Homeowners associations in South Carolina will have to follow some additional rules imposed under a new state law signed by Governor Henry McMaster in a ceremony last week.
Act 245 requires homeowners associations to file their by-laws with county offices. It also establishes an office within the state Department of Consumer Affairs to handle complaints against homeowners associations.
The act’s chief sponsor State Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, R-Myrtle Beach, attended the ceremonial signing Thursday. Crawford is a realtor.
“The Horry County delegation had many town halls where we spent many hours listening to our constituents and our neighbors who had issues with out-of-control homeowners associations,” she said. “When I arrived in Columbia, I realized it was not just an Horry County problem. It was, in fact, a widespread issue from around the state.”
The law requires homeowners associations to keep records and comply with notice requirements before adopting annual budget increases. It also gives magistrate courts the authority to rule on monetary disputes between homeowners and associations.
“This legislation implements consistent guidelines and it will encourage good governance among homeowners associations,” Crawford said. “It’s an important first step in leading us in the right direction to provide uniformity and transparency in relief for the homeowner.”
McMaster called the bill a “great step forward. “It marks an improvement in communication between the association and the members. It’s plenty of information and never any miscommunication or doubt about the rules or how they’re enforced or what the records show.”
Click here for complaint information regarding homeowners associations from the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.