How will recent laws affect HOAs?


This is the first of a four-part series of articles pertaining to the new Nevada Revised Statutes homeowner association laws that were passed by the legislature in July.

■ Senate Bill 130 revises the law (NRS 116.31031) pertaining to the imposition of a fine for a violation of the governing documents, to be effective Jan. 1. (Please note there has been erroneous information that this law will become effective Oct. 1.) The current law requires an association to include a written notice specifying the details of a violation, the amount of the fine and the date, time and location of the HOA hearing on the violation and a reasonable opportunity to contest the violation at the hearing.

The new law states the hearing/fine notice to the homeowner or the person whom the fine will be imposed to 1) specify the alleged violation in detail; 2) inform the homeowner on how to correct the violation; and 3) under certain circumstances include a photograph of the alleged violation.

The association must provide a reasonable opportunity for the homeowner to resolve the alleged violation or to contest the alleged violation at the hearing.

As to photographs, the law states, “providing a clear and detailed photograph of the alleged violation, if the alleged violation relates to the physical condition of the unit or the grounds of the unit or an act or a failure to act of which it is possible to obtain a photograph.”

■ Assembly Bill 395 prohibits certain persons within an association from committing certain acts against another person within that association. The law carries a penalty as such act would be considered a misdemeanor.

The law states that a community manager, agent, employee of the community manager, member of the board, officer, employee or agent of an association, unit owner, guest or tenant shall not willfully and without legal authority threaten, harass or otherwise engage in a course of conduct against any other person (the people previously listed) which causes harm or serious emotional distress, or the reasonable apprehension or creates a hostile environment.

This new law is effective Oct. 1. Interestingly, this new statute is not considered a violation under NRS 116.745, which excludes it from the jurisdiction of the state’s Commission of Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels. In essence, this would be a civil court matter.

What is the impact on the passage of these two bills as to the management of your association? I believe it amounts to overkill and added expense.

Although there are some associations that do not taken photographs of every violation in their records, most have made it a standard procedure. Note, photographs still are not required for the courtesy letter that most associations first mail to a homeowner giving him or her an opportunity to correct the violation. There is a cost in time and labor to produce the photographs since violation letters are sent by mail and not by email.

As to AB395, we have always had the right to file a police report or a lawsuit if we feel threatened or harassed by other members of our communities.

Associations can expect more lawsuits, which will continue to increase HOA insurance premiums. Most of these suits will be frivolous ones but, in the end, the association will have to defend itself. Bottom line, expect to see increases in your insurance premiums and expect to see some insurance companies not providing coverage for associations.

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.

 

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