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Problems with HOA president escalate

Q: A homeowner has already sent you complaints regarding our homeowners association’s president. The only way to judge this HOA is to come to one of our meetings and see for yourself.

At this moment, we pay our assessments and have not received the landscaping, maintenance and some repairs services. When I requested to know when we will have these things, the president of HOA, put up his hands to my face and shooed me away.

The president wants to take down 50 to 60 trees in our community. The management company backs up the president in anything and everything he wants to do, regardless of what the community wants. We need help! Come to one of our meetings and judge for yourself. The president now has a security guard at every meeting spending our assessments without our wishes. I would love to talk to you and explain much more. We feel like we are living in a third-world country. We never get any answers.

A: I appreciate the invitation to attend your next board meeting but I am not the person who you need to invite as I am not an enforcement investigator for the Nevada Real Estate Division.

I am recommending that you contact the office manager who represents the association management company and make an appointment with her. In a private response to you, I will provide that information as I am familiar with that company. Let the office manager know that you have a number of questions that you would like answered. You will need to prepare a specific list. For example, you state in your email to me that you do not believe the services, such as landscaping, are being provided. You have the right to ask for copies of invoices so that you can see how your assessments are being used.

In addition, you can discuss the proposed removal of the trees. Unfortunately, many communities are facing this same issue, the removal of trees. In many cases, the trees or the type of trees and their locations never should have been planted in the first place As the trees have grown and matured, roots have often begun to crack fences, walls, sidewalks, streets, plumbing and irrigation lines. There could be very legitimate reasons for the proposed removal.

In this day and age, I would hate to think that associations need security guards at their board meetings. You can certainly address this issue with the office manager as well as obtain copies of the security service invoices.

As to the president and his behavior, there is no magic solution. Perhaps, the office manager can meet with the board to discuss protocol at the board meetings, especially during the open forum. I understand that there are two sides of a coin and often a director or officer becomes frustrated during the meeting but as community managers, we need to help our boards be professional. You need to understand that the board does not have to respond to every and all issues, as often some of the issues require research or legal opinions. In some cases, the board should not engage especially when a homeowner or homeowners are “asking” for a fight.

Q: I have two questions about the condominium community that I live in.

1. There are approximately 720 units in this complex. Is there anything that states percentage wise how many may be rented by their owners?

2. When an HOA has its meetings can a renter attend and participate?

I know that you have an extensive background and look forward to receiving your reply. Thank you for your time.

A: There is no state law that sets a minimum nor maximum number of renters that can reside in an association community. You would need to review the covenants, conditions and restrictions of his community to determine if there is a rental cap.

It is a board decision as to whether renters can attend a board or homeowners meeting as well as allowing the renters to speak during the homeowner forum.

There are associations with an extremely high percentage of renters. To have them attend association meetings could be beneficial as the renters would have more commitment to the care and enforcement of the regulations as they would have a “buy-in” with the community. Something for all associations to think about.

Q: In order to serve on an HOA board in Nevada what is the best title to have on the trust deed — joint tenants? (when adding a second party)? Or, specific real estate purpose?

And, unless otherwise specified in the covenants, conditions and restrictions and bylaws can a divorced couple residing in the same residence since 2007 both serve on the board of directors?

A: In 2015, the Legislature passed significant modifications to the qualifications of a homeowner who wished to serve on the board. Nevada Revised Statutes 116.31034 (9)(a)(1-3).

A person may not be a candidate for or member of the board or an office of an association if the person resides in a unit with, is married, is domestic partners with or is related by blood, adoption or marriage within the third degree of consanguinity (relationship by blood, or kinship) or affinity to another person who is also a member of the board or is an officer of the board. In your case, the divorced couple residing in the same residence would not be allowed to both serve on the board at the same time.

Please note that the law lists other types of relationships that would prohibit a homeowner from serving on the board.

As to what is the best title on a trust deed, it really does not matter as anyone listed on the trust deed as the owner of the home can serve on the board but not at the same time as anyone else listed on the deed.

Q: My homeowner association board wants to enforce no parking in homes’ driveways. Shouldn’t the driveway be at the homeowners’ discretion?

A: You should ask their board what section of the association’s governing documents state that there should be no parking in the driveways of their homes. If there is such a section, the board could enforce it even if current or past boards have not enforced the covenant.

If there is no section prohibiting the parking in the driveways in the association’s covenants, conditions and restrictions, the board would need to have the homeowners vote to implement such a regulation.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

 

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