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Law supports mobile home park caring for community cat

Q: Suddenly, my rather costly mobile home park, which is a homeowners association, has decided to enforce what it says are its rules about dogs and cats. This means most people will have to get rid of their dogs since no dog can weigh more than 20 pounds and live in the park. My question is about community cats, that is, feral cats that live on the property. The management wants to get rid of all community cats and not allow any resident to take care of them.

Chapter 10.06.010 of the Clark County ordinances details the managed care of community cats. Part of the ordinance states:

Except as provided in Section 10.06.060(b), community cat colonies may be permitted, and community cat colony caregivers may maintain and care for community cats by providing food, water, shelter, medical care and other forms of sustenance. Individuals, community cat caregivers, rescue organizations, shelters and the animal control office shall be permitted to carry out TNR (trap, neuter and return) and TNR programs. A cat released in accordance with Chapter 10.06 shall not be considered to be abandoned per Section 10.32.010. Community cat colonies shall be prohibited within one-half mile of or in any conservation area, state or national forest, wetlands or any other lands managed for wildlife. (Ord. 3685 § 1 (part), 2008)

My question is not about a community cat colony, which may be one mother cat and her four kittens, but a single community cat that lives in a HOA, including a mobile home park. Las Vegas, Henderson and unincorporated Clark County interpret this ordinance differently. I live in unincorporated Clark County. Can my mobile home park HOA management forbid a free-roaming community feral cat, which is neither sick or injured, to live on the property? Next, can it forbid the residents to care for a cat like this?

A: My understanding of the law is that the association cannot force a resident from caring for the feral cats or forcing the resident to remove the feral cats from the community. You can contact the local municipality to ascertain their interpretation of the law.

Q: I have read your column for quite some time and never thought I would be writing. Last year, I was elected president of our community in North Las Vegas, and some days I question what have I gotten into.

Wanting to make our neighborhood community better and compliant has really been a chore. Complaints run rampant about the HOA, our board and pretty much all else.

We have several serious delinquencies of fines, and dues; not to mention a huge bill for removing grass from the park and replacing it with rocks, which has made our reserves practically nonexistent.

What happens when we run out of funds? We have had two emergency increases and have gone from $45 to $86 per month. Property owners rent their homes to folks who don’t care about yard upkeep, and the owners will not do anything.

Is there any recourse for the board?

A: No one ever said being a board member was easy, especially in your case. What is needed is a management plan. If you work with a community manager, then you should seek their assistance. The management plan would list a series of objectives — what needs to be done and when.

This association needs to enforce its delinquency policy by initiating foreclosure actions. A collection company can facilitate the foreclosure action. Once the message is received by the homeowners, I think the association will begin to see more funds coming into their accounts.

Second, the association needs to enforce its rules and regulations. Send out the appropriate notices per the collection policy, and if residents are still not compliant, begin assessing fines against their accounts and place liens on their homes.

I would like to think that your association received some financial assistance from the Southern Nevada Water Authority. If the association did not participate in this program, I do not believe the Water Authority will retroactively compensate the association, but the president certainly can ask them.

This association has a difficult path, but it can be turned around. Careful review of its budget, money management and renegotiation of contracts are ways to help strengthen the bottom line. You, as the president, will need support of the full board and will need to build support from your resident homeowners.

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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