Greenville

Car Window tintingin Greenville, SC

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number 843-732-4325

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Certified paint protection film installation

Troop Films has been installing paint protection film for over 4 years now, and we are always improving our techniques.

Auto Tint Shop Greenville, SC

Trust the Troop Car Window
Tinting Difference

 Paint Protection Greenville, SC

In today's hectic, always-on-the-go world, having a car is essential for transportation around the city. It's hard to imagine life without a car. Without them, you wouldn't be able to make it to work, the grocery store, the laundromat, or important events like your children's sports events. Having a vehicle is a necessity these days because we use them so much, but many car owners don't make strides to protect their investment or what might be inside that investment.

Aside from purchasing an extended warranty for your car, one of the best ways to protect your car is with professional vehicle window tinting in Greenville, SC. What a warranty won't do, however, is boost curb appeal, reduce sun glare, block harmful radiation, protect your valuables, and provide privacy 24-hours a day.

At Troop Films LLC, we specialize in the finest ceramic window tints and certified paint protection films in South Carolina. We have been installing tints and paint protection film for several years and are always improving our techniques. As true window tinting experts, we have had the pleasure of working on so many different types of vehicles - from multi-million-dollar sports cars to junkers barely worth a grand. Doing so has allowed owner and certified installer Stephon Troop to refine his window tinting game and master techniques like clear bra installation. Today, he has a full-service team behind him, ready and waiting to serve loyal customers just like you.

Unlike some of our competitors, we take meticulous steps to ensure we provide the best work possible on your vehicle. We don't believe in taking shortcuts just to save a few cents. Instead, we go the extra mile to ensure all our customers are satisfied, whether it's completing special request projects or simply taking the time to ensure our work is done right. Whether you own a vintage Ferrari or a busted-up Ford, we aim to provide the highest quality car window tinting around.

When we say we're detail-oriented, we mean it. Here are just a few reasons why customers choose Troop Films for their car window tinting in South Carolina:

  • We remove vehicle parts like blinker covers to ensure dirt and grime aren't trapped.
  • We use computers to make sure your tint or coating is installed properly and precisely.
  • We remove emblems and badges so that we can wrap underneath them, giving your car more protection.
  • We wrap all edges of our ceramic window tints, so your job is seamless, and your tint remains effective year-round.

Curious about how we protect so many cars in South Carolina and the metro Greenville area? Expertise, customer service, and affordable prices are just the start. Our excellence starts at the top - here are a few words from Troop Films owner, Stephon Troop.

SERVICE AREAS

Meet Your Certified Vehicle Window Tinting Installer

Stephon and his wife, both originally from the chilly state of Pennsylvania, moved to Greenville, SC, for the warm beach weather and friendly Lowcountry residents.

Though Stephon now has many years of car window tinting under his belt, his training was completed under one of the best car window tint installers in the United States. Installing window tints, paint protection films, and ceramic coatings alongside during this time helped Stephon learn all the techniques and tricks needed to succeed. After training up north, Stephon continued to learn in Texas, where he became a certified paint protection and window tint installer. Since that time, Stephon has mastered even more car protection techniques to offer his customers a comprehensive list of services.

 Auto Tint Greenville, SC

Car Window Tinting
in Greenville, SC

Here is a simple truth: not all vehicle window tinting services are equal. Sure, you could spend a few bucks on a DIY window tinting kit, but going this route almost guarantees trouble. From unsightly fading to film bubbles, these offer the bare minimum in protection. With subpar quality, these kits also peel very quickly, causing you to spend more money to re-apply or have your tint professionally installed.

Speaking of window tinting services, few companies in South Carolina combine professional applications with the highest quality window tint film available. That's what sets Troop Films apart from other window tinting businesses - quality film, expert application, meticulous attention to detail, and the best customer service available.

Unlike some of our competitors, we use SunTek ceramic window tinting film, which is among the best in the industry. This technologically advanced product line provides outstanding, top-of-the-line films. With ceramic technology, infrared rejection and solar performance are enhanced, resulting in a non-metal construction that doesn't cause interference with portable or onboard electronic devices.

Our SunTek ceramic tint options come in a range of nine darkness levels. Each shade of tint has an ultra-attractive appearance, is non-reflective, and helps prevent color changes. With this fantastic film, you, your passengers, and your vehicle's interior are protected from 99% of UV rays from the sun. With outstanding infrared and heat rejection properties, your vehicle's interior comfort remains cooler and more comfortable all year long.

 Tint Services Greenville, SC

Most Common Reasons to Tint
Your Vehicle's Windows

Here are just a few of the most common reasons why South Carolina vehicle owners choose Troop Films for window tinting:

Privacy

Privacy

When we ask our customers why they want to tint their windows, privacy is often first on their list. When you begin to think about it, it makes sense. Why allow other drivers to invade your privacy when you can keep prying eyes off of your identity and personal belongings? It's not unreasonable to want privacy for you and your family while you're driving. You never know who you will pull up next to at a red light, and with our vehicle window tinting services in Greenville, SC, they don't have to know you either.

Style

Style

There's something inherently cool about having your windows tinted. Even if you're not trying to impress anyone with your car, having your windows tinted helps give it a refined, modern look, which enhances curb appeal. If you're getting tired of the way your car or truck's exterior looks, spice it up a little and bring it into Troop Films for professional window tinting. We think you will be happy with the results.

Comfort

Comfort

Have you ever sat down in your vehicle in the middle of summer, after it's been sitting outside all day? It feels like your car has turned into an oven. Sometimes, it can get so hot in your car that it's hard to grip the steering wheel. As you probably already know, summers in South Carolina can be brutal. When the temperatures heat up in the Lowcountry, your vehicle traps most of that heat, causing interior temperatures to reach unsafe levels. But when you have your windows tinted with Troop Films, your car will stay cooler in the spring and summer. With ceramic film, glare from headlights and streetlights is also reduced, meaning you can see easier without having to strain your eyes. More comfort and more safety - what's not to love?

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

When you think about car window tinting, most folks don't think about the health and safety benefits involved. But when it comes to you and your passengers, safety should be top of your list. High temps in your vehicle, usually caused by UV rays, are a safety concern not only for your skin and eyes but for your car's safety mechanisms. This is especially true for your airbags, which can be damaged and left inoperable when interior temperatures are high enough. Obviously, that's a huge safety risk.

Fading Dashboard

Fading Dashboard

Over time, your vehicle's dashboard will take a beating when your car is left out in the sun. The combo of harmful UV rays and high heat can ruin dashboard materials, leaving them cracked, faded, and in need of repair. Fixing your dashboard can be a costly endeavor. However, doing so can be avoided with high-quality ceramic tints from Troop Films.

 Ceramic Window Tint Greenville, SC

Certified Installer

Benefits of Vehicle Window Tinting
in Greenville, SC

If you're still on the fence about ceramic window tinting for your vehicle, consider
the following benefits of our SunTek films:

 Ceramic Coatings Greenville, SC
  • Unrestricted Communications - some window films contain traces of metals, which can cause interference with devices. Our metal-free films won't interfere with your cell phone, GPS, satellite radio, or other electronic devices that you use while driving.
  • Resistant to Color Changes - Our technologically-advanced window films are scientifically created to give you an attractive, non-reflective appearance without color fading.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty - You read that right - when you buy window tints from Troop Films, your products are covered by the manufacturer against peeling, adhesive failures, changes in color, cracking, and delamination. Some restrictions do apply.
  • Precise Installation - When you work with Troop Films, you can have peace of mind knowing your window tint will be applied seamlessly and accurately. That's because we have access to core pattern-cutting software that trims your window film tightly. With our precise installation, you can rest easy knowing your tint will fit the make, model, and year of your vehicle like a glove.

The Ultimate Protection: Car
Window Tinting and Paint
Protection Film in Greenville, SC

They say the first cut is always the deepest, and that's certainly true when it comes to your vehicle. Few things are as frustrating as getting out of your car, only to realize that a stray rock has dented your favorite car or truck. Dents and scratches from road debris like rocks and even acids from bugs all take their toll on your vehicle's overall appearance and value. Along with UV rays, "road rash" from winter salt, sand, rocks, pebbles, branches, and more will compromise your vehicle's integrity and can mean lower resale value.

If you're looking for total protection from heat and UV rays as well as road debris, we recommend car window tinting in Greenville, SC along with our paint protection film application. Paint protection film, also called your vehicle's clear bra, provides a shield of protection from road rash, preserves your car's paint job, increases its longevity, and can increase its resale value. Paint protection film is very useful for everyday use, especially if you're driving on the highway or simply want to protect your favorite car. Clear bras are also helpful for work vehicles, which often receive dents and scratches due to the nature of their work.

At Troop Film, our SunTek paint protection film is among the highest quality films in the industry. Common application areas include:

  • Vehicle Paint
  • Door Handles
  • Headlights
  • Rear Fenders
  • Front Bumpers
  • Mirrors
  • Hoods
 PPF Greenville, SC

Our paint protection films are completely reinvented products that merge the hydrophobicity of ceramic with premium, self-healing paint protection film. Common benefits of having your vehicle protected with paint film include:

01

Endurance

Your car's finish will stay flawless and fresh with our car protection films, which shield against salt, rocks, insects, and other debris.

02

Resistance

Our HydroResist top-coat protection boosts your vehicle's stain resistance by limiting dirt and water accumulation on your protection film's surface.

03

Self-Healing

It sounds too good to be true, but our films really do heal themselves by using the heat from the sun or your vehicle's engine.

04

Look Great

Our paint protection films are available in high gloss and matte finishes, leaving your car with outstanding optics and clarity.

Have Questions? We've Got Answers!

In addition to the highest-quality car window tinting products, our customer service team excels at answering any questions you may have. We're here to help in any way and can even help determine which kind of protection is best for your vehicle. Call, text, or fill out the inquiry form on our website. Before you know it, your car will be super-stylish and even safer to drive with the help of Troop Films LLC.

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Latest News in Greenville, SC

NC bank setting up second SC branch near Greenville arena

GREENVILLE — A North Carolina-based bank plans to set up a full-service branch next to Bon Secours Arena.First Carolina Bank bought the corner lot at the intersection of North Church and North Academy streets in downtown Greenville for $2.5 million, per public property records, and plans to open its second South Carolina location by the end of the year.“We’ve spent time in the market over the last 12 to 18 months, seeking out the location that we wanted to be,” President and CEO Ron Day said. “We r...

GREENVILLE — A North Carolina-based bank plans to set up a full-service branch next to Bon Secours Arena.

First Carolina Bank bought the corner lot at the intersection of North Church and North Academy streets in downtown Greenville for $2.5 million, per public property records, and plans to open its second South Carolina location by the end of the year.

“We’ve spent time in the market over the last 12 to 18 months, seeking out the location that we wanted to be,” President and CEO Ron Day said. “We really feel like we’re going to be a part of an enhanced front door to downtown Greenville.”

The vacant building on the less-than-an-acre lot was previously the home of Logisticus Group, a privately-owned transportation logistics company. In the past few weeks, the group moved to a space at 1000 E. North St., a marketer with Logisticus Nisha Patel said in an email.

The bank, with $1.8 billion in assets, plans to renovate the building by adding two drive-through lanes and an ATM lane. Presently, the main entrance to the structure is on North Church Street. The bank will make its main entrance on the backside, facing Bon Secours Arena, and maintain the other entrance for its commercial loan office.

The bank should obtain its permit to begin construction this month, Chief Operating Officer Kristen Brabble said. A construction crew put up fencing during the week of July 25 so renovations can begin as soon as the permit comes through.

The bank originated in Rocky Mount, N.C., and has spent the last few years adding locations in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. The latest locations opened in Columbia and Atlanta on March 14 and May 9, respectively. The Greenville location, which the bank plans on opening in late November or early December, will be the company’s ninth location. The bank will have $2 billion in assets by the end of year, Day said.

First Carolina has been in business in South Carolina for multiple years before opening physical locations, with more than $225 million on the loan business in the state. Close to $100 million of that is in Charleston, Day said.

Elaine Day, Ron Day’s daughter, will serve as the branch supervisor in Greenville. She holds a master’s degree from Clemson University and has lived in the Upstate for almost nine years.

The bank is actively recruiting for an Upstate market executive and expects to have that role seated by the third quarter of this year. Other roles may include universal bankers, a senior banking officer and a commercial loan officer. It expects a staff of six or seven at the location.

The bank has aspirations for more expansion in South Carolina.

“We haven’t initiated a search on real estate in Charleston, but we have had conversations with people, and we’re looking for that right person to sort of lead, spearhead that effort,” Day said.

Breaking down the South Carolina football running backs ahead of 2022 practice

South Carolina running backs coach Montario Hardesty has a feeling of positivity despite losing last season's two leading rushers to the NFL.Kevin Harris and ZaQuandre White, who both had eligibility remaining, combined for 70 percent of the team's rushing yards on 51 percent of the carries and scored ...

South Carolina running backs coach Montario Hardesty has a feeling of positivity despite losing last season's two leading rushers to the NFL.

Kevin Harris and ZaQuandre White, who both had eligibility remaining, combined for 70 percent of the team's rushing yards on 51 percent of the carries and scored six of nine rushing touchdowns.

Hardesty provided insight into the top four in his rotation with preseason practice starting Friday.

"I feel really good about the guys and it's a really competitive group where I'm excited to see those guys get going," Hardesty said. "We've got some things to prove this year with our guys."

MarShawn Lloyd

MarShawn Lloyd arrived to the program two years ago as the nation's No. 5 running back, but missed the 2020 season with a torn ACL. It's time to see if Lloyd, who had 228 yards on 64 carries last year, can live up to the initial hype.

"(Lloyd) has all the tools physically, and then mentally he understands the right way to work and what he needs to do to be a great running back. He does all those things the right way. Now it's just about putting it on the field and showing he can consistently be available for us. So far through the winter and summer it's been check, check and now it's time for camp. Me coming here with him already here was a great opportunity for me because I loved his game coming out of high school and I think he's all the way back and playing with a chip on his shoulder."

Juju McDowell

The sophomore from Leesburg, Georgia, had 52 carries for 248 yards last year and was a pleasant surprise.

McDowell wasn't expected to make much of a first season impact, but in the Week 2 comeback win over East Carolina, he got the crucial carries on the team's final drive that led to the winning field goal. He continued have a part in the rotation and also contributed 394 kickoff return yards.

"A lot of guys didn't know Juju," Hardesty said. "He's just a consistent player and he's added some strength to his game. He's always been a strong person pound for pound, but he might be the strongest guy on the team. He's a 385-pound bench guy, 500 squat guy. He's crazy in the weight room, so that strength allows him to be not the biggest guy you see out there, but he can run inside and outside and always runs physical. He's explosive and you can feel when he's out there. He brings a great energy and competitive spirit."

Christian Beal-Smith leads transfers

Two transfers will be in the mix led by fifth-year senior Christian Beal-Smith, who led Wake Forest in rushing each of the past two seasons and ran 391 times for 1,871 yards and 21 touchdowns in 43 career games. Lovasea Carroll, who was ranked the No. 8 running back entering college, initially committed to USC before playing one year at Georgia, where he was moved to defensive back.

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Beal-Smith was part of a program overhaul at Wake Forest similar to what the Gamecocks are trying to accomplish. The Demon Deacons went 19-16 in Beal-Smith's first three years before going 11-3 last season.

"The big thing he brings is he came from a team that totally flipped the culture and he's been a starter," Hardesty said. "He's a very smart player who runs a lot more physical than he looks. He's heavy with the ball in his hands and is a decisive runner. I really think he's going to help a lot with his pass protection. He knows where the blitz is coming from and he's really good with that part of the game. He brings some maturity to the room with Juju and MarShawn being two freshmen last year. He knows how to prepare and that senior leadership and maturity is going to be really good for us."

Hardesty said Carroll was eager for the chance to return to the position that made him a high school star and he's shown an eagerness to get back on offense.

"I was familiar with him at IMG (Academy), watched a lot of his tape and once he got into the portal I talked to him the very first night about the opportunity we had here for him as a running back," Hardesty said. "He's working on getting his timing back, getting things going and really getting that pad level low. He's got really good speed and he's a natural runner with good slashing ability and good hands out of the backfield. The spring was all about his transition back to running back and now just kind of keep developing those skills."

Reach Eric Boynton at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ericjboynton

SC’s 988 suicide prevention lifeline center sees influx of calls

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina’s only National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center says the number of people reaching out for help has nearly doubled since 988 number became operational.Mental Health America of Greenville County operates the call center.Executive Director Jennifer Piver said without steady, state funding they cannot add more workers to deal with the extra call volume.According to Piver, staff, volunteers and others have been doing a great job answering as many calls as possible du...

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina’s only National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center says the number of people reaching out for help has nearly doubled since 988 number became operational.

Mental Health America of Greenville County operates the call center.

Executive Director Jennifer Piver said without steady, state funding they cannot add more workers to deal with the extra call volume.

According to Piver, staff, volunteers and others have been doing a great job answering as many calls as possible during the last two weeks.

Piver said before the 988 changeover, the center was getting on average about 65 calls per day.

“Many people didn’t know about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This has brought more people to this service,” she said.

Data show the average pick-up time is 17 seconds. More data is below (MHAGC did not have data on texts or chats available yet):

Week 1 of 988

Week 2 of 988

According to Piver, they are looking at trends to utilize their staff in the best way possible.

Calls that aren’t answered in South Carolina are routed to a back-up center in another state. Piver said it could take up to a couple minutes for someone to answer. She wants to assure anyone who reaches out, their call will be answered.

“We know it’s hard to wait for help when you are in distress. We assure you that 24/7/365 there are hundreds of compassionate 988 workers throughout the US who are there and want to be a support to you via calls, chats, or texts,” Piver said.

State lawmakers allocated about $1.3 million for a second 988 call center in South Carolina to help keep calls in the Palmetto State.

The state Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) hopes to have that operational by the start of 2023.

You can also connect with state resources directly. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call SCDMH’s Mobile Crisis Team at 833-364-2274.

Piver said they’ll continue to work with local, state and federal partners for funding. She said they’ve spoken with members of the General Assembly about establishing a sustainable state funding method.

For more information on how you can help Mental Health America of Greenville County click or tap here.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255. You can also call SCDMH’s Mobile Crisis Team at 833-364-2274.

Drink Up Week specials in Greenville, SC

Cheers, GVL. It’s officially #DrinkUpGreenville week. From cold brews to cocktails, we’re celebrating our beverage community all week long.Here are 10+ drink specials to start sippin’:You’ve had a cocktail, but what about a “beertail?” Southernside is serving up five beertails, each made with one of their in-house brews + a spirit, like the Unity Park Beer-garita, featuring Unity Park (Cream) Ale, simple syrup, lime, orange juice, and ...

Cheers, GVL. It’s officially #DrinkUpGreenville week. From cold brews to cocktails, we’re celebrating our beverage community all week long.

Here are 10+ drink specials to start sippin’:

You’ve had a cocktail, but what about a “beertail?” Southernside is serving up five beertails, each made with one of their in-house brews + a spirit, like the Unity Park Beer-garita, featuring Unity Park (Cream) Ale, simple syrup, lime, orange juice, and Lunazul Blanco tequila. Also try The Black Pearl, Whiskey Sour, Trust Your Fate, and Most Known Unknown.

Get your pub + play on with Undisclosed Girl Scout Cookie, a cocktail that tastes like a coconut cookie or go for all the flavor of a classic cocktail minus the alcohol with the non-alcoholic Old Fashioned.

Grab a cold brew blend of Rwandan + Colombian coffee or a cascara, a fruity, hibiscus-like iced tea made from the dried coffee cherry (not the seed) — visit their tent at the Greer Farmers Market Tues., July 26 or the Travelers Rest Farmers Market on Sat., July 30.

Start your day with a throwback to the 1950s with a modern twist — an Orange Julius Cold Brew: house-made cold brew made with Methodical Coffee’s “Pink Lady” Beans, sweetened with Mountain Goat’s signature “Old Fashioned” simple syrup (an infusion made with fresh orange juice and zest, cinnamon and rosemary), and topped with a scoop of Clare’s Creamery “Orangesicle” ice cream.

Wrap the day with a Pomegranate Rosé, featuring a 2021 “Côtes de Thau” french rosé and topped it with a splash of sparkling pomegranate juice + two house-made ice cubes that melt and disperse fresh berries and rose petals as you enjoy this summer sipper.

Celebrate Eagle Mountain’s first anniversary + Drink Up Week with two new wines: A Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine and a Rose of Pinot Noir. The winery will donate $2 to Habitat for Humanity for every bottle sold of Blanc de Blanc + $2 to Cancer Survivor’s Alliance Park for every bottle sold of the Rose of Pinot Noir.

You don’t need a sunrise to enjoy some tequila. Cool off with the 21 Seeds Tequila Valencia Orange Hibiscus Agua Fresca, shaken + garnished with fresh lime.

Master Mixologist Baileigh Wilson’s created three new cocktails to try at each of the hotel’s bars — all of which are made with Six & Twenty Distillery double-made gin:

People watch from a swing outside Paloma (@paloma.gvl) with a Paloma 76

Catch views of downtown Greenville while sipping on the Ballroom Spritz

Sink into the week with a Slightly Passionate

Toast to Drink Up Week with five new cocktails, each made with a different Six & Twenty spirit, like Tuesday’s “No Vacancy,” made with Six & Twenty’s Old Money Whiskey, house grenadine, lemon, mint, and campari. Get a taste of the Lavender Lemon Drop on Monday, Palmetto Peach Lemonade on Wednesday, the Oak & Honey Old Fashioned on Thursday, the Carolina Colada on Friday, and all five on Saturday.

Looking for a non-alcoholic way to cool off in the summer heat? Sip on one of Saltwater Kitchen’s infused waters, with flavors like Blueberry Lime Mint, Lemon Peach + Strawberry Basil — each carafe is $10 and serves four people.

Celebrate Drink Up week + Wellborn Winery’s fifth year with live music from the 1950s-1970s featuring Bobby Blakely and his buddy “Elvis” Sat., July 30 from 3:30-5:30 pm. Plus, enjoy their July special: Buy one bottle of rosé, + get the second half off.

Snag a summer sipper from Greenville’s first cider tap room, the cider mule in a mason jar — plus, enjoy 4-for-$4 cider flights.

Iron Hill’s pouring up Dankonia, a New England-style hazy IPA with notes of pineapple, tropical fruits, and hops.

Brew up a cup of Methodical Coffee at home by buying a bag from the Six & Main shop.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #DrinkUpGreenville on social media + tag @GVLtoday for a chance to get featured.

All promotions are subject to change — make sure to follow each business’s website and socials for the latest news. Cheers, Greenville.

Drink Up Week Playlist

Whether you’re sipping on a craft cocktail, cold beer, glass of wine, cup of tea, or hot latte, you deserve a playlist. We asked about your favorite drinking songs and you (sign, sealed) delivered. Cheers, GVL + check out our official playlist below for this week’s Drink Up Greenville festivities.

The wild west of homeowners associations in South Carolina

Michael Cassar has been locked in a costly, two-year legal dispute with his homeowners association over three steps he wanted to build off his backyard deck in an upscale Greenville neighborhood. And now he gives newcomers here a heads-up.“If you’re buying a home in Greenville and it’s under 20 years old, there’s probably 90% chance it’s going to have an HOA,” the local real estate agent says.With Greenville ranking among the nation’s ...

Michael Cassar has been locked in a costly, two-year legal dispute with his homeowners association over three steps he wanted to build off his backyard deck in an upscale Greenville neighborhood. And now he gives newcomers here a heads-up.

“If you’re buying a home in Greenville and it’s under 20 years old, there’s probably 90% chance it’s going to have an HOA,” the local real estate agent says.

With Greenville ranking among the nation’s 10-fastest growing cities, HOAs are coming under increased scrutiny, according to people who live in them, people who manage them and lawyers involved in them.

HOAs adopt and enforce community standards, codified in covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, and bylaws. Membership is required. So is due diligence, stakeholders say.

Bruce Braun, president of the five-member HOA board at Montebello, a gated Paris Mountain community where Realtor.com lists homes for sale in the $800,000s, calls HOAs a “constitution.”

“It’s an extension of my house, the way I take care of my own home. I want to make sure that our community, all of our common area, are maintained on a similar level,” he says.

But disputes happen, and those sometimes boil over. Consider Cassar’s case.

In February 2020, he submitted a request to the HOA to add steps that would extend 3 feet into the 60-by-120-foot lot of the custom home he built for around $800,000 in 2016 in a Hollingsworth Park neighborhood in Verdae.

Neighbors claimed that, even though Cassar says the HOA’s architectural-review panel had approved his plan, the stairs violated the Braydon Homeowners Associations’ CC&Rs.

Next came lawsuits, mediation involving a half-dozen lawyers, heated exchanges with members— and legal bills he says amounted to some $75,000 for both sides.

He blames the situation on over-zealousness. “I think it’s when people take a little bit of power, they become tyrannical,” he says.

Eric Kohorn, vice president of association management at NHE, calls those people “condo commandos,” but when it comes to purchasing a home in an HOA, he says, “It’s buyer beware.”

From his Greenville-based firm that manages more than 80 community associations in 15 Southeastern states, he encourages buyers to vet HOAs with the same care they give to closing documents their real estate attorneys are required to provide.

Bailey Parker, director of public information at the state Department of Consumer Affairs, also advises prospective HOA members to know thy neighbor.

“This may seem creepy, but go door to door and talk to people,” she says. “Just knock and say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking of buying the house across the street or in this neighborhood. How do you like the HOA?’”

Hers is the only state agency involved in HOAs, but its job isn’t regulatory; it can only monitor and field complaints and attempt mediation.

Therein lies the problem, Kohorn and others say.

“My observation about South Carolina is that it seems to be very libertarian and just everybody gets to do whatever they want to do as long as it doesn’t hurt somebody else, and the state prefers to just let them litigate,” says Kohorn, who has been in the property management business for 16 years.

Kohorn worked in Alabama and Florida for 13 years before moving to Greenville in 2019. He cites the latter state as the premier source for regulatory standards.

“When it comes to HOAs, it’s kind of the wild, wild west here,” he says.

He points to the Florida Community Association Act, which runs 52 pages. Among its many requirements are that HOA board members must obtain state certification within 90 days of their election and condominiums must produce an annual FAQ document for prospective owners.

In 2018, the same year Florida’s rules took effect, South Carolina adopted the Department of Consumer Affairs Services for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations Act. Only the title is longer than Florida’s Chapter 720; the Palmetto state’s law runs five pages.

That lack of regulation “creates kind of a vacuum where things can happen that don’t normally happen in an HOA” in the Sunshine State, says Kohorn.

Take, for instance, the case of Nicholas Galipeau, a property manager who embezzled from 10 Greenville-area HOAs over three to four years. In 2019, Galipeau, then 36, owned Commercial Management Co.

He ultimately turned himself into Greenville County sheriff’s deputies after admitting he had stolen money to salvage his other company, a lawn-maintenance business, according to an arrest report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

He provided authorities with a handwritten list of the subdivisions and his loot: $720,659.76, the report shows.

“It was never my intention to have this go so badly, but I take full responsibility for my terrible judgment. It has literally cost me everything,” Galipeau is quoted as saying in the report.

What might prevent something like that from happening?

“Regulation. It’s as simple as that,” says Simon Kaye, owner of Community Management Partners. “It needs to be state-level regulation.”

Echoing Kohorn, he adds: “I would pull the whole Florida HOA code, put it in South Carolina. There’s a lot more transparency between the board, the homeowners and the management company.”

William Swent, attorney for the Braydon HOA in the Cassar case, says has no sympathy for those who move into HOAs without doing their homework, but he also doesn’t buy the argument that there is a need for state regulation.

“I’m a big believer in the private marketplace, especially when it comes to real estate rights and encumbrances,” says Swent, a partner in Greenville’s Fox Rothschild firm.

A homeowners association, he says, is “nothing short of democracy.”

“It’s the collective conscience of the community, flexing its muscle,” Swent says. “I don’t know why we need to regulate that because some one person was offended at collective will.”

Kaye and Kohorn say they have approached state lawmakers about creating more oversight; the Greenville Journal reached out to six legislators in Greenville, Horry and Richland counties, and only two returned calls; those representatives spoke off the record about their distaste for more regulation — and for HOAs in general.

“It is a complete cluster,” Kohorn says. “If you just wrote a comprehensive HOA statute and condo statute and regulated the management companies and the boards, I think a lot of people’s perspective on HOAs and the way things go in the state would change overnight.”

What is an HOA?

Residents in homeowners associations adopt and abide by covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, designed to maintain property values and community standards — for instance, no multihued mailboxes or cars on blocks in the yard.

Operating as nonprofits, the associations also levy dues to finance common-area maintenance and upkeep of community amenities such as pools, clubhouses, tennis courts and the like. Monthly dues nationwide average $250 per household, according to iPropertyManagement, a clearinghouse for property management resources and research.

HOA boards also have the power to enforce all manner of rules, from architecture to landscaping, from fences to garbage cans and more. HOAs can disallow or limit pets and can even determine specific breeds. Some covenants can even tell you whether you can leave your car parked in a driveway and whether a guest’s car can stay on your property overnight.

As an example, the Cliffs Valley and Cliffs Valley North CC&Rs document runs 80 pages.

You can access properties’ covenants and restrictions through Greenville County’s Register of Deeds. HOAs, as nonprofits, are also registered with the state, and you can find them through the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office.

The state gives the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs no regulatory authority but requires the agency to collect data on HOAs. In 2021, the DCA reported only eight complaints from Greenville.

This year, statewide, the DCA reported:

Source: South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Homeowners Association Complaint Reports

In 2020, South Carolina was home to around 7,000 community associations, with more than 1.3 million people, or about 25% of the people in South Carolina, living in one. Roughly 80% of new homes sold in 2020 are located in HOA communities, up 7.5% year-over-year.

From 1970 to 2020, community associations across the country grew from 10,000 to 355,000, with planned communities accounting for 61%, condos 36% and cooperatives 3%.

In South Carolina’s HOAs, 45,500 association board and committee members volunteer $47.1 million worth of their time to manage homes valued at $114.2 billion.

Costs for association operations, physical-asset management, major repairs and replacements, capital improvements, conservation, and sustainability run $2.5 million in the state.

Sources: Community Associations Institute (South Carolina chapter), the Foundation for Community Association Research and iPropertyManagement.

HOA resources The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs provides ample literature and YouTube videos for consumers.

Literature

How Does an HOA Know What It Can or Cannot Do?

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Contact Information

(800) 922-1594 Toll free in SC (803) 734-4200

293 Greystone Blvd. Suite 400 Columbia, SC 29210

Mailing Address: PO Box 5757 Columbia, SC 29250

The Community Associations Institute’s 2022 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey found:

Source: Foundation for Community Association Research video

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