HOA Disputes May be Submitted for Voluntary Community Mediations if House Bill 278 Becomes Law

Matters relating to real estate under the jurisdiction of a condominium or homeowners’ association (HOA) about which the condo association or the HOA and a member or members cannot agree or from which a dispute arises may have an opportunity to submit the dispute to a neutral mediator, for a nonbinding mediation session, before formal proceedings and litigation are commenced by the parties, if a recently introduced bill becomes law in the North Carolina General Assembly.

House Bill 278 was introduced March 12, 2013, by State Representatives Deborah Ross and Duane Hall, both of Wake County.  The bill proposes to establish a voluntary pre-litigation mediation process for resolution of HOA disputes by local community mediation centers.  Disputes covered by the bill include those arising under Chapter 47C of the General Statutes (the North Carolina Condominium Act) and under Chapter 47F of the General Statutes (the North Carolina Planned Community Act) or under an association’s declaration, bylaws, or rules and regulations.

The mediation would be initiated either by an HOA or a member/owner.  Certain disputes related solely to a member’s failure to pay timely an HOA assessment or any fines or fees associated with the levying or collection of an association assessment would not be eligible for mediation under the proposed law.