Homeowners associations are the subject of many horror stories, but they can also be quite beneficial. Still, you should be aware of how much control it actually has over you and your home.
The North Carolina Planned Community Act governs most HOAs and limits the authority they may have over you.
Application of the act
You should note the full act only covers HOAs developed after January 1, 1999. Only parts of the act apply to those created prior to that date. It also does not apply to those organizations with fewer than 20 lots or with only commercial lots.
Notable specifics of the act
The North Carolina Planned Community Act seeks to ensure fairness within HOA governance. The act makes it clear that the HOA cannot create any rules or laws that do not comply with or try to override state law. It also requires any amendments to bylaws to have 67% of the votes to pass.
It gives the HOA power over common elements and regulation of them. It does allow the charging of fees but limits them based on the type of situation. The act restricts the power of board members. For example, they cannot make unilateral decisions impacting the community without input from members.
The act dictates an HOA must have at least one meeting of members per year. During votes, multiple-owner lots only need to have one owner present who can vote for all owners. And any lots owned by the HOA have no right to cast a vote.
Despite the law giving guidelines to how HOAs may operate, the state does not control your organization. You should always read through the bylaws and covenants before you buy a home located under the jurisdiction of an HOA.