South Carolina HOA Laws and Regulations
Know your association’s laws
Know your association’s laws
Homeowners’ associations in South Carolina are not governed by any specific government regulations. Condominium associations must obey the SC Horizontal Property Act, but these rules do not explicitly apply to HOAs. HOAs in South Carolina typically choose to be incorporated entities, most registered as non-profits and are therefore subject to Title 33 relating to Corporations, Partnerships, and Associations, along with the Nonprofit Corporation Act.
Because there are no formal regulations regarding HOA management, rules can vary drastically between communities. Homeowners’ associations have the power to create and enforce as many or as few regulations as they deem appropriate as long as they do not contradict any state or federal laws. HOAs must disclose regulations to homeowners before the purchase of property within a common interest community. Once the property is purchased, homeowners are obligated to follow any regulations set forth by the association.
The primary purpose of the HOA is to provide maintenance for all common elements within the community and to protect property values. To create a budget to manage these expenses, the association has the power to collect regular assessments from homeowners.
It is the responsibility of the association board of directors to maintain detailed records and make them reasonably available to any association member upon request. These documents shall include:
Financial statements are to be prepared annually and sent to all members. Reports must be mailed no more than 120 days after the close of the fiscal year.
Homeowners have the right to vote in elections for the board of directors and amendments made to the articles of incorporation or community bylaws. All voting is to take place during member meetings which must occur annually, if not more frequently. Special meetings may be called by the board of directors or by 10% of the votes allocated to association members unless otherwise described in the articles of incorporation. Notice for all meetings must be sent by the board of directors no less than 10 days, but no more than 60 days before a member meeting is to take place.
The articles of incorporation will describe the number of votes allocated to each homeowner. This number may vary between communities.
Any amendments made to the articles of incorporation or the community bylaws must be filed with the secretary of state to take effect. Amendments to the articles require a 2/3 vote from members. Amendments to the bylaws can be adopted by the board of directors alone unless it is otherwise stated in the articles of incorporation.
HOA rules in South Carolina vary widely. It is important to read and understand all community regulations before purchasing property in an HOA-managed community. Most homeowners’ associations require the signing of a contract upon purchase.