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Covenants can block space owner at RV park from rights

Q: I own a lot at a motor coach resort that has covenants. This is an RV park and not a mobile home park. Each owner legally owns the land associated with his or her parking spot. I have two major concerns about this arrangement based on the covenants that existed when I purchased the site.

The first concern is that the covenants state that only the seller is allowed to rent the spaces. The seller has a 99-year clause granting this exclusivity.

They do a poor job of renting the lots and they take 40 percent of the income. The owners are left to pay $258 per month in association dues to maintain the property.

While other RV parks less than two miles away are full, ours is nearly empty. I did sign the covenants but at the time assumed that there was some Nevada law that prevented associations from taking my rights as a land owner.

Can a covenant really prevent me from renting my own lot?

The second concern is that the covenants allow only RVs of the Class A type. They look like buses. The covenants also state that they need to be a certain length.

Since then, the resort operators have adjusted that length three times without my approval. Can covenants require only certain types of RVs?

I understand that covenants should be able to mandate that RVs not be rundown but I didn’t think that covenants could take away my right to use my own land with a different type, even brand new, RV.

Finally, I have to fill in and sign a one-page form every time I allow a friend to use the lot for free. They want to be sure that I am somehow not receiving any rental income.

The covenants never said anything about completing this form.

A: The problem is that you, with full knowledge, purchased a lot where the covenants gave the seller sole rights to lease the parking spots.

The time to have questioned that covenant was prior to you signing on the dotted line. Is it legal? Only a court of law now can determine the legality.

There is no state law that I am aware of that would prevent the seller from being the sole leasing entity. If there are covenants to this RV resort park, you need to review the amendment procedure, assuming that there is such a section.

If there is such a section, you will need to determine if you can obtain the support of enough land owners to change the covenants to discontinue this monopoly.

In addition, the 99-year clause needs to be reviewed to ascertain whether it can be changed. You should seek legal counsel to review your options.

Anyone who buys into any kind of association that has covenants with the preconceived notion that he can act independently of the covenants is just kidding himself.

Covenants, by their very nature, limit the rights of individual owners and the actions that they can and cannot initiate.

In general, covenants are legal documents that attempt to balance the rights of all who reside within that community or complex.

When you purchase any land or home within an association, you agree to abide by those covenants, which are part of your deed.

If you bought a single piece of land sitting in the desert, you have many more rights, but even those rights have limitations such as zoning laws and other governmental restrictions.

In your case, the covenants would have to be reviewed as to the size restrictions (how they are modified and by whom) and as to the type of RV allowed (how that can be amended). At least 50 percent of the target market for these lots has RVs other than the Class A type.

The covenants may not have specifically addressed the form itself, but probably they include an enforcement clause — the form being a type of enforcement to ensure compliance with the 99-year rule.

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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