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HOA boards will need to adapt to deal with coronavirus crisis

I have survived the polio vaccination period; measles; chicken pox and mumps, (which I had one after the other); fallout shelters (where we were stocking goods in our basement); Cuban missile crisis (anyone remember how the schools wanted us to hide underneath our desks when we did our drills?); three assassinations, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King; one attempted assassination, Ronald Reagan; the 1970 recession and the run on gasoline; 9/11; the Great Recession of 2007; and now a virus that is shutting down Southern Nevada and much of U.S. with residents storing years of toilet paper in their homes.

The virus and the closures of business have greatly impacted our community and now our homeowner associations. The financial impact upon our homeowners will be felt. Boards and managers may have to temporarily revise some of their policies as to delinquencies and precollection notices and provide extensions to allow homeowners more time to correct their violations as well as slow down the fining process. This is the time for our boards and managers to show some compassion as we work together, helping each other.

This is the time that we come together and work as a partnership — managers, management companies, homeowners and boards. The world will continue each day even if we have to cancel our committee meetings, association events and our board meetings. I guarantee you that we will live through this upheaval of our normal schedules.

This is the time for caring and doing the right things to ensure that we are protecting the health, safety and welfare of our residents. We need the understanding from homeowners and residents that closing the recreational center and exercise facilities are being done to protect them, and not just another annoyance from your the board and manager.

Below, you will see a notification from the Nevada Real Estate Division that shows it realizes we are entering unchartered waters. As you read their notice, the Division wants us to follow the Nevada Revised Statute 116 laws as closely as we can, but realize that there may be some “tweaking.” Example: Your board meeting that was to take place this week or this month, now, has to be canceled because the libraries where you hold your meetings are now closed. If this means that your next meeting will be over the statute of limitations of 100 days, the Division will have an understanding attitude. What you will need to do is to document everything. If you try to use conference calls, Zoom or Skype, you will need to include a notification on your board agendas so that homeowners can participate.

We have shown how our community can come together. We did it with the 1980 MGM fire, the Oct. 1, 2007 shooting, and we can do it now. United.

Here is the notification from the Nevada Real Estate Division’s Antonio Brown, program training officer for the Office of the Ombudsman:

The Office of the Ombudsman has received numerous requests for guidance from the industry regarding how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since emerging details and guidelines are changing on a daily basis, we can only recommend that associations comply with any state and local guidelines received in response to COVID-19 (NAC 116.405(8)(a).

Regarding complying with requirements of NRS 116, we, of course, expect executive board members to fulfil their fiduciary duty and act in the best interest of the association (NRS 116.3103). We understand that some business may be limited, and no association will be punished by the Division for practicing social distancing and other measures as recommended by federal, state and local governments and health authorities during this time. We do, however, ask that proper disclosure is made and adequate documentation of any temporary changes to meetings (NRS 116.3108 &NRS 116.31083), hearings (NRS 116.31031), elections (NRS 116.31034), etc. is kept and maintained as an association record (NRS 116.31175[7]), the Division will rely on these records and other documentation maintained by the association when addressing questions or complaints about these decisions in the future.

The general welfare of Nevada residents is of the utmost importance to our office and we hope everyone is taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager (CPM) and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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