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Removing board member may not stop the harassment

Q: I enjoyed reading your Dec. 18 Las Vegas-Review Journal article, “Let’s make a New Year resolution to be more positive,”

Can you please advise what actions can be taken against a homeowners association board member who threatens, harasses and bullies both another board member and management? Management has spoken to him, responded firmly back to his harassing emails and his behavior continues. He is clearly in violation of Nevada Revised Statute 116.31184 and NV 388.122.

I would really like your expertise as an educator on real estate management where to go from here. He is tarnishing my reputation within our community as well as causing a hostile environment.

A: You should review your governing documents and the management contract. Follow the normal violation procedures against this director, using the “bully” laws that were noticed in my December article, NRS 116.31184 and NRS 388.122.. Depending on your regulations, the board member can be fined and possibly be removed from the board either by the board of directors or through a recall election.

Some management contracts give the management authority to act, such as denying the board member access to staff or to the management office. In addition, the management company may require that all correspondence to management must be sent directly to the president for review and not to staff or to the other board members.

If the management contract does not give this authority, your board could establish guidelines, code of conduct, that applies to all directors and members. You would need assistance from your attorney.

Your legal counsel could determine other possible actions, such as a legal complaint for harassment. If you file a complaint with the real estate division, they will probably look at your board and the governing documents to see what actions you have taken or could have taken.

Ultimately removing this director from the board may be your final solution. One caveat, removing him from the board would not necessarily stop the harassment as he could continue to harass as a homeowner.

Q: I am on my HOA board (in Pahrump) and am not in sync with some of the decisions this small board is making. My question is: Can the HOA board randomly approve buildings, location on property of building/structures or other items for property owners that are opposite of what is in the covenants, conditions and restrictions ?

We require garages, hangars, accessory buildings to be built on the “back half” of the property, leaving room for future homes on the front half.

It has come to my attention that the current and former president has approved the building of a four-car garage on the “front half” of the property of one of the owners. It also has come to my attention that he has just approved a property owner’s request to place a 15,000-gallon water tank on the front half of the land owners property, literally within feet of the public street easement. That tank is also, by CC&Rs, supposed to be located on the back half of the property.

I feel we are violating NRS codes and opening up the development for a class action suit from homeowners and other property owners that abide and were told to abide, by the CC&Rs as it relates to these type items. Additionally, I feel if we allow “hodge/podge” construction or other actions that violate the CC&Rs, the airpark turns into a dumping ground or worse.

A: Without looking at your governing documents and your architectural regulations, it is possible that your documents allow your board to allow for variances. If this is not the case, the board would be in violations of your CC&Rs. Unfortunately, it would be difficult for any decisions reversing their decisions especially if the constructions have been completed.

As a new board member, you will need to be vocal that the association needs to follow the governing documents. By not doing so they place the board in a situation where they can be sued by members in the association.

Barbara Holland, CPM is an author, educator, expert witness on real estate issues pertaining to management and brokerage. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com

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