Almost everybody who has bought a home in an urban/suburban area built in the last 30 years is familiar with a “Homeowners Association (HOA).” They either live in one, or know somebody who does. They also probably have heard a HOA horror story or experienced the wrath of an overly aggressive HOA themselves. This “Bad Bill of the Week” hits a triple in restricting competition and raising costs, expanding government and not really solving the problems of HOA’s running amok.
House Bill 762/Senate Bill 516, Community Association Managers Licensure, (the House version by Rep. Pryor Gibson, D-Anson, the Senate version by Sen. Neal Hunt, R-Wake) would require “mandatory licensure of persons who provide community association management for compensation is necessary…” As with most licensure bills this one institutes a strict regulatory body for oversight and regulating Community Association Managers. This body will require fees to be paid, will decide who gets a license, and who does not, and will decide who offers “continuing education.” It also decides who gets paid for educational service among a myriad of other details.
What it also will do is require every single “…community association whose membership includes the owners of 20 or more residential condominiums, town houses, apartments, or lots or any combination thereof” to register with the state and pay a $50 fee every year. This is not small change for a state that has a big budget hole they need to fill.
What it does not do is allow an HOA to let one of its members act as the association manager in return for not paying their HOA dues. The exceptions only allow that “an officer or member of a community association who, for no consideration or expectation thereof, performs the acts or services of a community association manager.” Not paying homeowners dues could be taken as a “consideration” so all of the small HOA’s out there minding your own business, register with the state, hire a “licensed community manager” and get in line or the state will be knocking on your door!
Finally on the subject of “run amok” HOA’s. The problem in all but a very small number of cases is not the management of the HOA; it is the governing board of the HOA that oversees the manager that is responsible for the governance of the HOA. The way that governing board is elected and operates is already well regulated through contracts and law, and the oversight of the voters within that HOA. Licensing, regulating, taxing and whatever else the state decides to do with “Community Association Managers” will have no effect on this.
Another expansion of State Government and more restrictions on individuals earning a living is why HB 762/SB 516 earns the “Bad Bill of the Week” honor.