Reader says HOAs are already overtaxed

Q: Gated communities are “overtaxed” as they must maintain their own “private” streets while homeowners receive no property tax reduction as compensation.

They are also required to maintain “public” access areas, including sidewalks, beyond their perimeter walls. How does the county assessor justify a full-price transfer tax on an homeowners association foreclosure when by law the HOA cannot collect more than is owed, i.e. no profit?

Does the HOA then recover this additional tax within the sales transaction? Why not?

A: I did not include this fact in my column last Saturday. What you are saying is true. To my knowledge, I don’t think any legislative bill has ever been introduced on this topic to provide some compensation to the homeowner.

If you take a look at the detailed list of how property tax dollars are spent, you will see that you are paying more than your fair share since the association, through your dues, is maintaining property that the county does not have to maintain.

As to the second part of your comment, if the association was owed $8,000 by the delinquent homeowner and was foreclosed upon on that dollar amount but was taxed on $150,000 (transfer fee based on market value), is the association allowed to pass the difference in the property transfer tax to the next owner of the property as part of its collection costs in foreclosing upon a delinquent homeowner?

At this time, I think the answer is no. Considering the fact that there are a number of cases headed, or are now at the Nevada Supreme Court on what costs are included in the superior nine-month lien, property transfer tax is not included.

Now, if the association were to sell the home (if it could based on the market value being greater than the existing mortgage balance of the delinquent homeowner), the association could factor in all of its collection costs including the difference in the transfer fee as well as asking for a profit on the sale of the property.

It should be noted that there is a case headed to the Nevada Supreme Court that would decide whether or not the superior nine month lien extinguishes the lender’s mortgage if the lender does not pay the nine-month lien.

Q: With regards to HOA complaints, could you help me shed light on what the state laws say about a tenant who resides in an HOA and files a complaint against the association? Do all complaints filed against an association or their management company have to come from an actual unit owner in order to be valid?

A: Nevada Revised Statutes 116.750 pertains to the jurisdiction of the Real Estate Division, ombudman office, the Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels Commission and hearing panels. Section 1 states that the division and the ombudsman have jurisdiction to investigate and the commission and hearing panels have jurisdiction to take appropriate action against any person who commits a violation.

Subsection 1g includes tenants. It states, “… any tenant of a unit owner if the tenant has entered into an agreement with the unit’s owner to abide by the governing documents.”

NRS 116.625 subsection 4d states that the ombudsman office, “when appropriate, investigate disputes involving the provisions of the this chapter … or the governing documents of an association and assist in resolving such disputes.”

NRS 116.760 is even more explicit, stating “… a person who is aggrieved by an alleged violation, may, not later than 1 year after the person discovers or reasonably should have discovered the alleged violation, file with the Division a written affidavit that sets forth the facts constituting the alleged violation.”

As you can see, this last law does not restrict who files the complaint, be it a tenant or a homeowner or any other party.

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 7440, Las Vegas, Nev., 89125. Fax is 702-385-3759, email is support@hlrealty.com.

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