More rentals: HOA decision forces 180 families from NC neighborhood

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – About 180 families renting homes in a Raleigh neighborhood may soon be forced to uproot their lives and relocate due to a homeowners association decision.

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Mark Scearce is one of them.

“I love it here. I love the whole design of the place, ”Scearce said of the Renaissance Park rental. “It’s very practicable. Very friendly people around. It’s just a great place to live.

The Renaissance Park Homeowners Association board of directors plans to enforce a policy that requires tenants to vacate the South Raleigh community by July 1, 2022.

“I am close to retirement,” Scearce said. “I teach at NC State and would love to stay here as long as I can.”

Renaissance Park has had a limited no-hire, or “engagement,” policy since the community was built in 2006, but the developer hasn’t enforced it. When the developer transferred power to the newly formed HOA board earlier this year, the seven-member board decided to change that.

The Renaissance Park Master Association Board of Directors sent CBS 17 this statement:

“The goal of this council is to uphold community commitments in a way that is fair and equitable for all members, and to create reasonable expectations with an emphasis on the long-term value of the property. Regarding the recent issue of rental property in the neighborhood, we would like to answer some of the recent questions. The covenants were not created by the current council, but were established and registered with Wake County by Wakefield Development in 2006. All homeowners receive a copy of these covenants when they close their property.

Residents told CBS 17 they were caught off guard. Some have been renting at Renaissance Park for almost 10 years. Others have several houses and rent to family members.

Alex Brown and his wife own a house in Renaissance Park. Brown said the impact of the rental restriction will be widespread.

“The overall assessment of this neighborhood is that we don’t think it’s necessary,” Brown said. “Why was this the first commercial action that was taken? We have a number of other things that deserve our attention rather than going out and trying to essentially evict 200 families, let alone the possible burning of properties out of that. “

The Board allows homeowners to apply for what it calls “narrow exceptions” based on personal hardship. Board chairman Ron Boyd said members will meet in November to decide what that includes. On Wednesday, the board of directors granted an exception to a member of the military.

“It’s all subjective,” Brown said. “There is no transparency. There is no rubric for what is allowed, what is denied.

“If I want to praise, I basically have to be on my knees and begging, ‘Please let me go and take care of my parents.’ “

Homeowners who do not benefit from an exception and choose to rent out their home after July 1, 2022 will be told to relocate or sell their property. Homeowners who violate the policy will be fined $ 100 per day.

“It’s a little confusing having to think about uprooting and leaving when I found a place that is, like, a fantastic place,” Scearce said. “So, I hope they can fix this problem.”

CBS 17 contacted the City of Raleigh about its position on restrictive rental properties given the lack of affordable housing, but a spokesperson said they were not commenting on private organizations.

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