Horry County is taking a leading role in complaining about homeowners associations.
A 2018 law change made it where complaints against homeowners associations would be tracked by South Carolina’s Consumer Affairs office. The first report was released Wednesday. Horry County was second for most complaints.
The report tracked complaints from June 1 to the end of the year. There were 92 complaints filed to the state. Eighty-six individuals filed complaints against 48 holding companies, some of the complaints reported were duplicates.
The law change was voted on in May and intended to increase transparency in HOA operations. Nonprofit and for-profit HOAs were subjected to different rule changes.
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Broadly, the changes include making HOA bylaws public to potential home buyers, more required notice on meetings and decisions, and gave South Carolina more authority in fielding complaints against the HOAs and their holding companies.
While the law changes asked for reports on complaints, the S.C. General Assembly did not give the office the power to investigate the complaints filed. The law went into effect Jan. 1.
In the report, Horry County had 12 complaints, making up nearly 14 percent of the total. Richland County came in first with over half of the complaints. Greenville County came in third with about 10 percent of the complaints.
Neighborhoods with a listed complaint in Horry Couunty include Barefoot Resorts (Tuscan Sands HOA), Seagate Homeowners Association, Timber Ridge Village HOA, Charleston Lakes HOA, Waterford Plantation, Bluewater Villas HOA, Fairwood Lakes HOA, Dunes Pointe HOA, Hunters Ridge The Crossing HOA and Roaxanne Towers POA.
Both in Horry County and across the state, most of the complaints stemmed from “failures to uphold bylaws” or to hold regular meetings. According to the Consumer Affairs office, this 2019 report shows a sharp increase in HOA complaints since the law changes required complaints to be reported. Over the course of three years prior to June 2018, the department only had 167 complaints on record.
Nearly 13 percent of the complaints were not properly filed with a questionnaire about the HOA. Another 2 percent were marked ”unsatisfied,” meaning the business or holding company did not respond.
The full report can be found online on the Consumer Affair’s website.