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HOA says trash cans have to be out of sight

Q: I am currently a resident in a gated community and have a question regarding refuse container storage. I understand the law that outlines my right to store my refuse container outside of my house; however, what if I do not have any side yard access to store behind a wall or cannot build one due to intrusion of my residential electrical panel? Is there an ordinance, municipal code, law that states that I do not have to store trash cans in my garage?

I do have a vegetative strip between my neighbors and I that has full mature tree foliage that acts as a screen to the side of my house. I have stored my cans there since I purchased this home over a year ago with no complaints from any neighbors until a board member decided to enforce it as a personal issue. Do I have anything to assist in ending this harassment?

A: Nevada Revised Statute 116.332 pertains to the rights of homeowners and the storage for collection of solid waste or recyclable materials.

Subsection 2b states that residents can store containers outside any building or garage on the premises during the time the containers are not within the collection area (the street). It continues by stating that storage containers in the rear or side yard of the unit (if such locations exist) are to be screened from view from the street, a sidewalk or any adjacent property. The association can establish rules prescribing the size, location, color and materials of any device, structure or item used to screen the containers.

If a homeowner does not have the ability to screen their containers, the only alternative would appear to be for you to store your containers in the garage. While the vegetative strip may act as a screen, the board does have the right to enforce its rules. You have the right to appear at a violation hearing and ask for a variance, which the board has the right to accept or not accept.

Q: I’m living in a community that has 264 condos. I’ve noticed that since some of the owners are renting to Section 8 tenants the property has gone downhill. They are shady people (who are) hanging around, loud music all hours of the night, beer bottles and cans everywhere, and a lot of marijuana smoking. Is there any way we can refuse to take Section 8?

A: I do not believe you could refuse Section 8 residents on many levels: from discrimination allegations against the association to allegations that the association is denying the rights of unit owners to lease their homes. (Bill of Rights, Amendment V, “not being deprived of property without due process of law …)

The association does have the option of sending violation notices and fining homeowners if their tenants are not complying with the rules and regulations. Also, following due process, the association can contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s division in Southern Nevada to complain about a specific Section 8 homeowner. HUD has the right to terminate the Section 8 program of an individual user. That is real leverage but you will need specific documentation of the violation(s).

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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