Q: I have lived in this townhouse community for more than 10 years, and so far we have had only one woman who has volunteered for the secretary/treasurer position. Each year, we mail ballots for president, vice president, etc., with no response. Apparently we are not allowed to decided which position we would like someone to fill. This woman does. She appoints every position and her job is never up for election.
Besides this, she is constantly changing/updating the rules mostly against families with children. Homeowners have become very disgruntled and feel like we have no say as to what goes on here. What steps do we need to take to remedy this situation. I would love to have an audit done on this person and get a petition started to have her position replaced by someone else.
A: Make a telephone call to the Ombudsman Office at the Nevada Real Estate Division on East Sahara Avenue. Tell them you have a complaint that you would like to make pertaining to the management of your association.
As to the lady who is serving as your secretary/treasurer, if she is a board member, her term would be regulated by your governing documents. She would have either a one, two- or three-year term. She would be required to become a candidate to run for election. There are no term limits, so she could continually run for board each time her term is over. Now in some associations, their governing documents allow a nonhomeowner to be an officer such as a secretary/treasurer. You will have to check the covenants, conditions and restrictions or bylaws on this matter.
As to the election process, the homeowners elect their board of directors, and the board elects their own officers. She does not have the right to appoint which directors will serve what positions. This is a board decision and a board vote.
Rules can only be changed by the vote of the full board. Rules must be consistent with your covenants and bylaws. In addition, the state law requires notification to the homeowners of rules to be voted upon at an open board meeting.
If you believe an HOA is discriminating against families and children, then you need to call to the local Department of Housing and Urban Development office. Discrimination in housing against families and children is against the law And in this case, your association is not a senior community, which has different regulations pertaining to age eligibly restrictions.
Depending upon the amount of your annual budget, your association may be required to perform an audit if the annual gross assessments total is $150,000 or more. If the annual budget is $75,000 or more, your association would require a financial statement. If your annual budget is $45,000 but less than $75,000, then a financial statement is due during the year immediately preceding the year your reserve study is due. (Nevada Revised Statutes 116.31144).
All of these issues ycan be discussed with the Ombudsman Office.
Q: One of our HOA board member has an access gate with lock and hinges at the rear fencing of her property at a defunct golf course. She had this swing gate installed professionally, so she can enter and leave her home at her convenience. She and her husband planted two 8-foot trees on golf course property. My wife and I asked her if that was legal? She replied, “No one told me not to.”
This is in violation of the codes. We our not allowed to cut or remove a dead plant or bush on private property or construct a swing gate. I complained to our master association only to be told “If the golf course owners want to take action they can.”
I believe our HOA board member does not enforce violations because she is guilty of serious violations herself.
A: You can contact the Nevada Real Estate Division to file a formal complaint. It will want you to identify what you believe are violations of the governing documents or state law and also require documentation to support your claim of mismanagement.
Barbara Holland, certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. Questions may be sent to Association Q&A, P.O. Box 7440, Las Vegas, NV 89125. Fax is 702-385-3759, email is firstname.lastname@example.org.