South Carolina Homeowners Association Act of 2018
After years of proposals and negotiations among South Carolina state legislators, new legislation affecting Homeowners Associations was signed into law by Governor Henry McMasters and took effect May 17th, 2018. Some provisions of the new law won’t apply to HOAs organized as non-profit corporations such as River Walk. Other provisions will apply to River Walk, incorporated as River Walk Recreation Association LLC.
Transparency: Until this year, HOAs have only been required to file covenants with the county for public inspection. This despite the fact that there are other important documents that a prospective homeowner would want to inspect before buying a home governed by an HOA. Going forward, all documents adopted by South Carolina HOA’s must be recorded in county public records by January 10th the year after adoption or they are unenforceable. River Walk Covenants require an affirmative vote of a majority of homeowners, not just board members, to change and have been in effect unchanged since 1987. River Walk ByLaws can be changed by a majority of property owners present at an annual or special meeting and River Walk Rules and Regulations can be changed by a simple majority of the board of directors. These documents have been revised multiple times.
Dispute resolution: The SCHA Act says that local magistrate courts will handle monetary disputes between individuals and his or her HOA.
The Department of Consumer Affairs Services for Homeowners and Homeowners Association Act (DCA Act). Another change is that the Department of Consumer Affairs will now handle complaints filed by homeowners concerning the governance of their South Carolina HOA. After receiving a complaint, the Department of Consumer Affairs will provide the complaint to the HOAs board of directors. The board of directors will then submit a response. The Department of Consumer Affairs must file an annual report that informs the South Carolina General Assembly about complaints and responses received.
Full text of the South Carolina Homeowners Association Act