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HOA president says owner’s behavior is harassment

Updated September 10, 2021 - 6:41 pm

Q: I am the current president of my condo’s HOA board, and I read your column every week.

I have a question and am hoping you’ll provide some guidance. I have only been president since this past January, and four of the five of us are new members. We have a very upset homeowner whose behavior would be considered harassment in the workplace, and I don’t know how to handle it. Things escalated on Friday afternoon, and I’m waiting for my community manager and her supervisor to give me some feedback. Meanwhile, I decided to email you.

This individual has sent numerous, daily emails to our community manager, complaining about landscape problems. Although he states we don’t do anything about his complaints, every one has been passed on to our landscapers for action.

His emails have become more derogatory and insulting over the past month or so, and the other day seemed a bit threatening. It’s hard to decipher his specific complaint, but he thinks we’re not listening to him and ignoring all the problems he’s brought to our attention. That is simply not true, and I explained to him myself that the board as a whole is not happy with landscaping, that we’re working on solutions, and to be patient. No matter what he is told he continues to send these rambling, deranged-sounding emails, and it’s very upsetting.

Do you have any suggestions about how to deal with this behavior? It’s just counterproductive and upsetting to all of us. I will defer to our community manager and her supervisor, but any words of wisdom are appreciated.

A: Based upon the information in your email, it’s time for the board to contact their legal counsel to send a letter to this homeowner. Nevada Revised Statutes 116.31184 pertains to threats, harassment and other conduct that is prohibited.

Q: A board meeting was held. The new president, this was his first meeting, proposed that a director be removed from office on the board. Two other board members seconded, and they declared him no longer on the board. Obviously, (the rules were) disregarded and three board members had previously met to remove him from office.

The three just voted to take him off. Causes were various, nonconfidential information posted on social media that they could not define. The homeowners association’s lawyer could not describe either what it was that he did wrong. One thing they did say was that he argued with other board members on several subjects, such as: Why they were just accepting bidded amounts from high-cost vendors, such as security instead of negotiating; why they and the community manager were not putting out more bids or looking at existing contracts that could possibly be cost-savers for the members.

So, today’s question is: Shouldn’t the community manager know the NRS 116, as far as a recall with vote vs. just a plain proposal and officer vote (this was done at an open, members-in-attendance board meeting) and advised the new president accordingly?

A: Short answer: yes. The community manager should have provided the proper direction for your board. At this point, you may want to file a complaint with the Ombudsman Office.

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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