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HOA does not appear to be following its rental policies

Q: I have been writing my homeowners association for three years to rent out my house. I get the runaround while homes are being sold left and right. I was supposed to be on a list three years ago and this year, I found out I was not on a list. Now, I am on a list, but they can’t tell me what number I am. I really would like to rent the proper way. There are many homes around me that have been sold. The new owners immediately rented them out, which is a violation, but it is taking time for the HOA to address it.

Also, I have a neighbor who consistently parks in red zones across from my house. I called the tow truck company, and they won’t come unless HOA calls them first. People violate the HOA rules all the time, and there seems to be no consequence.

I don’t know if you can help, but I figured I’d reach out anyway.

A: From the information that you have sent to me, it appears that your association does have a rental cap and a rental program that allows a selection procedure to accept new rentals while maintaining the rental cap. Not all associations have a rental cap.

If the association is properly maintaining this list (and apparently from your letter they are not), there should be no reason why the association cannot tell you where you are on the list. My recommendation is for you to send a certified letter to the association requesting this information or else that you would have no alternative but to contact the Nevada Real Estate Division’s Ombudsman Office. The Ombudsman Office can investigate the matter, especially since you are stating that homes are being sold and immediately being rented out. In filing a complaint with the division such statements would need factual information to support your statement that, in essence, the association is not following its rental policies. In the alternative, you could seek assistance from an attorney who specializes in homeowner associations.

Q: We live in a townhome with a shared wall with a neighbor. Recently, we discovered a leak coming from the shared wall causing water damage to our carpet, baseboards, tile flooring and walls.

We tried for several days to contact the owner next door and also notified our HOA and property management company. The property manager stated that it is a “neighbor-to-neighbor” issue and that we needed to resolve this with the neighbor.

A week after discovering the leak with numerous attempts to contact the neighbor and get the property manager involved, we saw a plumber next door working on the neighbor’s home. We spoke to the plumber, and he stated that there was raw sewage all over the bottom floor of the home next to us, and they were there to unclog the main drains.

Long story short, we allowed the plumber to come into our unit, and he verified that it was in fact coming from the neighbor’s home. We contacted our insurance company and had the restoration company that was called to the neighbor’s home next door come to our home, and they confirmed the sewage coming into our unit. Our property was deemed uninhabitable due to the raw sewage that was coming into our home from the neighbor.

We communicated this to the property manager and requested their insurance information since the problem now moved to a heath, safety and wellness issue for us since we cannot stay in our home. Our insurance company made arrangements for us to stay in a hotel, and we are still in the hotel.

In this situation, are there laws governing HOA and the property management company where they need to provide the insurance information or at the very least step in and assist us with this process?

A: Your management company should have provided you with the association’s contact information. Without reviewing the insurance sections of your covenants, conditions and restrictions, I cannot provide a complete response as to what obligations the association owes to you through the insurance policy for the association.

Have your insurance agent contact the management company requesting the association’s insurance representative. If the association still does not comply, contact the Ombudsman Office at the Nevada Real Estate Division for assistance.

Barbara Holland is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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