To the South Carolina legislature: Give us a law to protect homeowners in developing communities.
Enact this fair and simple law that will protect thousands of homeowners in this state. It’s the right thing to do!
Jo Ann Koffman, Mike Truland, and Judy Slade - ChangeTheBoard.Org
Indian Land, South Carolina
As homeowners in a community of older residents in Indian Land, South Carolina, we find it unnerving, even a little frightening, that this state has no laws to protect us from a developer’s negligence, mismanagement, and abuse.
As of December 1, 2014, our developer has completed and closed on 87.5% of the total homes in our community to owners like ourselves.
We homeowners pay over $6 million a year in dues to our Homeowners Association, (HOA). Yet, for 8 years, we had no say whatsoever in how our community is run or how our money has been spent. That’s because 100% of the control of our community was in the hands of the developer of our community.
Unfortunately, Our Community Has Been Mismanaged
The Board of Directors of our HOA has consisted of a group of the developer's employees who set our annual budget and the dues we pay each month to our HOA. Owners had ZERO input to the matter. During those 8 years, the developer, the developer-appointed Board of Directors, and the developer-controlled property manager continuously botched our resources. Here are examples:
And in some cases, our Board bought their way out of their muddles with the money we homeowners paid in HOA dues.
As Homeowners, We Have Been at the Mercy of Our Developer
The HOA Board of Directors consisted of five of the developer's employees. Extensive research of our HOA records shows the indefensible management style continuously used by the developer and the developer-controlled Board over the preceding 8 years:
Believe it or not, all this is currently legal in South Carolina.
Unlike 31 or more states, South Carolina has effectively NO laws regulating and protecting homeowners of detached homes from developer-controlled HOAs. And we now know the problems of negligence, mismanagement, and abuse are evident not only in our community, but in other communities in South Carolina.
A developer can mismanage a community, collect the profits, move on to their next project, and leave homeowners to clean up the mess. And it's all legal.
This must change!
Proposed Solution: A Fair and Simple Law Granting Protections that 31 Other States Already Provide
South Carolina must have a law to protect homeowners in developing communities—a short, simple law that gives elected homeowners a seat on the HOA Board of Directors in proportion to the owners’ financial investment in the community.
Such a law would then give homeowners the opportunity to perform the due diligence needed to wisely manage an HOA.
Only then will homeowners be assured that their homes are safe and their finances wisely protected.
Owners in a community must have a voice in our governance in proportion to our ownership in a developing community.
Click here to see the law.
To read the comments (Annotations) on the law, click here.
Homeowners Statewide Have Suffered from Abuses by Developers
The Charleston Regional Business Journal published an article recently regarding issues arising during transition of a Folly Beach development to its owners association. To read the article, click here.
With less costly consequences, another developer secretly subsidized HOA expenses. The developer completed his job and moved on. Owners were left with a sudden and sizable surge in monthly HOA fees.
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