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Homeowner has questions about security company

Q: We have a security company that our homeowners association pays and they have logs that I was able to view to determine if they have shown up and are following the board’s orders. Now the board member that has been the liaison between the board and the company has blocked (us) from seeing the logs.

What is my recourse?

A: Your email has given me limited information as to the security/log issue. It is not unusual for a board to have a specific board liaison with their contractors, be it landscape, pool or security, as in this case. A board liaison has the responsibility of communicating to the contractor the objectives and instructions from the board of directors. In addition, the liaison should be communicating back to the board as to the contractor’s performance and issues.

For whatever reason, it would appear from your email that a change was made in board liaisons for the security company. It is unknown as to whether the board or if the liaison made the decision that no other board members would have direct communication with the security guards and specifically with the security logs.

Security and security logs are sensitive and sometimes contain very confidential information that need to be properly controlled and managed as to minimize any possible liability against the association.

Many associations follow a specific policy of not releasing any logs or photographs upon the request from a homeowner but require a court or a police order for the documentation to be released. Too often, domestic disputes are involved and in these cases, the association may need to contact legal counsel.

When hiring a security company, it is important to find out about their hiring policies, from credit to criminal checks as well as to background and training. How often does your security company check on its security officers after they have been hired? What kind of insurance do they maintain, including, from property to liability to theft to “cyber” insurance?

In addition, find out how long your security company maintains records, are they hard copies or stored on computers? Make sure both the management company and the association are properly named as additional insured on the security company’s insurance policy.

Q: My condo HOA increased our monthly fees last year from $159 to $170. Now a new board is considering raising them again by $15 per month to $185. Isn’t there a law about raising HOA fees so soon. We’re not getting anything extra from the raise.

A: The answer is no. There is no state law preventing an association from implementing increases each year.

Barbara Holland, certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager, is president and owner of H&L Realty and Management Co. Questions may be sent to the Association Q&A, P.O. Box 80360, Las Vegas, NV 89180. Fax is 702-385-3759, email is support@hlrealty.com.

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