15 Dec Myrtle Beach Online: Legislators Pre-File Bills to Address Concerns with HOAs
Horry County Sen. Luke Rankin has pre-filed a bill that would require homeowners associations to follow essentially the same state laws on open meetings and public information as municipalities and counties.
It is one of three pre-filed bills aimed at HOAs, the other two coming from legislators in Richland and Lancaster counties. Additionally, other Horry legislators are working on bills they plan to introduce after the session gets underway Jan. 13.
Additionally, the state Realtors association has formed an HOA task force and is working to develop legislation that will become a major goal of the association’s legislative agenda in the upcoming session, one of the task force members said.
“It’s all over the state,” Randy Harrison, a task force member and immediate past president of SC Realtors, said of the push for some legislation regulating HOAs.
Both of the pre-filed bills and one that is being developed by other Horry legislators would provide for prospective buyers’ access to homeowner documents prior to closing. The lack of getting the documents before signing the mortgage was not an uncommon complaint among people who detailed HOA problems for The Sun News and was the primary focus for the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors becoming involved in the fray.
Rankin’s bill further would require that new HOA board members have four-hour training and all board members one-hour of continuing training each year. It also calls for state-certification of development managers.
Rep. Deborah Long, R-Lancaster, has pre-filed a bill that would require HOA boards to include increasing homeowner-elected membership at benchmarked completion stages of a development.
A bill pre-filed by Rep. Darrell Jackson, D-Richland, would among other things require that prospective buyers be notified that they would be joining an association and the fees and assessments they would be expected to pay.
His bill would additionally require that condominium buyers be told about the condition of things such as roofs, siding and other building maintenance items.
Sen. Greg Hembree and Rep. Greg Duckworth, both R-North Myrtle Beach, are working on bills to require that prospective buyers get HOA documents prior to closing, set a system of voluntary training for board members and designate magistrate’s court as the place where homeowner-HOA disputes could be resolved.
Duckworth said he had spoken informally with other members of the House freshman class about the HOA concerns in Horry County and the planned legislation to address it.
“Some of them understood,” he said, “and said ‘Yeah we have the same problems here.’ “
None said they would oppose the bills.
Duckworth said he’ll talk with Rankin about the similar goals with legislation he and Hembree plan and that was already filed by Rankin.
“I would think it would be good to have consensus from the delegation before running it up the pole,” he said.
Rankin, R-Myrtle Beach, said he feels that the bill he introduced touches on the main concerns he heard during an HOA hearing the delegation conducted earlier this year.
“The whole goal is to get it keyed back up and with some favorable language that doesn’t offend somebody,” he said.