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Pool repairs get bogged down in paperwork for homeowner

Q: Always a pleasure reading your very informative articles. We purchased a patio home in a homeowners association community (not gated) built in the late 1970s. We are seasonal residents from out of country trying to navigate HOA rules etc.

The home was in foreclosure. We spent a fair amount of time and money refurbishing the home, gardens and pool. There is is an 8-foot concrete wall surrounding our entire yard, so there is no visibility to common areas except for a front gate. During this time there was also a change in HOA management.

Unfortunately, my in-ground concrete pool is going to need some maintenance, such as replacement of water-line tile and skimmer and re-plaster. I have contacted pool companies for quots, and started reviews. Also, I reviewed all covenants, conditions and restrictions, which read that all maintenance within our yard is our responsibility, excluding sidewalks . I’m quite sure you are familiar with the canned writings.

As a courtesy I sent an email to my HOA and advised them that I may need to re-plaster the pool. In turn I received a notice that I needed to fill out an architectural form pertaining to construction along with threats of possible violations.

I’m quite sure you know what these entail without me going into details. There is no backing down with these people. I am trying to have conversations and it’s falling on deaf ears. Nobody at the HOA or board I talk to has any experience in construction or pool maintenance. I contacted the pool companies for clarification and they all said there is no construction taking place. This is a maintenance item.

They have refurbished many pools. Recently, one in our community and none needed to fill out architectural forms . We are on hold and I am reaching out to you for assistance. Really hoping your insight may help us navigate with this HOA issue.

A: There are some fights worth fighting. In your case, you should just complete the architectural request and not delay any more time in repairing your pool. I would need to review your architectural guidelines for a more definitive response.

Q: I live in a HOA. When we bought the house, we were told that we could add on anything we wanted to do inside the four walls of the home. We got a pool table and put it in the garage.

The HOA did not exist at the time. The community association gave us approval in writing to do this. Then, after several months the HOA came on board, and they now say it is against the rules. Any comments.

A: If you have something in writing that allows you to use your garage as an entertainment area, the association should not be able to force you to make that change. If you have nothing in writing, you would need to check your CC&Rs to see if garages must only be used for the parking of vehicles.

Q: Our concern pertains to our last election for board members. There were four vacancies and only three candidates applied. Therefore, all three candidates were appointed and the last vacancy remains unfilled as of June 2021. Since there was not an official election as votes were not submitted, how long is the term for these “appointed” board of director members?

A: According to Nevada Revised Statute 116.31034 (5b), the three candidates are not considered appointed directors. The three candidates are “deemed duly elected” and would serve a two-year term. By law, you had an official election.

Q: Our HOA just had an election for one spot (of three) on the board. That spot is still controlled by the developer. The current owner board member has been on the board for two years and his term is up. The election ended up in a tie between two candidates (out of four). One being the current board member. The bylaws have nothing regarding what to do in this situation. In addition, the community manager and her organization have never had this happen and don’t know what to do.

So now, they (the community manager and current board) are looking at two possibilities. One, have a runoff election. Two, enlarging the board from three to five and putting both of the candidates on the board. The developer will still have majority.

My questions:

What is the norm in this situation?

Many owners think there should be a runoff election, the winner goes on the board.

If any unit owner objects to enlarging the board and having both candidates go on the board, can it be done? After all this is not what the unit owners were voting on, they were voting for only one candidate.

If the board is enlarged, shouldn’t there be another election so the owners can now vote for a second unit owner?

Appreciate your advice on this. We are now incurring legal fees, and the board member whose term is up is still on the board and privy to all the decisions. The community manager will not tell anyone what is being discussed.

A: Don’t laugh but NRS 293-400, allows the breaking of a tie by lots, or drawing from a deck of cards. Now, I don’t believe the Nevada Real Estate Division nor the candidates would want to draw cards. You can check with each candidate if they still are interested in running for the board (to avoid the additional mailing express). If both are still interested in running, you will need to send ballots to the homeowners and have a run-off election.

At this time, I would not recommend enlarging the board, which most likely would require a certain percentage of the owners to agree. Your action would be after the fact that the election had been held, which potentially could raise issues that the entire election be done over. Go with the run-off.

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

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