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Police respond to tenant causing disturbance in community

Updated March 21, 2022 - 11:22 am

Q: Thanks for your ongoing informative column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. We can always count on you for accurate information.

We recently had a disturbance in a common area of our homeowners association involving a tenant (the unit is on our approved rental list) and his non-resident girlfriend. The situation was bad enough to warrant a police response.

I asked the officers, who responded to trespass the individual, given the fact the disturbance occurred in a common element. The officer told me she couldn’t be trespassed until the officer spoke with management. I told the officer that we are condos, not an apartment complex, and I was on the board (thus meeting the “duly appointed representative”).

The officer then changed the story to: “She can’t be 86’d, she’s an invited guest.”) I again informed the officer the subject was in a common area, thus on private property, and I wanted her 86’d. The officer stated: “I can’t even ask her to leave.”

A: Many police officers do not understand the difference between an apartment community or an association. Please note that there are different laws that govern apartments versus associations.

Generally speaking, a police officer would not interfere in what would be considered a civil matter. You did not provide any detail as to the nature of the disturbance. With violent disturbances, weapons, etc, the police would have taken affirmative action by arresting those involved.

Based on your information, the police officer was correct that he could not ask her to leave.

With an apartment community, the apartment manager could initiate an eviction action, depending upon the specifics of the disturbance in the common area. The association cannot evict the tenant but could issue a violation letter that would be sent to the unit owner.

Owners are responsible for the actions of their tenants and guests. If the disturbance was serious enough, a health, safety welfare violation could be issued.

Q: If a board member quits, does the HOA have to stop using anything they wrote or helped create because of intellectual property?

A former board member is demanding we remove all public instances of newsletters and flyers they helped to create or created independently as it’s their intellectual property and they no longer agree that the HOA can use it.

Do we really have to scrub all website posts, newsletters and flyers from the years they were on the board?

The board reuses material from time to time. No one has ever made this demand before.

A: This is the first time that any reader posed this question. I can not imagine that association newsletters or flyers could meet the standards of intellectual property.

Intellectual property is a category of property that includes intangible collections of the human intellect. The best known types are copyrights, patents and trade secrets.

As always, you can address your question to your association’s attorney but I seriously don’t believe the former board member’s request would past the legal test of what constitues intellectual property. Keep your information and deny the request.

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

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