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Homeowner feels ‘singled out’ by HOA

Q: Love your column in the RJ. I’m in a 135-home homeowners association community and I need help.

First was my missing front yard tree. So I planted something. Now, it’s about my trim paint. After getting the notice, I asked three other neighbors that did not have a tree if they got a notice? All three said no.

Now, I’ve got paint your trim notices. OK, I do need paint. Again, I asked two neighbors who need paint if they got a notice? Both said No!

Can an HOA target one homeowner like this? What recourse do I have that they are singling me out.

I’ve called the management company three times but have yet to hear from our manager other than letters from the company.

How does one contact the Ombudsman’s office? Can they help me? Think I’d be singled out here.

A: Before you contact the Ombudsman’s office, you can request from your management company a copy of the general record concerning each violation of the governing documents (other than delinquency) for which your association has either imposed a fine, construction penalty or any other sanction per Nevada Revised Statute 116.31175 (5). The record will contain a general description of the nature of the violation and the type of sanction imposed. By law, you will not see a name or address of the homeowner. You can obtain the information by month. For example, it may show five homes received a violation about their trees or about painting their home. This record will be more accurate than talking with your neighbors.

Q: I was one of the many homeowners who follows your column each Sunday.

The HOA where I reside is nearly 50 years old, so originally the terms of office were staggered at one-, two- and three-year periods until the nine-member board served three years. That rotation was difficult with people being added and leaving, etc. Finally, in 2002 when the Nevada Legislature changed the terms of office to two-year terms, this HOA followed elected five directors one year and four the next.

Apparently, the current board wants to do the three-year terms again. They were elected in 2018 for two years, not three. Realizing that the current NRS 116 Statute allows “up to the three-year term,” if you changed it now:

1. Would it be retroactive and they can stay on the board for another year? The current bylaws state that the terms of office are two years. Wouldn’t the bylaws have to be changed for three-year terms in this HOA?

2. Do homeowners have to vote on updates from the Legislature in the bylaws that are being added? Is there a NRS 116 statute that states that homeowners vote on these updates?

I thought only changes in the covenants, conditions and restrictions, such as the removal of an amenity had to have a homeowner vote?

Thank you for all your wisdom and your experience in answering homeowners’ questions.

A: In order of the questions:

1. No, you cannot retroactively give the current board members a third term. Second, while NRS 116.31034 (2) states that directors can serve for three-year terms that does not negate your bylaws. If your bylaws state two-year terms, the association would need to amend them.

2. Not necessarily. Over the years, many new laws when passed by the Legislature had the added term, “by operation of law,” which could potentially supersede your governing documents depending upon how the law was written.

Often you will see in NRS 116, “except as otherwise provided” or “not withstanding the declaration,” which would require you to review the governing documents of the association as the association’s documents would prevail.

Q: I live in a town house complex that has 253 homes. This year, the outdoor pool was not opened until July and closed on Labor Day. The three-member board of directors said the closure was due to repairs. However, no one has seen any repairs being done. We signed a petition to keep the pool open but to no avail. What can residents do when board members decide, without explanation, to do something like this? I have contacted our property manager but received no additional information or assistance.

I would appreciate any helpful information you can offer. Thank you, in advance, for any help you can provide.

A: As a homeowner, you can set an appointment with the management company to view the invoices for the repairs on your outdoor pool per NRS 116.31175 and NRS 116.3118.

Please note that while a petition should always be considered by the board, the board is not required to any take any action.

Boards can set the opening and closing date of their pools. Often, a late opening and an early closing could mean that there was a possible cost factor involved. You could ask to review the financial statements.

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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