Our Association Management Group Practices Fair Debt Collection  

Our Association Management Group Practices Fair Debt Collection  

Our association makes every effort to work with homeowners in the Carolinas who are having problems paying their assessments. But sometimes people get behind on their payments. We want our homeowners to know that the association adheres to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), and we do not harass homeowners for unpaid assessments.

Carolina Community associations are required to collect assessments, which many state and federal courts consider to be debts. The FDCPA requires those who collect debts from individuals—like homeowners in a community association—to refrain from tactics that might be considered invasive. The FDCPA prohibits the association from:

  • Harassing you
  • Threatening you with violence or harm
  • Publishing names of owners who are delinquent or refuse to pay
  • Annoying you with repeated phone calls
  • Making false statements about you
  • Misrepresenting the amount you owe
  • Depositing your post-dated check early
  • Threatening to take legal action against you when we don’t really mean it
  • Providing your personal information to anyone else without your permission

The FDCPA also requires the association to notify you in writing about your delinquent assessments. This correspondence must state that it is an attempt to collect a debt, include the amount of the debt and the association’s name, and it must state that you have 30 days to dispute the debt in writing. If an association violates any of these stipulations, it could be liable to the homeowner for damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs.

For more information about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act practices in the Carolinas visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection.

Why Are Quorums Important To HOA?

Why are Quorums Important to HOA?

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.

Supporting The Efforts Of All Volunteers Of Community Associations

Supporting the Efforts of all Volunteers of Community Associations

Doing good may be its own reward, but most volunteers across the Carolinas would probably agree that it’s nice to be recognized for the time, effort, and commitment they’ve put into serving others—particularly in what can sometimes seem to be thankless roles.

Members of our community devote their energy and enthusiasm to making communities in the Carolinas the very best they can be. Most of the time they do this by serving in important board positions, in committees, and on neighborhood projects. Volunteers also help keep assessments down—every hour of volunteer work is an hour of labor the Southern Community Service Home Owners Association does not have to pay a service provider.

Below are some easy ways to show your neighbors how much you personally appreciate their hard work.

  • Keep an eye open for those featured in our newsletter’s Volunteer Spotlight. When you see them, introduce yourself and say “Thanks!”
  • Join us for our annual volunteer appreciation celebration. Help us honor those who have donated their time throughout the year, and have some fun.
  • Send an e-mail to a volunteer explaining that he or she is valued for stepping up.

As volunteers, your neighbors invest their time in projects that benefit you and the Carolinas. No association can thrive without them; so let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Have an idea for recognizing volunteers? Contact a board member and share!

Park West Reveals Michael Hurd, Jr. Memorial Park And Playground

Park West Reveals Michael Hurd, Jr. Memorial Park and Playground

Aril 27, 2017 (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) – The Park West Homeowners Association revealed a brand new, state-of-the-art playground and park honoring Michael Hurd Jr. at a dedication ceremony and unveiling on Saturday, March 25 at the Park West community park in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Hurd, who passed away in August 2016, had served as the general manager of the Park West subdivision for Southern Community Services (SCS) since 2014 and was an integral member of the community there. SCS serves nearly 180 HOA boards in the Carolinas and has worked with Park West since 2000.

Park West Park and Playground Unveiled

Park West celebrated the official unveiling of the Michael Hurd, Jr. Memorial Park and Playground on Saturday, March 25, 2017 during a dedication ceremony. Hurd, who became the Park West general manager through SCS in 2014, had been working on a brand new park and playground for the Park West community for almost a year. It is a climber play set, including multiple slides, rock climber, swings and springer seat, spanning 3,455 square feet.

“Mike spent his career with SCS making great improvements to the Park West community. The impact he had on his residents is immeasurable,” explains current Park West general manager Jessica Shipman. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to relive his happiness and honor his legacy by finishing out the playground project and hosting this benefit event.”

Donation Drive for Local Nonprofit Benefitting Abused and Neglected Children

Park West partnered with Windwood Farm Home for Children in Awendaw, S.C. for the dedication ceremony. Established as a private nonprofit in 1985, Windwood Farm provides help, hope, and healing through behavioral, educational, and therapeutic interventions which enhance social functioning and well-being, ensures safety, and works to achieve positive permanency for children and families in the community.

Guests and community members compiled eight boxes’ worth of donated supplies, toiletries and games for the local nonprofit organization.

“At the dedication ceremony, many individuals made donations of money, gift cards, household items, and personal needs supplies for distribution to families who are struggling to provide a safe and nurturing home to their children,” explains Windwood Farm director Debbie McKelvey. “Having partners in large neighborhoods who are willing to respond to a call to action when our needs are great makes an incredibly positive impact.”

 About Park West

Park West is a master planned development located in Mount Pleasant, S.C. minutes from downtown Charleston in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. With approximately 3,000 properties and roughly 7,500 residents, the 1700-acre Park West is the size of a small town, divided into 32 neighborhoods with 7 miles of bike and pedestrian paths, and acres of marsh and wetlands, as well as pools, tennis and volleyball courts, oyster tables and more.

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.TrustSCS.com.

Media Contact: Rachel Carter, Flock and Rally, 443-801-1171, Rachel@flockandrally.com

The Responsibility Of The HOA Board

The Responsibility of the HOA Board

Community associations are more than just a neighborhood. In many ways, it’s a lot like a business. Collectively, regular annual assessments amount to tens of thousands of dollars that need to be budgeted carefully and spent wisely. And neighbors who have volunteered and been elected to serve on the association’s board are responsible for making critical decisions—on the homeowner’s behalf—about managing the community and money.

An HOA board also develops long-range plans—like when the parking lot will need to be repaved and when the elevators will need to be replaced—about the parts of the community that are shared property. The board must set aside funds so that these kinds of projects can be accomplished on schedule or even ahead of schedule in the event there’s an unexpected breakdown.

The board also sends out requests for bids and contracts with vendors to do the work necessary to maintain our shared amenities. Board members decide who will do the best job of replacing the roof at the best price or who will be the most reliable company to hire to mow the grass and remove dead tree limbs.

The board’s decisions can have a significant impact on the community’s appearance and, consequently, on our property values. Regardless of our professional manager, the board ultimately is responsible for overseeing community association operations. Be sure to communicate with the board regularly, observe board meetings, and attend annual meetings to elect responsible board members and to participate in the conversations about significant community issues.

Southern Community Services Acquires Three New Homeowner Association Management Clients In Columbia, S.C. Area

Southern Community Services Acquires Three New Homeowner Association Management Clients in Columbia, S.C. Area

March 13, 2017 (Columbia, S.C.) – Southern Community Services, one of only six AAMC-accredited community association management firms in S.C., has added three new Columbia area communities to its growing client list. Southern Community Services (SCS) serves the HOA boards of nearly 180 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Details on the firm as well as secure, 24-7 online payment and document portals for homeowners can be found at http://www.TrustSCS.com.

Canal Place, located in Downtown Columbia, offers 110 single-family, detached homes. Right off of Park Street in Historic Earlewood, the community is minutes from the Vista and consists primarily of two-story homes ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 square feet. Each home will have a craftsman-style charm and amenities like a community pool and cabana.

Timberland Place is a well-established community in Lexington with a pool and a playground.  The Richland County School District One school choices and neighborhood charm create the foundation for family-friendly homes that range from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet. The community is conveniently located right by I-20 and I-26, which is just a short drive to get to other shopping, dining and recreational attractions.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the growth with SCS. My two newest clients are perfect examples of the diversity within our communities, and one of the reasons I enjoy being a community association manager with the company,” says SCS team member Victoria Robinson. “SCS specializes in accommodating the varying needs of our customers by remaining a forward-thinking organization with a very hands-on approach. Each community is unique and should be treated as such.”

Right by Columbiana Mall in Harbison, Bower Parkway has both residential and commercial condos. Offering up to 26 spaces total, these locations are perfect for upscale retail and living opportunities.

“It is a pleasure to watch SCS expand in the Carolinas,” notes SCS Vice President Mary Helen Settle. “Our home office is in Columbia, S.C., and we are thrilled for the opportunity to work with more neighborhoods, their owners and boards of directors to maximize the benefits of community association living.”

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.TrustSCS.com.

Southern Community Services Acquires Four New Homeowner Association Management Clients In Charleston, S.C., Area

Southern Community Services Acquires Four New Homeowner Association Management Clients in Charleston, S.C., Area

Feb. 27, 2017 (Charleston, S.C.) – Southern Community Services, one of only six AAMC-accredited community association management firms in S.C., has added four new Charleston area communities to its growing client list. Southern Community Services (SCS) serves the HOA boards of nearly 170 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods. Details on the firm as well as secure, 24-7 online payment and document portals for homeowners can be found at www.TrustSCS.com.

Royal Palms, a luxury-level development with easy access to shopping, award-winning schools and beautiful beaches, recently retained SCS for its community management services. Located in Mount Pleasant, the community offers 72 townhomes ranging from 1,785 square feet to 2,449 square feet, as well as more than 2 acres’ worth of amenities.
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Parkers Landing is part of the Rivertowne Country Club and also is located in Mount Pleasant. Close to downtown Charleston, the community provides homeowners with an 18-hole golf course and an amenity center with pool and tennis activities.

“I manage a wide variety of communities in the Charleston area and am excited about these additions to our portfolio,” says SCS community manager Emily Simpson, who has been with SCS for nearly two years. “Royal Palms is a tight-knit community, and I cannot wait to get to know the homeowners and board members.”

The Village at Park West is located in the successful, master planned Park West community. The homes are modeled after historic Charleston architecture and feature double porches and grand entrances. The properties can range up to 3,000 square feet and include the full array of Park West amenities.

Eagle Landing is located in North Charleston right across from SCS’ Lowcountry office on Rivers Avenue. The community has approximately 278 homes; SCS’ accredited professionals are excited about the opportunity to manage and improve the homeowners association.

“Our company is committed to growing responsibly, and part of doing that is our insistence that our community managers be accredited by the Community Associations Institute,” notes Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “We look forward to serving these new communities with the high level of professionalism and skill that our clients have come to expect.”

About Southern Community Services

Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.TrustSCS.com.

Peter Oh Joins Southern Community Services’ HOA Management Team As Staff Accountant

Peter Oh Joins Southern Community Services’ HOA Management Team as Staff Accountant

Feb. 8, 2017 (Columbia, S.C.) – Seung Jae “Peter” Oh joined the Southern Community Services team as a staff accountant in the company’s corporate office in downtown Columbia, S.C. Southern Community Services (SCS), one of only six AAMC-accredited community management firms in S.C., serves nearly 190 communities across the Carolinas, from multi-tiered master-planned communities to small, single family neighborhoods.

Oh holds a B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Accountancy from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He also has several years of staff accountancy with companies including Dong K. Noh Inc. – DBA Dong K. Noh CPA and A. Dowl Knight & Company, PC in Columbia, S.C. Oh’s professional experience and enthusiasm for the position make him well-equipped for the position.

“Peter is a very good addition to the accounting team in our operations group at Rice Creek,” says Ken Tamsin, CEO of SCS. “He comes to the table with the solid experience that our HOA boards have come to expect from our firm. We are thrilled with Peter’s decision to join the SCS family.”

SCS is entering its 17th year of providing professional business, governance, and community management services to homeowner association boards in communities of all sizes. Find out more at www.trustscs.com.

About Southern Community Services
Founded in 2000, Southern Community Services (SCS) specializes in the management of homeowner associations across the Carolinas, with a longstanding reputation as the leader in its industry. Staffed with accredited professionals who work diligently to accommodate the unique needs of each community, SCS provides turnkey solutions, state-of-the-art technology and decades of association management experience to boards, with senior-level involvement in every aspect of the business. Learn more about SCS at www.trustscs.com.

 

Winter Storm Watch In Effect

Winter Storm Watch in Effect

Dear residents,

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from late Friday night until Saturday afternoon.  Temperatures are expected to dip into the upper teens at night over the weekend.  Please be sure to take the necessary precautions in regards to freezing temperatures.

Home tips
Frozen pipes can lead to a big mess. Here are a few tips for guidance on avoiding weather-related disasters at home:

  • Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight, preferably through a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warmer air can circulate below the sinks.
  • Know the locations of your shut-off valves, in case a pipe bursts.
  • Shut off any outdoor spigots and bring in hoses

Plants
If you haven’t already taken steps to protect your plants, here a few ways to care for them during the cold weather:

  • Bring your smaller container plants, especially succulents, indoors. Mulch or cover outdoor plants with straw, blankets or cardboard.
  • Be sure to turn off automatic sprinklers, detach hoses from faucets and wrap the faucets to protect outdoor pipes.
  • Don’t worry if plant leaves wilt; they protect themselves against cold by dehydrating themselves. Given time, most will perk back up

Pets
Pet owners should take special precautions with their animals during freezing temperatures. It’s best to keep all pets indoors.

Cats will curl up against almost anything to stay warm, including car engines. Before you turn your engine on, check beneath the car or make plenty of noise by honking the horn.

Thanks for your attention and stay warm!

Thoughts Entering The New Year

Thoughts Entering the New Year

As we begin another year, the community association board wants to offer some thoughts about how we can improve our community in the upcoming year and beyond.

Responsibility. We all take responsibility for adhering to rules and meeting our financial obligations to the community so we can avoid the costly and unpleasant task of pursuing legal actions.

Sharing. We want everyone to share ideas, perspectives and concerns so we can work together to build an even better hometown.

Fellowship. We actively participate in the recreational, social and cultural activities of the community.

Involvement. Consider attending association meetings and taking the time to review important information about our community.

Inclusiveness. We actively welcome new residents, making all owners and renters feel part of the community.

Pride. We are proud to live in this homeowners association community and recommend it to others who are looking for a good place to call home in the Southeast.

We will certainly strive to do our part as members of the elected board. It’s our goal to serve as neighborhood facilitators and regard our authority as a temporary stewardship, even as we plan for a future well beyond our tenure on the board.

We wish you a happy and healthy new year!