SC Governor Signs Bill Allowing Remote HOA Meetings
House Bill 4049 was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster on May 19, 2023. As originally proposed, the Bill did not allow proxies or apply to special meetings.
The SC-LAC worked with key legislators to propose changes to the Bill to provide for more general ability of homeowners’ associations and condominiums, as nonprofits, to hold virtual meetings. In fact, the legislature not only approved all changes proposed by the SC-LAC, but expanded them to cover business corporations as well.
The law allows most SC homeowners’ associations and condominiums to conduct virtual membership meetings and for the members of each to participate remotely, including voting by electronic methods. The board of directors of any HOA or condo would be able to determine whether, and to what extent, virtual meetings will be used and what procedures may apply.
For a copy of the text of the bill:
CAI Involvement Requested As Legislators Draft Condo Structural Stability Legislation
The SC-LAC has been asked to assist the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee in formulating legislation to address the structural stability of condominiums in this State.
The importance of these steps cannot be overstated, as the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Florida in 2021 spurred states across the nation to look closely at the problems that contributed to the building’s collapse. Recent news from Horry County, where a condominium was ordered evacuated, has also brought attention to this issue here in South Carolina.
A House subcommittee hearing was recently held on the structural stability of condominiums in South Carolina. Peter Kristian, a long-time SC-LAC member and industry leader, was invited to testify at the subcommittee hearing. His testimony was particularly well received by the committee. As a result, CAI’s resources and expertise have been requested by various legislators as they seek to tackle this issue here in this State. Meetings with various stakeholders, including CAI, are expected to begin in late summer or early fall.
SC-LAC 2023 (125th) Legislative Session Update 5/25/23
The Community Associations Institute South Carolina Legislative Action Committee (SC-LAC) has been working hard on your behalf to make changes to the law that will improve the lives of the persons that live in and serve community associations as well as to stop negative changes. We are happy to report that no negative bills made it out of committee this session. Here are our current results and SC-LAC’s positions on the respective bills.
Bills That Did Not Pass
The following bills did not pass out of committee and, therefore, will not become law this session:
S.118 (Assessment Statement Fee Timeframe & Fee Cap) – Oppose – This bill requires provision of a binding unpaid assessment statement within 10 days for a real estate closing. Further, the bill restricts the fees associated with providing such a statement to $100 and an additional $75 if the statement was demanded within 48 hours. SC-LAC opposes restrictions upon the provision of services for associations as well as governmental fee caps on such services.
S.282 & H.3930 (Moved the Beach Restoration & Improvement Trust Fund Under the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism) – Support – This bill places the Beach Restoration & Improvement Trust Fund under the authority of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Further, it requires funding for annual monitoring and evaluation of erosion rates. SC- LAC supports maintaining South Carolina’s beaches.
S.421 (Requires Free Use of Common Areas for Events and Prohibits Clothing Restrictions) – Oppose – This bill would require associations to allow residents to use common areas at no charge and without insurance for the purpose of assembling in any manner, which would arguably include parties. This bill prohibits rules that impose clothing restrictions in common areas without limitations for clothing that would be lewd, revealing, damaging to pool components, or otherwise inappropriate. The bill authorizes civil penalties of $500 for each violation. SC-LAC opposes governmental restrictions that strip associations of the right to self-govern and would expose community residents and property to harm.
S.422 (Prohibition Against Solar Panel Restrictions) – Monitor Closely – This bill prohibits restrictions against installation and utilization of solar panel systems that cannot be seen from the street or a common area. While the bill allows for architectural control, the LAC is concerned about amendments that might be proposed if the bill moves forward. The bill’s author has promised to involve CAI if interest in the bill arises. SC-LAC generally opposes governmental restrictions that strip associations of the right to self-govern the aesthetics of their communities and protect the interests of all unit owners to enjoy their property in the manner agreed upon when purchasing their homes.
S.508 & H.4064 (Multifamily Dwelling Safety Act) – Support – The Multifamily Dwelling Safety Act would establish requirements for inspection of wooden balconies of multifamily dwellings to ensure the balconies are in a safe condition. SC-LAC supports maintenance of common area components in a manner that protects the safety of residents.
H.3090 (Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act) – Neutral – This bill would enact the Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act in South Carolina. While this bill is not specific to community associations, it could potentially impact a few associations that are unincorporated.
H.3180 (Prohibits Foreclosures by Homeowners Associations) – Oppose – This bill would strip homeowners’ associations of the ability to foreclose and leave them with only a lien right. SC-LAC opposes any legislation that restricts or otherwise precludes an association from collecting the assessments needed to maintain a community.
H.3253 (Prohibits Cities and Counties from Enacting Short-Term Rental Restrictions) – Oppose – This bill would prohibit cities and counties from enacting and enforcing short-term rental restrictions. SC-LAC opposes legislation that would preclude cities and counties from enacting short-term rental restrictions applicable to the unique nature of the respective cities and counties.
H.3258 (Prohibits Homeowners Associations from Restricting Political Signs) – Oppose – This bill would preclude homeowners’ associations from adopting and enforcing rules restricting political signs and does not contain an exception for lewd and defamatory content. The bill is very vague about how large a sign can be. SC-LAC opposes governmental restrictions that strip associations of the right to self-govern their communities and main community standards in the manner owners agreed upon when purchasing their homes.
H.3259 (Requires Distribution of Operating Budget to Owners and Dept. of Consumer Affairs) – Oppose – This bill would require distribution of an association’s operating budget annually and a quarterly distribution of all expenditures to all unit owners and the Department of Consumer Affairs. SC-LAC opposes the imposition of unnecessary expenses, such as the expense of distributing financial information quarterly that most owners will not read, and unnecessary government oversight over associations. The DCA has no direct authority over HOAs.
H.3493 (Coastal Structural Stability Study Committee) – Support – This bill resolves to create a committee to examine current measures for inspecting high-rises along the coast for structural soundness. The House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee has rejected establishment of a study committee and instead proposes meetings with CAI, developers, engineers, contractors, insurers, municipalities, and other stakeholders to devise legislation to address condominium structural issues throughout the state. SC-LAC supports measures that will help maintain the structural integrity of buildings and avoid tragedies like the one that occurred in Surfside, Florida.
H.3568 (Prohibits Expenditures Not in Budget; Prohibits Payment of Owner Utilities by Associations) – Oppose – This bill would prohibit an association from expending funds on matters not identified in the annual budget without additional notice to owners, which is patently impractical since budgets are merely estimates. Further, the bill would require associations to transfer control and payment of unit utilities from an association to an owner, which would result in exorbitant costs to unit owners caused by the need to change utility installations. SC-LAC opposes impractical restrictions on daily governance as well as changes that would result in substantive increases in costs to homeowners without any benefit.
H.3775 (Right to Fly South Carolina Flag Along with U.S. Flag) – Support – This bill would allow owners the right to fly the South Carolina flag in addition to their existing right to fly the U.S. flag and require HOAs to allow flag poles. SC-LAC has proposed amendments it deems necessary, but the bill has not received any traction. SC-LAC supports building a sense of community by showing support for the United States of America and the State of South Carolina.
H.4119 (Unilateral Removal of Unlawful Restrictive Covenants) – Oppose - This bill would allow an owner to unilaterally remove restrictive covenants against their unit and record a new instrument where such covenants are held to void by the South Carolina Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court; or in violation of the acts prohibited by Chapter 21, Title 31. While SC-LAC supports the unilateral removal of unlawfully discriminatory covenants, SC-LAC does not support an overly broad, vague, and ambiguous ability to remove covenants.
Please Support SC-LAC!!!
As you can see, SC-LAC’s efforts make your communities safer, reduce costs to associations, and prevent harm to your associations. SC-LAC would not have the ability to influence the political affairs of our state without the efforts of our excellent lobbyists, Mr. Graham Tew and Mr. Drew Clawson, and our team of volunteer LAC members. It is imperative that we keep our lobbyists on retainer to continue to achieve success at the legislature. Thank you for your donation to support our work!
- Or you may call our Chapter Executive Director Raymond Dickey at 888-445-7946 and donate via credit card.
- Or donate by check payable to South Carolina LAC and mail to: SC-CAI, 7 S. Essex Ave. #217, Margate City, NJ 08402.
- All associations are encouraged to contribute “A Dollar A Door or More” to SC-LAC. See donation form below.