As the extensive homeowners association fraud probe in Nevada continues, officials of the Nevada chapter of Community Associations Institute said they sympathize with associations and homeowners who have been victimized by illegal and unethical activities.
"This case affirms the need for appropriate checks and balances in community association management and governance," said CAI Nevada Chapter Executive Director Mary Rendina. "Nevadans can protect themselves, their communities and their investments in a number of ways."
CAI encourages homeowners to get involved in their communities - attend annual meetings, serve on committees and seek seats on association boards. Involvement creates awareness and empowerment.
"We hear about these kinds of cases because they are the exception," Rendina said. "While that does not lessen the angst and sense of betrayal when associations are victimized, the vast majority of common-interest communities function without serious conflict and certainly without unlawful or unethical practices. We hope the actions of a few will not tarnish all community association professionals. In fact, a national survey of residents in homeowners associations and condominium communities affirms that association residents are overwhelmingly satisfied in their communities and have high regard for their elected board members and professional managers."
She said community association boards have a legal and ethical obligation to serve the best interests of their homeowners. Board members are homeowners themselves, elected by their neighbors to preserve the character of their communities, protect property values and meet the established expectations of owners. When they don't, owners should vote them out of office.
CAI offers tips on the steps associations can take to reduce the likelihood of homeowners and community associations being victimized. Visit www.cai-nevada.org/VANITYLINK. Among the detailed tips are: Know the association's federal tax identification number; use a lock box system for deposits and require dual signatures for all withdrawals; segregate and safeguard your association's reserves; require that duplicate monthly statements of operating and reserve accounts be sent every month; check invoices against checks paid and the original receipts for credit card accounts, if any; and insure the association's money.
CAI is a 31,000-member international organization that represents homeowner and condominium associations and provides education, best practices and resources to the homeowner volunteer leaders and professionals involved in the governance and management of common-interest communities.
The Nevada chapter is one of 59 state and regional U.S. chapters. With more than 1,000 members including nearly 150 business partners, more than 300 professional managers and more than 400 community association volunteers, the Nevada chapter is one of the largest and most active of the chapters in the nation. For more information, visit www.cai-nevada.org.
CAI Nevada office is at 9171 W. Flamingo Road, Suite 100. For more information, call 702-648-8408 or visit www.cai-nevada.org 0;