Q: I live at The Lakes in Las Vegas and my homeowners association is a Section Seven Community Association. There is a house on my block that is vacant (I hope) and the property is rapidly declining. The grass is dead, the garage door is broken, blinds on the windows are all askew, screens are off and laying on the roof, an electric box appears to be tampered with. And that’s only what I can see from the street. When I look at AccessClarkCounty.com and view documents pertaining to the property, there is a tax trustee deed signed by the Clark County treasurer. The document states that the owner has two years to pay the delinquent taxes and it’s dated June, 2016. Does this mean the property will stay like this for another 10 months or so? If I contact my HOA is there anything that can be done to improve the condition of this property? And is there anyone else I could contact to improve this situation?
A: Nevada Revised Statute 116.310312 addresses the power of the executive board in dealing with homes that can be declared “public nuisance.” The law states that the exterior of the home must be maintained in accordance with the standards set by the association’s governing documents. If after the association has provided the unit owner with proper notice and has given her an opportunity for a hearing (per NRS 116.31031), the association may take any of the following actions if she refuses or fails to remedy the maintenance issues:
1. Maintain the exterior and charge back the expenses to the homeowner.
2. Remove or abate the public nuisance on the exterior of the home that is visible from any of the common areas of the community or public street. Public nuisance includes anything that threatens the health or safety of the residents, results in blight or deterioration of the unit or the surrounding area and adversely affects the use and enjoyment of the nearby units.
This law, subsections 4-7, allows the association to be reimbursed for the costs to maintain or abate along with any fees, interest and collection costs. The association can file a lien for foreclosure under NRS 116.31162 to 116.31168, inclusive. This lien, by statute, becomes a prior and superior to all other liens other than liens described in NRS 116.3116. One of these sections pertains to liens for real estate taxes and other governmental assessments or charges against the unit owner.
Based upon your email, it appears this home has been deeded back to the Clark County treasurer for unpaid taxes (most likely property taxes). This complicates matters. The association would need to discuss the exterior of the condition of the home, starting with the Clark County treasurer and the code enforcement department to ascertain what actions, if any, the county would take to remedy the condition of the home.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.