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Check governing documents about HOA maintenance

Q: In our community, our developer planted pine trees in narrow 5-inch strips between residents’ walls and our streets and sidewalks. I believe the trees are the property of the homeowners association. Along with the fact that these trees don’t belong in the desert, the trees are shedding needles into our pools causing problems for pool pumps as well as the cleanup in our yards.

I believe it is the responsibility of the HOA to either trim the trees or remove them. I have heard that it is rule that no trees can encroach on another’s property. Is it a state law too? If so, what is NRS that covers this problem?

A: There is no specific state law covering this issue. However, there have been court cases over the years. In addition, you may find covenants in either the master association’s or your association’s governing documents under the maintenance section. Usually, you will find a maintenance section that lists the responsibilities of the association and then a section that lists the responsibilities of the homeowners.

In this case, the sub-association where you reside should step up to the plate and take care of these trees. You need to take photographs of the trees and needles in your pool. Also, if you have paid more money to maintain your pool because of the needles, you should make copies of all bills. A letter should then be written to the board with the documentation and asking the board to take care of the trees and to reimburse you of any additional cleaning expenses.

Q: A friend of mine told me that if he was not current on his HOA dues that the HOA can stop the sale of his house. Can they do that?

A: No, the association can not stop the sale of the house. The association can collect the money that is owed and under most circumstances, the association will be able to collect the last nine months of delinquent assessments.

Q: Our HOA board consists of three members. Six weeks ago, one member quit due to personal reasons. Our property manager began the process of obtaining applications for an appointment. Several notices were sent to the general membership asking for volunteers. A deadline was given to submit applications. One application was submitted after the deadline.

Our property manager accepted the application even though it came in after deadline. Homeowners had more than six weeks to submit an application and as a current board member, it is our responsibility to uphold the rules. In my opinion, if the late applicant doesn’t see the necessity of following the rules, I don’t believe he or she is right for a position that is totally governed by rules.

Are there any guidelines regarding the late application being accepted even though a deadline was clearly posted and notice sent to every homeowner along with applications? Does the member who resigned six weeks ago still get a vote if the late application is accepted?

A: There are no specific state laws or regulations regarding the appointment procedure other than to state that an appointment can be made by the board if the governing documents allow for such an appointment as opposed to a general election.

You association sent several notices to all of the members with a deadline. If your board decides to accept a late application, then in all fairness another notice should be sent to all of the homeowners giving them a final chance to submit their name in consideration for the appointment to the board.

About the member who resigned six weeks ago and is not on the board; he or she has no voting authority.

Q: We have a vacancy on our board and a female resident indicated that she would like to be considered for the position. The community manager told her that she could not be considered because her name was not on title to the unit. She has lived in the unit with her husband for years and she said they have owned this unit as husband and wife. What’s your opinion?

A: You must be an owner to serve as a director, so she needs to submit proof that she is one of the owners of the home in order to be considered for the position.

Barbara Holland, CPM, and Supervisory CAM, is president of H&L Realty and Management Co. To ask her a question, e-mail support@hlrealty.com. To view a power point presentation of the new laws that were recently passed affecting HOAs, visit hlrealty.com, click on press release button on the left side, then click on article title, “The 2009 Legislation for common interest communities.”

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