HOA can set voting procedures for budget ratification meeting

Q: The ombudsmen’s office has verbally told me that Nevada Revised Statute 116 does not address whether or not a physical presence is required at a budget ratification meeting. This matter (according to the ombudsmen’s office) is determined by other governing documents or the board of directors if the homeowners association governing documents are also silent on this issue. In the past, homeowners voted via fax, email, telephone and mail carriers (including USPS, FedEx and UPS). We have a mixed bag of homeowners, including absentee, part time, investors, banks and landlords. We understand that 51 percent of homeowners must vote to reject the proposed budget; otherwise it is deemed approved. We have in excess of 51 percent dissenters (the magic number is 109), but not all dissenters are physically capable of attending this meeting. Because electronic communication, contracts, etc. are acceptable in a court of law, wouldn’t that suggest that electronic ballots would be acceptable? I appreciate any insight you have on this subject.

By the way, the proposed budget would lower the assessments, and the homeowners are aware that would be to our detriment. The board has chosen to create this midyear revision to our 2017 budget without meeting with the Budget Committee and homeowners.

A: The information the ombudsman office gave you is correct. The law requires a budget ratification meeting (NRS 116.31151 (3)). The law is silent as to the voting procedures. The voting procedures would be determined by the association’s governing documents. The board would have to review the governing documents to determine if electronic voting would be allowed. Procedures would need to be set in place if your association implemented electronic voting for its budget ratification meeting.

Q: I am an original owner (1999) in a homeowners association community. About 10 years after I moved here, half of the curb spaces were painted red “per city of Henderson regulations.”

This has resulted in a shortage of street parking and increased tension among neighbors. Most specifically, I have had to call Henderson police twice because cars were blocking my driveway by parking in the (approximately 5-foot) curb section between my driveway and my (rental) neighbor’s driveway. Just yesterday, I had to carefully back out because there was a car blocking half of my driveway.

When Henderson police respond, they say they cannot do anything about the parking issue, because my street is a private street. They said, “Call a tow truck.” But what happens if I have an emergency, need to back out of my driveway and can’t?

I have asked the homeowners association twice to have this curb section painted red. They have denied me both times. The last denial stated that, although “the board is aware of my concern, it does not wish to paint curbs that aren’t required by the city to be painted.” What? They are the ones who put me in this position to begin with.

I am frankly at the end of my rope about this. I consider this a health and safety issue, not a petty complaint. I don’t see the homeowners association being helpful here, so what would you suggest I do next? Hire an attorney?

A: I can understand the board’s position that they do not want to increase the red zone no parking areas. Since the city of Henderson mandated the painting of the curbs creating a parking issue, the board should consider meeting with the city to determine if some of the painted areas could be released to allow for more adequate parking. The association should have parking rules that would allow the towing and fining of a vehicle that is improperly parked. I know that common sense and courtesy would dictate that you should not block homeowners’ driveways, but we all know that common sense and courtesy is not always common. If there are no parking signs, perhaps the association should consider installing parking signs that would warn drivers that blocking driveways would result in the immediate towing of their vehicles or even allow you to put such a sign up by your driveway.

You could contact the ombudsman office and discuss with them the mediation procedure to see if the parking issue could be resolved without legal counsel. I would recommend that you take this first step before incurring the cost of an attorney.

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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