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HOA can fine but not tow cars on community streets

NOTE: The Las Vegas Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management and Southern Nevada Multifamily Housing Association will be sponsoring a candidates’ night May 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, located at 1750 E. Sahara Ave. Participants will be able to speak with the candidates individually. For more information, call Denise Razo at 878-0959 or e-mail her at iae@iremlv.org.

Q: If the roads within a homeowners association are dedicated public roads maintained by the city of Henderson, can the HOA sticker and tow cars off of those roads? Who sets the parking rules for the roads; the HOA or the city? The HOA says that the roads are part of the planned community, but they are not part of the common elements or unit.

A: First, only the municipality can tow the vehicle from the street, not the association. Second, the association’s governing documents can be more stringent then the municipality’s ordinances. The association, through the violation due process, could fine the homeowner even if the violation is not restricted by the municipality. The association’s rules cannot be less stringent than the municipality’s ordinances. Look at your deed and see what it states as well as the covenants of your association to see if the streets are considered part of the community.

Q: Once an association forecloses on a unit, how long can an owner live in their unit before they are legally removed? Since liens are public information, is it ok for the association to post a list of liens? Our association posts information on the mail boxes.

Also, how can we change collection agencies since we did not sign a new contract with the one we have? We were told that we would have to pay any fees incurred by that agency and we understand that. However, can’t we just have a new contract with another agency to take over our collection accounts with no reference to the fees owed to the previous agency?

A: Although liens are public information, it is not recommended to post the names of homeowners whose homes have liens. What if there was an error in the posting and a homeowner decided to sue the association for disseminating false information that damages their standing within the community?

Yes, you can change collection companies but if there are outstanding fees that are owed to the current collection agency, you will probably have to pay those fees to them. Most companies will not allow you to transfer their accounts to another company and then wait until the new company collects both the fees from the current and former collection agencies. In addition, there could be extra costs incurred with the new company for the initial set-up of the accounts. If there is no serious problem, such as failure to perform, it would probably make sense to leave the current accounts at the current collection agency and send only the new accounts to your new agency. If there is a serious deficiency with the current collection agency, your association needs to speak with the manager or owner and work out some arrangement to have the files be released and some percentage of fees or all fees credited to the association’s account.

There was a law passed in the Nevada Legislature this past session that went into effect in 2009 and a federal regulation signed by the president in May, 2009 which pertain to evictions of tenants in foreclosed homes. At this time, the federal regulation supersedes the state law until the end of 2012, when the federal regulation expires. The tenant must be given a 90-day notice prior to an eviction in a foreclosed home. The state law requires a 60-day notice.

If it is the owner who has lost his or her home and is residing in the home, the owner can be evicted through the normal process which generally takes 15 to 20 days. The owner can answer the eviction notice and ask for a court hearing which could delay the eviction process.

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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