A bill making sweeping changes to laws regulating community associations is on its way to Governor Henry McMaster's desk, where he is expected to sign the legislation. House bill 3886 was Community Associations Institute's (CAI) South Carolina Legislative Action Committee's (LAC) focus of the 2017-18 session. The CAI SC LAC worked with Senator Tom Davis throughout the legislative process to make this bill as amiable as possible to community associations in the state.
The final version of the bill provides the following:
All community associations (planned communities, HOAs, and condominium associations) must record their rules and regulations with their clerk of court or county register of deeds office by January 10, 2019, and each year following. The section reads in part:
“Rules, regulations, and amendments to rules and regulations:
are effective upon passage or adoption,
must be made accessible to a homeowners association member upon the request of a member of the homeowners association, and, at the option of the homeowners association, via electronic mail or through methods provided by the homeowners association's bylaws that ensure actual notice, unless they are:
posted in a conspicuous place in a common area in the community,
available on an Internet website maintained by the homeowners association, where they may be downloaded by the homeowner.
To continue to be enforceable, any governing document not recorded prior to the effective date of this section must be recorded by January 10 of the year following the effective date of this section in the clerk of court's, Register of Mesne Conveyance (RMC), or register of deeds office in the county where the property is located.“
Property owners are to be notified of a meeting where the association board is contemplating a change in the annual budget. However, if the community association is incorporated and subject to the provisions of the South Carolina Non-profit Act this requirement for notification does not apply. Most all community associations are Incorporated Nonprofits and are subject to the Non-profit Act.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is authorized to receive complaints from members living in a community association and complaints from community associations about a member for data collection purposes only. The bill does not give the department any power to “promulgate regulations or issue guidelines concerning homeowners' association administration, governance, or governing documents; or serve as an arbiter in disputes between the homeowner and homeowners association."
Property owners who are selling their home must disclose to prospective buyers that “…the property is subject to the governance of a homeowners association, which carries certain rights and obligations that may limit the use of the property and involve financial obligations."
The CAI SC LAC is grateful for Senator Davis's support throughout the process to push forward legislation that accounts for most of the state's community associations who provide their members with an excellent home buying and community living experience. Senator Davis is owed a huge debt of gratitude for his support throughout this process.
2017-18 H3886 text link: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/3886.htm