Lawmakers work to pass 2 bills to regulate HOA

Published: Jan. 19, 2015 at 11:38 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2015 at 2:05 AM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Lawmakers plan to meet this week to go over two draft bills regulating homeowners' associations but some homeowners would like to see some changes.

"I had no idea it was going to be like this," said Marvin Faine. "If you ask most of the homeowners here, if we knew it was going to be like this... more than likely, we would not have bought here," he added.

Faine has lived in the Oceanwalk community for about 18 months. The past 18 months that he says, have not been easy.

"Even if they had told us the covenant from the start, I wanted to live in this community but I wouldn't agree with what they've done with it," Carol Martucci said.

Martucci, like Faine, lives in the Oceanwalk community.

While the bills lawmakers are drafting right now do confront these issues, some homeowners are asking, 'what if they already own the home?'

"You don't want somebody putting a car up on blocks and leaving it for six months, that's an eye sore. So rules and regulations are good. But, I think along with that you have to use common sense and I don't think that's always the case with HOAs," Faine said.

Some say living with HOAs can be difficult if you're not able to see, meet, or talk to the people passing out the rules, and when a community isn't finished, like the Oceanwalk, those people are often the builders -- a party the bills don't mention at all.

"They won't give us an email, they won't give us a phone number. We asked for that a year ago in march when we held the first annual meeting," Faine noted.

Not being able to contact the community leaders directly has some on edge.

"They're hiding something," Martucci began. "I think if somebody asks me for something, I go and find it and get it. I think when they don't have it, or they can't produce it immediately,what does that mean, why don't you have it?"

"That's a little ridiculous. The management company works for us, we pay them, So we should be able to do whatever we need," Faine added.

The Oceanwalk's management company, was out of the office for the MLK holiday and could not comment. But as Faine says, they are the middle men in this game too.

"Certainly we have to have a little more say with what goes on versus the builder, he said. "Because they are going to be in and out of here after a period of time...Most of us are going to live here forever," Faine concluded.

Some residents would also like to see the bill be retroactive for at least a year. What the bill does offer at this point are consequences for those who don't abide by the rules. For those who don't abide would face a misdemeanor charge, a fine of at least $100 and 30 days in jail.

For the first bill, Bill s.13, click here and click "full text."

For the second bill, Bill s.18, click here and click "full text."

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