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HOA pool restrictions expected to relax in May

Q: I have seen your articles detailing pool openings for homeowners associations from earlier in the pandemic, and I was wondering if you could offer some additional insight to these Phase 2 opening guidelines.

Our HOA is interpreting that we must hire an employee to specifically enforce social distancing rules and therefore have chosen to keep the pool closed. I do not see anywhere in these guidelines that there is a requirement to actively enforce the rules by hiring an employee, which certainly could be taxing on the HOA budget.

Is it possible to get all owners to sign a waiver and agree to self-regulate by the governor’s Phase 2 guidelines without hiring a separate staff?

Could regulations be met by blocking off the hot tub so that it is not used, ensure that the restroom and outdoor furniture are properly cleaned, arrange the outdoor furniture to allow for social distancing but make allowances for those in the same household, restrict entry to 50 percent via self-regulation?

Is the HOA liable if owners or tenants abuse the guidelines or could those who are in violation have privileges revoked? Our gates are monitored with a key card, so this is a possibility.

I appreciate your time in reviewing this and sharing your thoughts.

A: I will address each of your questions separately. However, I do expect additional changes by May 1 regarding the possible opening up of spas and Jacuzzis.

* As to your first question about additional pool staff. There are association boards that are taking a more conservative approach to the opening of the facilities as there is still the liability issue that the association could be sued. Most insurance policies do not cover contagious diseases. Social distancing has been a legitimate issue and with the hotter weather will even more of an issue for associations, especially for the monitors trying to enforce the regulations.

■ As the the question about the waiver, you would need to talk to your association’s legal counsel. Based on forms that I have seen prepared by attorneys, they come with a disclaimer to the board that the waivers are no guarantee.

■ As to your third question: As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I expect changes come May 1 where the restrictions will be modified, allowing more use of the facilities by homeowners.

* Concerning your last question: The answer is yes. Because your association uses a key card system, it could revoke residents’ privileges. For other associations, it would be harder.

Q: I was wondering if a HOA can prohibit any rental of your property forever?

A: It depends upon the language of your governing documents. There are some covenants, conditions and restrictions that absolutely prohibits rentals. There are associations that have a cap on the number of homes that can be rented with a procedure of how a homeowner can be on the list to rent as space becomes available. If, at the time, you bought your home, there was no rental cap or prohibition to rent, you would have been grandfathered and exempt from the restriction per Nevada court decisions.

Q: Where can I find the information on HOA limits on reserve funds?

A: Information pertaining to reserves and the reserve study can be found in Nevada Revised Statute 116.31152.

There is no legislative limit on reserve funds as the development of the reserve study is based upon the actual major component, its condition and its 30-year life cycle within your community.

Associations need to review their reserve balances with their reserve study. In a reserve study, you will note the continual changing reserve balance each year. The reserve study is based upon the assumption that “x” amount of money will be expended during a specific year, while new projects will be noted during another year, changing the recommended reserve fund balance.

This year, you could be 100 percent funded but next year be underfunded, requiring associations to really look at a five-year period of time in case the association will need to increase its funding of the reserves.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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