By Paul Gable
A public hearing on Homeowner Associations (HOA) is being held by the Horry County Legislative Delegation tomorrow night.
This is the time to begin public input on much needed, possible state legislation by the S.C. General Assembly to make HOA’s answerable to the homeowners they purportedly represent.
With the rules and financial decisions it makes, an HOA board serves as a virtual mini-government for the property owners in the sub-division it represents.
Are the financial statements open and subject to review by the homeowners or does the board and/or management company put stumbling blocks in the way of seeing how money is spent?
If your HOA is organized and registered as a non-profit corporation, as many are, it is required to file a Form 990 with the IRS each year that details revenue and expenses. According to federal law, the form must be available for viewing by anyone during normal office hours. Neither the HOA nor the management company may legally hide this information from you, although some may try.
Often a HOA board member or two will form a close association with the management company, virtually assuring its contract renewal. If the management company has divisions or associated companies that get all the maintenance, landscaping, pool and the like contracts, this can be a very lucrative deal.
Does your HOA board represent you or does it really represent the management company?
These and similar type issues should be aired in public at tomorrow’s hearing. You, as a HOA member pay the fees. You should certainly have some real voice in how they are spent.