Conflict over new curbing creates ill will between residents, board

Q: In 2003, you answered my request as to how to handle a problem our association was facing. It helped so much and a motion was made not to install the curbing.

Now, three years later, a homeowner installed curbing in front of her home and extended it to include her neighbor’s property.

No architectural request was submitted for either home. Both owners were asked to hearings and were told that the work had not been approved and that the curbing would have to be removed. The woman did not remove it.

Fines began and two weeks ago it was brought before the ombudsman. The homeowner has always claimed that the management company lost her architectural request.

However, there was no request found for her curbing. Ultimately, the homeowner had the curbing removed from both homes.

All this has been done with great animosity towards us, the board members. We have never acted unprofessionally, while she has attended meetings, telling us how arrogant we are. She is circulating a petition and tells as many people as possible that we are corrupt.

Is there nothing that we can do or say to put an end to this malignment and hostility towards us?

We have followed everything to the letter regarding our covenants.

A: It is frustrating for association boards and management companies to see or to hear comments made about their character and integrity over a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the governing documents. Too often the dispute becomes personal, even if it is one-sided. Association directors and homeowners need to understand that it is all right to disagree. Once a decision has been made, challenged and then reaffirmed, it is time to move forward for the betterment of the community. In the reader’s case, the board should contact its legal counsel to determine what response should be made to the homeowners in response to the petition and comments.

If the board should respond to the circulation, the information should be factual; avoid the one-liners and or personal comments. Information could be presented in a logical, sequential manner.

Q: I live and sell property in a development that has specific pet regulations. Does the board have the right to enforcement them?

A: The reader has included a copy of the regulations which first state that only an owner or his agent may request permission to keep a pet in his unit, though permission will be granted to tenants. Registered pets may be kept on the property in designated buildings.

There is actually a list of these buildings, which are identified by numbers. The rules go on to say the pet owner needs to provide a certificate attesting that the pet has received the required immunizations. In addition, the pet is to be registered with the appropriate governmental agency.

Unless those designated buildings have some kind of special construction that makes them more suitable for pets, there may be a legal issue with this restriction, which is, on its face, discriminatory by not allowing owners of units in other buildings to own pets.

There are many liabilities in multi-dwelling communities. Rules and regulations are developed to help minimize those liabilities.

Trip, falls and attacks caused by animals to individuals are examples of those liabilities.

It is not unusual for any community to require that pets have their required immunizations. Obviously, if you are a caring pet owner, you don’t need a rule to remind you of your responsibility to your pet. If you lived within the city of Las Vegas, for example, vaccinations are required under Chapter 7.08.030. (there is an exemption under 7.08.040, for interested readers).

As to the registration of pets with a governmental agency (probably one of the most ignored ordinances), the city of Las Vegas in chapter 7.08.010 requires every person, with the exception of professional animal handlers, who possess within the city, any dog, cat or ferret over the age of 4 months, within 30 days after turning 4 months, or is first brought into the city, shall obtain a current and valid license.

You will probably find that similar ordinances have been enacted by other Southern Nevada governments. Readers can refer to their own municipality ordinances pertaining to pet registrations.

Barbara Holland, certified property manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. Questions may be sent to Association Q. & A., P.O. Box 7440, Las Vegas, NV 89125. Her fax number is 385-3759.

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