Mulberry tree problem nothing to sneeze at

Q: My husband and I live in a condominium with overgrown trees in front of our unit. We believe one of them is a mulberry tree. It drops a greenish-yellow pollen in the spring, and next to that tree is a berry tree that drops red berries all over the place.

Our homeowners association doesn't listen to my complaints all the time, but this is a serious problem affecting our health. We bought a Honeywell large air purifier to help us inside the condo as we are taking allergy pills.

We were tracking the pollen from our shoes directly from our parking space and walkway into our condo and, as much as we try not to, it is still difficult not to track the pollen onto the patio. Our car and our neighbors' cars were loaded with the pollen.

My question to you is how can we get our HOA to trim this tree or cut it down? We know it's illegal to plant these trees now, but they were here six years ago when we moved in. Please advise us how to get the HOA to trim or cut this tree down. Thank you.

A: These trees are located in the associations' common area. If the association is ignoring your request to at least trim the trees, you should contact Neighborhood Justice Center, which is a division of our court system, to help mediate this problem. They will review the issue with you and then attempt to contact the management company or the HOA board to discuss the matter in an effort to reach a mutual settlement. It does not require any expense.

The only other alternative is to hire an attorney to send a demand letter to the association to remove or to trim the trees. In that letter the attorney would probably state that he or she is seeking reimbursement for air purifier and for your medical expenses due to your health issues.

Q: I am in an HOA and I have a question regarding board elections. Our governing documents require candidates to be owners and full-time residents. Our legal counsel says they may be any owner - even absentee owners. Aren't our governing documents the correct basis for requirements for board candidates?

A: There is no specific state law that addresses this question. You would need to find out from your legal counsel on what basis he or she gave this opinion.

My personal view is that they should be allowed to serve. Not to allow them to serve would be taking away one of their rights as an owner within your community. I would not be surprised if some court has made this ruling.

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. Her fax number is 385-3759, or she can be reached by email at