Homeowners, HOAs battle at General Assembly

Posted January 23, 2012

— Dozens of angry homeowners came to a public hearing at the General Assembly Monday to ask lawmakers to tighten regulations for homeowners associations.

HOA boards have the power to put liens on homes or foreclose on them if owners don't pay their membership dues and fines. Homeowners who spoke Monday said some boards are abusing their power, misspending funds and pursuing personal vendettas.

Irene Thiele, who owns a house in Cary, said her HOA contract was changed after she bought her house to add services she never agreed to, doubling her fees. She has been fighting it in court, but she said she wants more state oversight.

Other speakers suggested adding a homeowners' bill of rights to state law.

Representatives of homeowners associations said they don't want any changes and told lawmakers that HOAs maintain buildings, roads and pools and protect property values for all homeowners. They say liens and foreclosures are the only tools they have to enforce their contracts and that stricter regulations will make that job more difficult.

Legislators made a few changes to the state's HOA laws last year, such as giving homeowners more time – 90 days instead of 30 – to pay off assessments before an HOA can start foreclosure proceedings on their property. Lawmakers could consider even bigger reforms when they come back to Raleigh for the short session this summer.


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  • soyousay Jan 24, 2012

    it a personnal choice you sign on you have to live with in and I can't image that they can just change the rules without some type of meeting first.

    oh but they can, and they can change the rules without notice. Like Barney Fife with a gun, a dangeroous combination. They need to be reined in.

  • eddybal Jan 24, 2012

    To me HOAs are the answer to a problem that doesn't exist.

  • rogsilhol Jan 24, 2012

    HOAs' suck. I live in rural Johnston county and we just elected a new adminstration. Our HOA incoporated illegally in 2008 and they were been doing business as usual up until November of last year. We waited four years to get the bun holes out and replaced them with someone who can read and understand what was written into the convenants. We were handed our HOA paperwork after we closed on the house and never before. I found out later out HOA officers had prior experience with other HOSa that they were apart of before moving from the cold tundra northern states. Remember lawyers made these laws and they are the main developers of these properties.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Jan 24, 2012

    I regret buying in an HOA neighborhood even though ours is run fairly well. I will be downsizing when our high schooler graduates and don't ever foresee myself living under another HOA...

  • Bob3425 Jan 24, 2012

    To simple: I never will buy an house where someone else can tell me what to do, it a personnal choice you sign on you have to live with in and I can't image that they can just change the rules without some type of meeting first.

  • Tarheel born Jan 24, 2012

    Unless you have served on an HOA board you have no idea of how unpaid fees affect the operating budget of the association. If you don't like the board, vote 'em out. If you don't like the structure of the HOA, move. Without strict regulations, you would soon find your property value in danger. When you moved into an association condo/townhouse/neighborhood, you knew the existence of the board. Generally, the board has the best interest of the group as a whole, not one or two individuals. I was president of my association for eight long years. I finally got sick of all the complaining and I resigned in July. To date no one has stepped up to be president and we have had no meeting since July. Is that how you want your HOA to operate. Someone has to be the point person or you become like the government, a big fat mess.

    DITTO. I serve on my HOA Board because I wanted to make sure our home values stay as high as possible. I do not and will not cater to the individual who wants to v

  • thewayitis Jan 24, 2012

    HOA's should not be able to change the rules after you've bought your property.

  • Wendellcatlover Jan 24, 2012

    I'm sorry, but there is absolutely NO WAY an HOA should be able to foreclose on your home simply because you haven't paid your dues. That is absolutely ridiculous!!! Thank God I live in the country and my neighborhood has no HOA. Our neighborhood is doing just fine without all those stupid regulations telling me I can't paint my house a certain color, can't fly my American flag, and what kind of mailbox I'm allowed to have! RIDICULOUS!!!

  • citizensoldier16 Jan 23, 2012

    HOAs should be voluntary. If you want access to the pool, the tennis courts and the clubhouse, you pay dues. If not, you pay nothing. Private property is exactly that...private. If I choose not to support the $10k per year fountain at the entrance to my neighborhood, I shouldn't have to pay for it. I didn't put it there. HOAs in this state need to be HEAVILY regulated, and again...completely voluntary.

  • westernwake1 Jan 23, 2012

    "I don't like HOAs and live in a remote area. But a lien is only payable when the property is sold. If you have half the owners not paying dues, what good are liens?" - storchheim

    On the other side - What good is foreclosure in terms of helping cash flow for an HOA. Normally the foreclosure process takes two years and many times the HOAs land up not being paid after legal fees etc.

    At least a lien will be paid when the property is sold and costs very little to put into place.

    The big issue with HOAs today is that many overreach their powers as individuals on the boards institute new regulations that target their neighbors in personal vendettas. This leads to inappropriate foreclosures and other absurd situations.