Q: I read your column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sundays and I have questions on procedures from our HOA board.
My main questions are whether the board can arbitrarily change the covenants, conditions and restrictions from what the homeowner originally signed and not make a documented (and signed off) notification to the homeowner. And also demand and require the homeowner to make repairs whether they can afford to or not. What Nevada Revised Statutes specifically indicate what I should be functioning under?
Recent situation: They sent me a notice in June of a violation indicating a section of CC&Rs that are not mine. I purchased my home in 1998 and I still have all the original documents I signed off on and was given. I have never received notice in 19 years that the CC&Rs for the development were changed or updated yet now they are telling me that over the years there have been changes and the current ones they just sent me are what I should be functioning under. I don’t agree. As a sidebar: My neighbor also has a different set of CC&Rs than mine that also does not match the one the property manager indicates is in effect and she has not received any notice of a change.
The violation notice I was sent referenced that the fascia on my home needs to be repainted and cited the CC&R section. I responded immediately and noted that while the CC&R reference was not in mine, I was, in fact, aware that my entire home needed to be painted and I had been working on finding a contractor that I could afford to do the entire home. I still don’t have one to do it all and I would not just have the fascia painted in any event as it would make my home look worse to only do part of the necessary repairs. I sent this via email with a return receipt and read notices requested and I received both back.
A month later I received the same violation notice but this time indicating that since I had not responded I now had to go before the board and a date was indicated to appear. Needless to say, I was angry and I again emailed not only my response but included all of the original information and their receipt and read receipts and I demanded that they now contact me. Nothing.
A week later I came back from a business trip and there was still no email response or any mail response so I called directly (Although they always stipulate that there cannot be any phone responses accepted; everything needs to be in written format.) to the agent for the management company. I was put into her voicemail and I left a message indicating all of the above and again said I needed a callback. I received an email response again telling me that the CC&Rs they referenced were in fact mine and not what I had and that they had to know when I would have the work done. I again responded by email (delivery/read notices requested) and indicated that I had already responded and that the work would be done when I found a licensed/bonded/insured contractor and within my budget limitations. I’m a senior and I already had to have my entire air conditioning/heating units replaced. I determine my budgetary allowances, not the board.
A week after that: I didn’t trust the property manager or the board to not ding me for a monetary violation if I didn’t appear at the meeting (even though all of my responses should have precluded that need) so I attended. The property manager was still arguing with me that they needed to have a specific time when I would have the work done as well as the same stand on the CC&R changes. I refused a specific date, reaffirmed what I had previously noted and did so on the record.
The board at that meeting during the regular agenda voted to have the whole paint palette redone and indicated it would take six months to get that back. Really? So I have to hurry up and use the old palette and supposedly get someone to paint my two-story house in the 100-plus temperature as required under CC&Rs that are not only not mine but indicate that the home needs to be “adequately painted.” I did ask for their legal definition of that phrase and how it was equally applied to each and every property in the development but no one could answer me.
Thank you for your time and any direction you might offer.
A: Board of directors can propose amendments to change the governing documents, specifically the CC&Rs or bylaws, but in most cases, only the homeowners can approve these amendments.
Your governing documents will outline the amendment process along with the percentage of approval votes needed for the amendments to pass.
Boards can propose changes to the rules and regulations of their associations but the rules and regulations must be consistent with the CC&Rs and or bylaws and must be properly noticed on a board agenda prior to their implementation.
Unfortunately, homeownership is not inexpensive. Future homeowners need to carefully review the maintenance requirements of the association in their CC&Rs, prior to their purchase of their home, to determine what kinds of maintenance and repairs are their responsibility. You may be responsible for the replacement of the roof or the exterior painting of your home or this work may be the responsibility of the association. Yes, the association can send you a violation letter if certain maintenance work needs to be done at your home, regardless of whether you can pay for the work. In hardship cases, the homeowner should contact the board or the management company to find out if some arrangement can be made, such as an extension of time.
As to the homeowner’s issue concerning the CC&Rs and which version is the current one, the homeowner needs to request a copy of the current CC&Rs and the dates that they were amended.
Q: I would like to know what the differences are in a master-planned community and a homeowners association community? Are there rules and regulations with a master-planned community for the homeowners?
A: A master community can consist of multiple homeowner associations and or consist of multipurpose properties, such as a combination of homeowner associations, retail and office complexes.
Some master communities have only one developer that constructed the entire master plan while other master communities may have multiple developers, as the master developer may have sold parcels to other developers who would then build their association communities under the master association governing documents and developmental guidelines. An association is just a single community that could consist of single-family homes, townhouses or condominiums.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.