67°F
weather icon Clear

Yes, HOA’s can be sued that’s why they carry insurance

Q: I have a question. Can a homeowners association be sued? One of the board member who has been bullying the owners for years has also been suing. The legal paperwork only mentioned this specific board member. We are paying the legal consultation with the HOA money. I thought the HOA cannot be sued, but the management company tells me that we can get sued.

A: Yes, associations can be sued, which is why associations carry multiple kinds of insurance. In your case, the lawsuit should be forwarded to the insurance company who provides the directors and officers insurance policy.

Q: I enjoy reading your column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and have learned a lot from you regarding the ins and outs of HOAs. I am a new board member for a small HOA with 75 homes, and our board is looking at hiring a new collection agency to reduce our outstanding delinquency.

Can you give me some insight on what type of questions I should be asking when interviewing these collection agencies? I have their fee schedule and it looks like they are all regulated to charge the same for their services.

A: You are correct that much of the fee schedule looks the same because of state regulations as to cost to the delinquent homeowner. Having stated that, with any company, your association would want to review the collection contract and have your legal counsel also review it.

Here are some of the questions you should ask:

■ Is there a website the board or manager can access as to the delinquent status?

■ What support is provided to the association. Is there a designated representative for your association?

■ Do you provide any education for our board to help understand the collection process?

■ Will you provide samples of the letters that you send to our homeowners?

■ What is your success rate in collecting delinquent assessments?

■ What kinds of insurance do you have?

■ In your contract, is there a reciprocal indemnification clause in case of a lawsuit, i.e. if your firm makes an error versus if the association makes an error?

■ Ask for a list of clients that you may contact.

Q: Wondering if there are any viable options to protect candidates from cheating in an election by a management company?

A: Yes. If you cheat and are caught be prepared to go to court on a felony D charge. If convicted you can face imprisonment of a minimum term of not less than one year and not more than four years. In addition, the court may impose a fine of not more than $ 5,000.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
HOA raises funds for Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada

During this COVID year, our Las Vegas communities have done good things for their residents. I have opened this column up to share those stories with my readers. We have this one for this week:

HOA changes color scheme and it’s a mess

For many associations, the original paint scheme is not available any more. The paint colors simply don’t exist and more “modern” colors have come to replace the older ones. Even if this is the case with your association, there should be some consistency of colors for the residents to prevent the “mixed-match mess-up.

SB 144 dies in committee; other bills could affect HOAs

Great news: Your emails and calls helped to kill Senate Bill 144. Please take the time to thank the Senate Judiciary Committee on SB 144 for listening to our concerns.

Law supports mobile home park caring for community cat

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.

Proposed bill could cause financial crisis for HOAs

Are you ready for a major financial crisis for your homeowners association? Well, Senate Bill 144 will make the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic look like child’s play.

HOA pool restrictions expected to relax in May

I expect changes concerning HOA pools to be announced on May 1. I think restrictions will be modified, allowing more use of the facilities by homeowners.

Send us stories of good things your HOA is doing

When the global pandemic hit last year, some communities pulled together to help each other. I decided to talk about their efforts in this column.

State law backs HOA rules on garbage cans

The association has the right to develop rules and regulations. Under Nevada Revised Statutes 116.332 (2), an association may adopt rules that reasonably restrict the manner in which trash containers are stored on the premises. Under subsection 2b, the association can require trash containers be stored in the rear or side yard of the unit, if such locations exist and in such manner that the containers are screened from view from the street, a sidewalk or any adjacent property. My advice you is to comply with the association to avoid being fined.

HOA board says no ribbon driveway without gate

It would have been helpful if you were given a reason so that you would have an opportunity to submit a revised request that could be approved. From what you have sent to me, it appears that you need to include the gate in order for the ribbon driveway to be approved.

HOA finds backyard fence in violation of rules

Q: I have enjoyed reading your column for several years along with the information that you get to share with the readers. I do have several questions that I am sure you will be able to share valuable information on.