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House Measure Seeks To Help Residents With Homeowners Association Dues

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A House finance committee is set to hear a measure that could limit their powers. It also seeks to offer financial protection for neighbors struggling to keep up with homeowners dues.

In most planned communities, property maintenance comes at a price in the form of homeowners association dues. However, those fees sometimes can tax a family's income.

"I believe it's $200 every six months, which amounts to $400 a year," said Cary resident Kathy Bearden.

For homeowners who fall behind on their homeowners association dues, state lawmakers have a plan to help. A homeowners association reform measure seeks to cap late fees on dues and limit court costs in uncontested cases. The fees still have to be paid, but the measure gives homeowners some financial breathing room.

"If the (homeowners) association has to go to court, the court will award attorney fees, but they will be limited to $1,200 and not the $2,000 or $3,000 that sometimes happens now," said Rep. Paul Stam.

The measure also covers the display of the American flag in Triangle neighborhoods.

"The document states if they want to prohibit it, it's got to say that in big bold print," Stam said.

Stam said the majority of homeowners associations are run professonally. In addition to the cap on late fees, the measure also gives homeowners more information about how their money is being used.


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