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Law says HOA must keep 10 years of records

Q: How long does a homeowners association have to keep old records and files? We have files going all the way back to 2005. I was told by one of our HOA management staff that we should keep at least 10 years of records and files. So, if we want to get rid of older files (i.e. 2005 to 2009), we could have our attorney draw up a resolution stating what years we want to dispose of and put it in the board book along with the minutes. I also was told we have to keep the minutes from each meeting indefinitely. Is this correct? We are running out of space and would like to make room for more current files. Please advise.

A: Nevada Revised Statute 116.31175 (7) states the books, records and other papers of an association must be maintained for at least 10 years. Under NRS 116.3108 (8) and NRS 116.31083 (11), both the association homeowner meeting minutes and the board meeting minutes must be maintained by the association until the termination of the association.

You may have to incur the expense of a storage facility space or the cost of scanning your records.

Q: I wanted to run a question by you regarding the board’s decision to turn a blind eye, if you will, in not pursuing a compliance issue in the covenants, conditions and restrictions. Let me explain.

At our last meeting, we had a homeowner attend who asked a question (took issue) about the HOA parking restriction policy. It basically states that if you want to park any cars on the street, you must pay to have your garage inspected to prove that at least one car can be parked inside. Our property manager explained the policy to him again. She told him the board knew he was renting out rooms in his home, which he shouldn’t be doing. And, it informed him that he needed to park two cars in the garage and two cars in the driveway and one car on the street, and must register all cars and place a parking sticker on the car parked on the street. So this is the background.

The main issue I have is the fact that the board and the property management company are aware that he is renting up to three rooms in his house. The CC&Rs clearly state that is not allowed.

Two of the three board members feel that because this homeowner has had previous issues with the board resulting in more than $2,000 in legal fees, and because he is a minority and he has claimed discrimination in the past, the board should not “push the matter.” The property manager said, “OK, if this is what you two members decide.”

My thinking is that we should refer the matter to our law firm and let them give us a legal opinion as to the best course of action. I personally feel that as a board member, I have a fiduciary responsibility to address the matter regardless of who the homeowner is. I think not doing so sets a bad precedent. Should any of his neighbors complain in the future, it puts the HOA in potential legal jeopardy. The homeowner could claim that since the board and management company were aware that this homeowner is renting out rooms in his house and they did not further address or pursue the matter any further, the board has given approval.

I realize board members have discretion in making decisions that affect the HOA and specific homeowners. But this is not deciding to approve the style of a particular security door, or to waive or reduce a HOA fine.

My thinking is that should the board vote to offer this homeowner an accommodation, it should be in writing by an attorney and the property manager. Thank you for your time. I welcome and appreciate your opinion in this matter.

A: The prudent action would be to discuss this issue with your association’s attorney in executive session. The issue should not have been discussed at a regular HOA meeting and the manager should not have directly addressed the homeowner that about him violating the association’s regulations.

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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