Amendments to the Declarations of planned communities subject to the Planned Community Act must have the approval of at least 67% of the votes allocated by the Declarations. In most all circumstances, each lot has one vote meaning that there must be “Yes” votes cast by the owners of at 67% of all lots—not just the lots that vote. A lot that fails to vote is the equivalent of a “No” vote.
In an August 1, 2017 decision, Tanglewood Property Owners’ Ass’n v. Isenhour, et al., the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the duty of a property owner that has the right to use an easement in a subdivision to pay for a share of the cost of maintaining the easement. In this case a voluntary property owners’ association created prior to the Planned Community Act was awarded judgment against a lot owner who claimed that he did not use all of the roadway easement in a subdivision and was not a member of the association. The Court’s opinion restated the principle that the obligation to contribute to road maintenance can be calculated on a pro rata (per lot) basis without
Arbitration and mediation have become more common in recent years. The inclusion of one-sided arbitration clauses in consumer agreements with large businesses has taken away the ability of consumers to obtain legal relief in courts. North Carolina’s requirement that all civil cases in Superior Court be mediated prior to trial has successfully reduced the number of cases going to trial and has shortened the time to conclude these cases. Arbitration and mediation both involve settlement of disputes but are different in one important way. The arbitration process requires a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators to hear evidence from the parties and reach a decision that is enforceable just like a judgment obtained in a trial. On the other
Criminals posing as IRS officials continue to bilk unsuspecting citizens out of their money using scam telephone calls threatening to have you arrested for nonpayment of taxes. If you receive a call that you suspect is an IRS impersonation scam, contact the Treasury Inspector General for tax administration (TIGTA) at 800 – 366 – 4484 to report the call. Find additional information on avoiding IRS scam calls here.
Associations subject to the Planned Community Act are required to maintain property insurance on the common elements and liability insurance. If the insurance is not available, the Association is required to give notice of that fact to all lot owners either by hand-delivery or by United States mail. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-113.
Disputes sometimes arise when a mountain stream is a boundary line. Even though there may be a recorded plat showing metes and bounds of a stream boundary, the actual location of the stream prevails over the description in a plat.
As spring moves into summer, mountain residents and visitors spend more time in the outdoors taking advantage of our beautiful weather and scenery. Dog owners should be aware of the potential liability that may arise when your dog is allowed to roam free without any restraint. Many communities have restrictive covenants in their deeds requiring dogs to be kept in fenced yards or on a leash when off the owner’s property. Towns and counties may have ordinances with similar provisions. If you fail to comply with deed restrictions and/or ordinances and a neighbor or visitor is injured by your dog, you could be held liable for damages. Some breeds of dogs can cause you to lose your insurance coverage or
The death or incapacity of a member appointing a proxy does not affect the right of the corporation to accept the proxy’s authority, unless notice of the death or incapacity is received by the Secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate votes before the proxy exercises authority under the appointment. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 55A-7-24.
Filing a lien and pursuing a civil action are two options available to associations for collecting unpaid assessments and fines from delinquent lot owners. It is also critical that you carefully evaluate the costs and benefits to the association before electing to pursue foreclosure. Many associations attempt to file their own liens without the assistance of an attorney, but because there are very technical statutory requirements involved, many miss the mark. These mistakes are critical because filing an invalid lien can constitute slander of title for which an association may be sued, in addition to creating a permanent obstacle to collecting the unpaid assessments. Mistake #1: Not waiting long enough before filing the lien. General Statute section 47F-3-116 governs the
Incorporated associations must prepare an alphabetical list of the names of its members entitled to notice of a meeting, showing the address and number of votes each member is entitled to cast. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 55A-7-20(a). The list must be made available for inspection prior to the meeting and during the meeting. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 55A-7-20(b).