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Fair Housing Law requires accommodations for disabled

Q: I am a representative of our homeowners association in Boulder City. Our development consists of 250 single-family homes. Our covenants, conditions and restrictions strictly prohibit the parking of boats, motor homes, large trucks, trailers, etc., for a prolonged period of time in a residence driveway. A disabled resident, who recently purchased a home here, has parked a motor home in her driveway full time and has explained to the association that it is necessary due to her disability, that the motor home contains equipment required for her therapy. Many of the neighbors have complained about the motor home and asked the board why she should be allowed a variance for such. I guess that if her “therapy” equipment were in a wooded shack in the driveway or even an aircraft fuselage that it still would be OK? Where can the line be drawn? Would we be violating any lawful measures if we were to pursue the removal of the motor home?

I read your newspaper column religiously and appreciate it very much. Thank you for your guided response.

A: The Fair Housing Law requires accommodations for the disabled. Based upon your email, the homeowner would have a strong claim against the association if the homeowner was forced to remove the motor home, or if the association were to fine the homeowner because of the therapy equipment. Take the time to meet with this homeowner and see if there are any other viable alternatives.

Q: If pet rules allow only two pets, and the FHAA (Fair Housing Amendments Act) of 1988 makes it clear service animals are not pets, why isn’t the third dog allowed if it’s the only “pet?”

A: Many CC&Rs were written prior to the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, which included disabilities and accommodations. CC&Rs prior to 1988 would probably not have addressed this issue, and for many CC&Rs after 1988 this issue was not addressed. I think associations need to interpret or enforce their animal restrictions broadly. The federal law does not consider an animal as a pet that provides a service to the disabled. Technically, if I owned two dogs and a service animal that was a dog (did you know that in the state of Nevada a miniature horse is recognized as a service animal?), I would not be in violation of an association’s covenants.

Is this a debatable issue? Yes, I am sure that others would consider the homeowner in violation of their pet regulations.

I would err on the conservative side and allow the third dog.

Q: We (homeowners in the audience) are allowed by the board to record our monthly HOA meetings as long as we announce that we are doing so, at the beginning of the meeting. Is it legal to post the audio/ video recording on a public forum after the meeting? We have a newly elected board member who used to be on the board years ago. If history repeats itself, I expect this person to be extremely argumentative and disruptive to the process and I’d like to document this.

A: Nevada Revised Statutes 116.3108 section 9 and NRS 116.31083 section 12 say a unit owner may record on audiotape or any other means of sound reproduction of a board or homeowners meeting, as long as the unit owner provides notice before the meeting of his or her intent to record the meeting. The law does not allow videotaping. A homeowner is not allowed to record the board when the board is meeting in executive session.

The problem with posting the audio on a public forum is that anyone listening to the audio would not know if it has been doctored and changed.

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

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