HOA should treat all speeders the same

Q: I have a question that perhaps you can help me with.

Do you know if Nevada Revised Statutes 116.31031, Section 2, is referring to vehicle violations in a gated community, or does it refer to other homeowners association violations such as an open garage door, dead lawn, noise and trash?

In other words, is our HOA required to send a first-offense notice to the unit’s owner when a guest is stopped by security in a gated community for speeding and/or not stopping at stop signs?

If a courtesy notice is required for only violations by the unit owner’s guests, is that selective enforcement since the owner or tenant is immediately cited?

A homeowner or renter gets a letter giving him or her 30 days to attend a HOA hearing. However, the fine is not levied to the owner’s account until after the hearing.

Where does health, safety and welfare for the other community members come into the picture?

Your interpretation of this law will be extremely helpful. I can never thank you enough for you time and expertise.

A: Your association should be applying the same regulations, regardless of whether the speeder was a homeowner, a guest or a tenant.

The state law had two versions: The original version was valid until Dec. 31, 2011, and the revised version became effective Jan. 1, 2012. This section of law pertains to the power of the board to impose fines and other sanctions for violations of the governing documents. It outlines limitations, procedural requirements, continuing violations and collection of past due fines.

Section 2 states that a board may not fine a unit owner for any violation of the community’s governing documents committed by a guest unless the owner had participated, authorized or had prior notice of the violation, or had opportunity to stop the violation and failed to do so.

This section of the law has always puzzled me. It basically states that you cannot fine an owner because of the action of his tenant or his guests unless these ludicrous conditions are met. It is very rare that an owner would participate in or authorizes a violation of the community’s rules. Most of the time, the homeowner is not even aware of the violation until the association sends him or her a letter. Having an opportunity to stop the violation is the exact purpose of a courtesy letter regardless of who committed the violation.

My read of the law: If a guest or tenant did not abide by the speed limit or failed to stop at the stop sign, the homeowner would receive a courtesy notice before the association served the homeowner a fine and hearing notice.

Speeding and failing to stop at a stop sign are classified as health, safety and welfare violations because someone could be seriously injured or killed.

State law does not say that an HOA cannot send an owner a hearing notice so the board can meet with him or her to discuss the alleged violation. The law states the HOA cannot immediately fine the owner.

And, thanks for the kind words.

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 support@hlrealty.com.