On May 17th, 2018, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed into law the South Carolina Homeowners Association Act (SCHAA), South Carolina Code Section 27-30-110. This is the first time there has been significant legislation regulating various aspects of HOA governance and administration. The new Act requires HOAs to be more transparent, gives homeowners a new way to report complaints and problems with their HOAs, gives homeowners knowledge, educational, and reference materials about HOAs on the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs website, and allows magistrates to hear cases involving HOAs where the amount in dispute does not exceed $7,500.00. The pertinent bullet points of the Act are as follows:
- In order to be enforceable, all governing documents for the HOA must be recorded in the public records of the county where the property is located. “Governing Documents” means declarations, master deeds, bylaws or any amendments to the declarations, master deeds, or bylaws.
- Rules, regulations, and amendments to rules and regulations are effective upon passage and adoption but also must be recorded in the public records in the county of the property is located by January 10th of the year following their adoption and amendment. These rules and regulations must be made available to each homeowner upon request unless these rules and regulations are posted in a conspicuous place in a common area in the community or available on a website maintained by the homeowners association where they may be downloaded by the homeowner.
- In addition to The South Carolina Homeowners Association Act, Section 27-50-40(A) of the South Carolina Code has been amended to require sellers who are seeking to sell their property to disclose on the South Carolina Residential Disclosure Form that the property is governed by a Homeowners’ Association.