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State law supports homeowner keeping his gazebo

Q: I have been renting a property from my sister-in-law for 15 years now. The HOA is fining me for a gazebo in the backyard that has been in place for 15 years. There is nothing in this free-standing structure, and it is not bolted to anything. When it was being used, it was a greenhouse but is only used for grandchildren to play in. The HOA is demanding an architectural review because they see the corner of the structure from the sidewalk.

I have a shed on the other side of the yard, and they have nothing to say about it. They termed the structure a gazebo, but it is an empty free-standing structure. Do I have any recourse against them?

A: According to an article that was published a number of years ago by attorney John Leach, “… the enforceability of an ARC violation against an existing or new homeowner with homes that have ARC violations is dependent on several factors including, but not limited to, the length of time the home has been in violation. If the Architectural Review Committee violation has knowingly existed for more than one year, case law supports the conclusion that the association could not successfully enforce the violation.”

I am enclosing to this reader the full article that was originally published in my RJ column to assist the him with his case with his association.

Q: I have enjoyed reading your column for several years along with the information that you get to share with the readers.

I do have several questions that I am sure you will be able to share valuable information on:

I was given a write-up from my homeowners association on the fence covering that I had on my wrought iron fence. This covering had been there for several years.

They had come on to my property to look at my neighbor’s front and backyard, which had a complaint for landscape maintenance. To my knowledge and what I have read in the covenants, conditions and restrictions, it states that the offense should be seen from the street. Do they have the right to come onto my property for another neighbor’s complaint?

I have a question about today’s COVID world. Is it alright for people to be renting a house or condo on a short term basis (three to four months) in the Las Vegas area. Do you have some guidance on this matter?

A: Your governing documents, consisting of rules and regulations, apply to your property and its exterior, regardless of whether it is the front or backyard. Many associations have an informal policy that they do not walk on your property to see your backyard.

If a homeowner has a complaint about your backyard, the association does have the right to issue a violation notice. Normally, an association would not walk on your property to view another homeowner’s violation.

As to the COVID and short-term rentals in Las Vegas, you would still need to apply to the city to have a short-term rental, regardless of the pandemic. Also, you will need to check your covenants to see if short-term rentals are even allowed.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager 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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