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Homeowners did not know about new HOA rule

Updated March 7, 2022 - 9:05 am

Q: We are hoping you can help us out with a situation in our community. We have a master and sub homeowners association. The sub HOA created a new rule. Residents learned of the rule when 100-plus residents received violation notices.

When confronted, the HOA president and community manager blamed the master HOA for the rule change and said they are just enforcing it. The master HOA was contacted and it was learned that it did not create the rule. So, basically, the president and community manager were untruthful regarding the creation of the rule. The master HOA is now getting involved. Is there any recourse residents can take against the president and community manager?

Thank you in advance for your help.

A: First, before charging in with the troops, you need to find out if there was an administrative error. Perhaps your association received misinformation from the master association, causing the violation letters. There could have been a legitimate mistake. Too often, we assume the worst-case scenario.

The question now is whether your association had the authority to establish this rule without the approval of the master association’s consent.

If so, did your board properly noticed the homeowner by including the proposed rule on the board agenda to be voted upon by the directors? If not, the rule and the violation letters would be invalid.

If the rule needed approval by the master association and did not receive approval, again both the rule and violation letters would be invalid.

What can be done to the board and the manager?

You can request a formal letter to the homeowners reversing the violation letters and that the violation would be removed from the homeowners’ records.

You could file a complaint with the Nevada Real Estate Division. Knowing the kinds of cases they have, your complaint would most likely generate a warning letter.

Q: I have just a quick question on expanding our board from five members to seven. Our covenants, conditions and restrictions specifically allows the board to appoint members to fill vacant seats but does not say anything about the requirement to be elected. I understand that the new members must stand for election at the earliest regularly scheduled elections.

Is there any established standard or judicial ruling or common practice regarding how additional board members are added outside of the normally scheduled elections? Our elections are in December.

A: You would need to check your governing documents. Often when an association wants to add more members to their board, the current board would have to first vote to increase the board members. Once that is done, many CC&Rs or bylaws would then require a vote by the membership.

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

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