Q: My husband and I purchased our home in Heritage Square community in 2012. The previous owner did some renovations that included converting the garage into a living room space. The facade of the house was kept to maintain the look of a garage to keep in appearance with the neighborhood. This renovation took away any access from the front of the house to back of the house unless you go through the interior of the house. We keep our garbage cans (issued by Republic Services) behind a pony wall that sits in front of the house, we have done this since we moved in. Recently, we received a courtesy notice of violation stating that we cannot have our garbage cans behind the wall as it was visible from the street and is against homeowners association rules.
If we have been doing this since we have occupied the residence can the HOA suddenly threaten to fine us:
A.) without a hearing of violation? or;
B.) after five years of occupancy?
Since we have made no changes to the house since purchasing, do the five years establish past precedence in this regard?
I feel I need to add that we have made some adjustments to ensure lack of visibility from the street level such as leveling ground area behind the wall in order for the garbage container to sit lower.
A: Nevada Revised Statute 116.332 states that an association may not regulate or restrict the manner in which containers for the collection of solid waste or recyclable materials are stored on the premises of a residential unit with curbside service. Section 2a (2)states that the association must allow the homeowner to store containers outside any building or garage on the premises during the time the containers are not within the collection area (trash pick-up day). In addition, 2b (1) states the association may provide the containers stored in the rear or side yard are screened from view from the street, a sidewalk or any adjacent property.
It would appear from your email that they are in compliance with the law. You need to inform your board to review NRS 116.332.
Finally, if you were in violation, the state law requires proper notice, scheduled hearing prior to any fine assessment. The association cannot just fine a homeowner without a hearing.
Q: What are the rules for serving on the board of an HOA in Nevada?
We currently have a homeowner who doesn’t live here and uses her property for rental income on the board. Is that legal?
But most importantly, we have a very prominent doctor who owns four condos here and lives approximately 90 percent of her time in Germany. She would be a drastic improvement as an additional board member. Could she also serve on the board as an absentee owner and attend every meeting through business video conferencing? Please advise to what is allowable?
A: NRS 116.31034 (1) states that at least three board members must be unit owners. There is nothing in the state law that requires a director to be a resident. A director can be an investor.
You must also review your governing documents. Check both your covenants, conditions and restrictions and your bylaws as your governing documents may state that a director need not be a unit owner, and that would be legal under the state law’s exemption. In addition, your governing documents may require the director to be a resident, which is not against the law.
As to any requirements in order to serve as a director, the law does require a homeowner to disclose any potential conflicts of interests and disclose whether he or she is a member in good standing (NRS 116.31034 (8a-8b). Unfortunately, there is no penalty for a homeowner who refused to make these disclosures or if the disclosures are not accurate. That homeowner’s name could still appear on the ballot as the association cannot legally not include them on the ballot.
There is no law that states that the director has to be physically present at the board meetings. Using modern technology and software such as Skype would be acceptable. It is important to have good connections so that the absentee homeowner can adequately hear and be heard during the meeting.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to email@example.com.