October 6, 2012 - 1:06 am
Q: What is the law with gated communities and the buffer zone between other properties? I have been having problems with a neighbor on the back side of my property. I have shared a block wall with him for three years. He is not in the community, so if I have complaints my homeowners association can’t do anything about it.
I called police; no help. Called animal control; little help.
The community has an 8- to 10-foot buffer zone with decorative rocks and trees, but not on my side. It’s not fair that I have to share a wall with someone outside the community that does not pay HOA fees and I can’t complain about them if they are too loud.
A: There are many communities that are immediately adjacent to other communities without any buffer areas. Your email to me does not explicitly state your issues.
If there is a problem with an animal, you need to contact animal control. The police would be called if there were nuisance and noise problems.
You should try to find out if the community is being managed (contact the state’s Ombudsman’s Office) and find out how to contact the manager. At least, you might be able to tell the other association’s manager about the issues and, hopefully, that manager would be able to assist you.
Q: For more than a year, the renters living in the condominium below me have been a nuisance to the community.
They don’t not pick up their garbage and actually use the streets as their personal trash cans. Fast food cups are regularly thrown out of their car, and there are probably 40 to 50 cigarette butts in the common area in front of their unit.
They use the front of their home like a party place. It is not uncommon for them to have 10 to 15 people in front of their unit, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer.
I return from work to find beer bottles on my stoop. One time I found broken beer bottles and vomit in the common area. Needless to say, no one attempted to clean it up.
I had to call the police several times, because they sometimes gathered on their balcony until 7 a.m., shouting, yelling and using profanity loudly.
They changed their car’s oil in their parking spot, which led to a massive oil spill in the street. It took the management over a month to clean it. That happened only because we complained about it at an HOA meeting.
Is this lack of reaction normal for a management company? Was I a fool to believe that living in a gated community with beautiful palm trees would bring peace in my life? I am actually thinking about selling my home.
A: You need to find out from the management company and the HOA board if they have addressed any of these issues.
Neither the board nor the management company can divulge any specific information because of confidentiality, but they could at least inform you that the association is aware of the problems and is following due process procedures in addressing issues with the homeowner.
If the association has not taken any steps, or if the association will not even provide you with any information about the status of your neighbor and his/her violations, then you should contact the Ombudsman’s Office to see if it can assist you.
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 Association Q&A, P.O. Box 7440, Las Vegas, NV 89125. Fax is 385-3759, email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Holland is also available to speak at your organization or company.