A neighborhood is any geographically localized community within a city or town. In Morrisville, neighborhoods are welcoming places where people have face-to-face interactions, socialize and work together. Many neighborhoods in Morrisville have Homeowners Associations (HOA) while others have Property Managers.
Purpose of an HOA
Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are typically formed to enhance the value of their communities by providing budget guidance for maintenance or repair of common space and other amenities, and organization of resident participation in neighborhood programs and events, and to enforce covenants drawn up by the developer. They often hold monthly board meetings to discuss issues and initiatives specific to the community. Committees are usually formed to review changes to architecture, plan events, and distribute information.
Purpose of a Property Manager/Management Company
Neighborhoods of single-family homes may use a Property Management Company to implement the decisions of the HOA by administering the services, programs and operations of the community association within the policies and guidelines established by the board of directors.
Neighborhoods of multi-family homes – such as condominiums, apartments and town homes – may be managed by a professional management firm or agency, that leases units and provides maintenance as well as organizing programs and events.
What laws do HOAs and Property Management Companies follow?
All homeowners within Town limits are subject to the Morrisville Code of Ordinances, which outlines rules for noise, abandoned vehicles, parking, etc.
HOAs are subject to the Town’s ordinances, as well federal and state laws. Beyond that, HOAs are required to publicly record CCRs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) which may include maintenance standards that require a higher standard of upkeep than the Town’s Code.
For example, covenants may require front yard landscaping for individual properties to have certain species or a certain number of plants while the Town just requires that the grass on any property does not reach a certain height.
Many covenants are very simple and are meant to protect a neighborhood from homeowners destroying trees or historic things or otherwise directly harming property values. Some can be more specific and strict, outlining acceptable colors to re-paint the home, exactly when holiday decorations are allowed to be displayed, automobile placement or repair on property, satellite placement, etc.
When does the Town get involved?
Occasionally, a resident will approach the Town staff or elected officials regarding an issue they have with their HOA’s covenants. More often than not, the Town has no authority to override the HOA’s decision. This is because North Carolina cities and towns gain their authority by General Statutes made by the Legislature. In Chapter 160A (relating to Cities and Towns) there is no authority for the Town to regulate homeowner associations.
The Town would respond to complaints from residents that observe a violation of our code of ordinances. We do not have the legal authority to directly enforce covenants in a neighborhood, but we can act if it has been determined that a direct violation has been made to the Town Code.
Disputes Between Neighbors
Another area in which the Town is not authorized to act is in private disputes between homeowners. For example, your neighbor may build a fence that you believe crosses over your property line. The Town would not be able to intervene in this matter, even if you had a survey that showed that the fence was built over the property line. It is up to the homeowners to resolve the dispute.
Keep In Touch
Whether you live in a neighborhood with an HOA or a management company, a single-family home, or a condo, the Town of Morrisville would like to stay in touch with the leaders in your neighborhood!
From time to time, staff will reach out to neighborhood leaders to provide information about upcoming projects or programs that may affect them, or that residents may want to know more about. We also provide information about programs and events that may be of interest generally to Morrisville residents or specific to your neighborhood. From time to time, participants may also be asked to provide the town with information (usually through a brief survey).
Those who receive these updates are encouraged to share them with neighbors via e-mail, Facebook, Nextdoor, or whatever mechanisms you use to communicate with those who live close by. If you are the president of an HOA, or a member of the Board, the Town strongly encourages you to join the Neighborhood Leaders list. Submit your information and keep in touch!