common elements. That means all spaces are owned commonly by everyone, and everyone has the right to use them. Another type of property is called limited common elements. Like parking spaces, limited common elements are owned by everyone, but not everyone can use them. They are limited to one owner. Patios and balconies are examples of limited common elements. Assigning reserved parking would effectively change the property status from common element to limited common element, which goes against the governing documents and the property rights. Before assigning reserved parking, the governing documents would have to be amended. This process is complex, expensive, lengthy and it requires approval by all members.

Q: Why can’t I use my parking pass for an inoperable vehicle?
A:  Parking rules disallow inoperable vehicles for the simple purpose of keeping the community looking nice. Even covered vehicles give the appearance of neglect.

Q:  Why was I cited for a vehicle that complies with all the association’s parking rules?
A:  Sometimes the association tickets vehicles considered a nuisance. These are vehicles that consistently leak oil on the common areas, emit excessive exhaust or gas fumes, are excessively noisy or are otherwise inconsiderate of others. These situations result when your vehicle is in poor repair.

Q: Why is the visitor parking area always full? It’s frustrating for my guests.
A: The guest parking area serves as overflow parking for the residents. The association regrets the inconvenience for your guests, but this arrangement guarantees that you always have a parking space for yourself.