Q: I read your weekly column but I didn’t think I’d ever needed your advice. I and several of my neighbors received letters peremptorily demanding that I paint my house. I painted the house less than three years ago in the original colors. My next-door neighbor painted her house the day before I did, using the same painter. She did not get a letter. I can see no deterioration in my, or another neighbor’s house paint. I have 30 days to appeal this. I have attached a copy of the letter.
We intend to start by giving the managing company the benefit of the doubt, presuming “I believe the violation was sent in error.”
How do you think we can best handle this legally?
The management company was recently changed, presumably by the board of directors. The demand includes “approved” color palettes that must be bought from Dunn Edwards — whoever they are.
■ Must the company produce an articulable standard to justify its demand?
■ Can I insist on a list of all homeowners who received the demand?
■ Does the management company pay for each letter it sends out? I.e. The more violations, the higher the profit.
■ How do I delay, delay, delay? I am terminally ill but I don’t know how long I have.
Thanks for your help.
A: You should work on the premise that the demand letter for the painting of his house was sent in error. On the response form that you received along with the violation notice, you should complete the form and return it to the management company with the following information: 1. you painted the house three years ago; 2. invoice from the painter; and 3. the colors used for the painting of the house.
As to your other questions, Dunn Edwards is a paint supply company. Many associations work with different paint supply companies that help the association in developing their color schemes for their homes.
The courtesy letter should always state what rule, regulation or covenant the homeowner has allegedly violated, along with a photograph (whenever possible) of the violation.
You can request in writing from the management company a list of all of the homeowners who received the similar painting demand letter. According to state law, Nevada Revised Statutes 116.31175 ( 5b), the list cannot contain the name or the address of the person against whom the sanction was imposed.
In your case, the association would probably have to inform you that “x” amount of homes received the same notice.
As to whether a management company can be paid for each letter they send out to a homeowner, the answer is: It depends on upon their management agreement with the association.
As to your comment: “The more violations, the higher the profit.” I would have to greatly disagree. The violation process is one of the most expensive functions for a management company and requires, in many cases, multiple staff members, and takes away productive and proactive management time that could have been spent better in servicing the association.
Finally, you should not delay in sending a response to the management company.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.