Tips for a safe HOA Halloween

Updated October 19, 2018 - 4:21 pm

It’s that time of year again, and anyone who knows me, knows I love Halloween. Here are some tips for your homeowners association for a safe night of fun.

1. Plan your trick-or-treat route before you leave, and show the kids where you will be going.

2. Double check any costumes with masks to make sure kids can see clearly.

3. Use reflective tape on dark costumes.

4. Carry a flashlight or glow stick.

5. Only visit houses with porch lights on.

6. Make sure all kids know under no circumstances should they enter a home!

7. If your child has an identification card (school ID, etc) make sure to bring it along.

8. Make sure an adult is with anyone under 16 (if older kids are going in a group, set a time for them to be home, or follow them at a safe, but not embarrassing distance).

9. Remind your kids to stay out of the streets.

10. Be on the lookout for cars when crossing. Sometimes, it is hard for drivers to see you!

11. Check all candy and treats before eating (bring some candy from home, so the kids can snack before you inspect).

Have a safe and fun holiday. This year I’m going as Wonder Woman for Halloween.

Q: Myself and my wife, through our trust, purchased a condo direct from the developer that closed escrow on Nov. 26, 2012. On closing we were charged a capital contribution to the homeowners association in the amount of $3,733.30.

In September of 2015, I obtained a copy of the covenants, conditions and restrictions that spoke about the capital contribution and referred to it as a “new member fee.” On reading it carefully, I was shocked to learn that if purchasing your condo direct from the developer, as opposed to a resale, the purchaser was exempt from being charged the fee.

I wrote to the HOA and requested a refund, and after numerous communications back and forth from the HOA and its attorneys, I received a call from a board member requesting a face-to-face meeting. We met with him and were told that we were the only owners in the entire complex that had ever brought this to their attention.

If we insisted on them refunding our capital contribution, they would have to refund it to all the other owners that purchased their units directly from the developer. And, that situation could bankrupt the HOA. I offered to sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement), but was told that if a check was issued to me, it would be recorded in the HOA records, which apparently any homeowner has the right to examine and request an explanation.

We were talked into “walking away from the situation” and to not mention it to any other owner.

We eventually sold the condo and live elsewhere in Las Vegas, but have had second thoughts about walking away from $3,733.30.

My questions to you are:

■ Can I sue the HOA in small claims court, and if so, what are my chances of winning?

■ Is there a statute of limitations?

A: The section that you sent to me was specific to a transfer fee. Capital contribution was not mentioned in this section. A transfer fee is not a capital contribution fee. A transfer fee pertains to the administrative costs when there is a new member to the association. A capital contribution fee is generally for the funding of the reserve account. Based upon the information that I have received, I don’t think you would prevail in small claims court. Finally, there is a statute of limitation but I am not sure of that time period.

Q: I am a member of the board of directors in a CIC (common-interest community) here in Southern Nevada.

A few of the board members recently engaged in a discussion about board members and homeownership requirements. One of the members believes while it is true you can’t run for a board directorship if you’re not a homeowner, she was of the understanding that should you sell your home in the middle of your term, you can choose to remain on the board until the end of your service. Please clarify. Thank you.

A: If you sell your home, you are no longer a member of the association, consequently, you would not be able to serve on your board. The homeowner would need to resign.

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

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