Q: We have a board that has changed the parking rules in our homeowners association. Isn't it true that once it has initiated the rules, it has to present changes to the homeowners for their approval or denial?
A: The answer is no. The board does not need homeowner approval for rules and regulations. As long as the rules and regulations are consistent with the association's governing documents and as long as the homeowners were notified that the board was planning to discuss and vote on the proposed rule changes, the rules would be valid.
Q: My question concerns the board's responsibilities during a recall petition. Recently, myself and other members of my association petitioned to recall one of the five board members. The association sent the ballot to each member along with a letter signed by the other four board members stating that they felt the recall was not warranted. They also stated that the membership should not recall the director.
Can the board take sides in a recall election? By doing so did they violate its fiduciary responsibility?
My problem is that they mailed this letter out with the ballots at the association's expense and that they did not allow an opposing view letter to be sent at the expense of the association, even after being requested to do so. I thought that board members are to remain neutral in a recall election. It just seems that the board used its position and power to influence the outcome of an election. Any help would be appreciated.
A: You should submit your complaint to the state ombudsman office. Per NRS 116 laws, the board did have an obligation to present an opposing view.
Since the board decided to take a stand and send its opinion to the membership not to recall the director, it would not have been difficult for the board to contact any of the signers of the petition to allow a letter of support of the recall to be simultaneously included with the ballot.
If the reader takes this complaint to the ombudsman office, there is a very excellent chance that the board would be required to repeat the recall election and to allow the opposing position to be sent to the membership.
Q: I am on the board of a homeowners association. We have a general meeting followed by the executive board meeting. The meetings are held in the offices of a property management company. The owner of the property management company records the meetings on a tape recorder for later print out. The owner also does the same in the executive board meeting. Our secretary does not do this function. I am unsatisfied with this arrangement.
I would like to discuss entertaining proposals from other management firms, but feel ill at ease when sitting in their office, and the manager is taking the notes. Shouldn't the executive meeting just be the board members only and the board secretary record same?
A: You are not required to record the executive meeting of the board, and I would not recommend it. There is nothing in the rule book that requires the management company to take the executive meeting minutes or to be a part of the executive hearing process.
In general, management companies can properly guide the board during its hearings and deliberations. As to discussing the possible termination of the management company and obtaining bids, you are required by law to hold such discussion in an open board meeting. If you are uncomfortable holding your meeting at the management company's office, then make arrangements to hold the meeting at the library.
Barbara Holland, certified property manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. To ask her a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.