Some violations can take years to resolve, correct

Q: We have a rental house across the street from us. The renters have been running a business with five employees out of their home with many parked cars in front. I have spoken to the management company several times since it is against our covenants to run a business from your residence. The management company's answer is that it is confidential and they are working on the problem. However, this has been going on for the last four years. What can the homeowners can do about this situation and circumvent the management company?

A: The management company is correct when they state that the matter is confidential per NRS 116 statutes. Not all violations are quickly corrected and some are more complex than others. If the matter is in litigation or in arbitration, it can take years for a resolution to the violation. Fining a homeowner does not resolve violations if the homeowner does not cooperate and comply.

Your association has a direct relationship with the owners of the community per your covenants and an indirect relationship with tenants. Even if the owner wanted to cooperate, he would either have to honor the lease agreement with the tenant until the expiration date of the lease (if there were no clauses stating that they could not run a business) or begin an eviction for cause (if there were clauses that prohibit running a business).

The association has no authority in evicting the tenant. If litigation has been started against the owner, it must first proceed through the arbitration/mediation process before it could go to District Court. Yes, many years can pass by before any legal resolution on this violation.

You can file a complaint with the ombudsman office asserting that the association is not enforcing their covenants. The ombudsman office does not have too much jurisdiction in a matter like this one but they can at least verify with the management company that action has been taken by the association against the homeowner and that the association is trying to resolve the issue.

Q: I overpaid on my annual assessments and my homeowners association refuses to refund the amount overpaid. They want to hold it for another year as a credit. There is nothing in our governing documents that even remotely covers this issue. Can the HOA hold my money even though I've asked for it back?

A: The answer is no. They need to refund the money.

Q: Our community held our annual election. We had four positions open and four people submitted their nomination forms. One of the people who submitted a nomination is the wife of our existing president. Since only four people submitted their nomination, they were automatically elected to fill those positions.

Is it legal for a husband and wife to serve on the same board of directors at the same time? Our management company stated that it is legal due to the fact that only four nominations were submitted. Had there been five nominations submitted, then the wife would not have been permitted to serve on the board. The wife now holds the position of vice president while her husband is president.

A: As long as the wife is also a legal owner of the unit, she is entitled to become a board of director. According to state law, the wife should have indicated on her candidate application, which is sent to all homeowners with the ballots, that her husband is also on the board of directors. If you had received five nominations, the wife would not have been dropped from the nominations. Your association would have been required by law to send out ballots and the homeowners would have decided who from the list of five would be elected to fill the four vacated seats.

As to the wife being the vice-president, it is the board's decision as to who holds what positions. The officers of the board are elected by the board of directors, not the homeowners.

Barbara Holland, CPM, and Supervisory CAM, is president of H&L Realty and Management Co. To ask her a question, e-mail