Registering tenants provides important information for HOA

Q: Our homeowners association board voted to have everyone in our community be registered with the HOA, which involves a fee of $60. We rent out the unit and we are expected to pay the fee to register our tenants. We haven’t paid the registration fee and we are now getting notices that we will be fined. I thought we live in a free country, yet we have to register our tenants and pay for it. What should we do? We will vote the current board out at our next election but we still have this issue.

A: First, we don’t live in a free country. Our country, including local, state and federal levels, have laws and ordinances that we agree to abide by as citizens. When you purchased your home, it came with covenants, conditions and restrictions, which you agreed to abide by as part of the deed to your house.

As to the registration of your tenants, as long as the association properly gave notice of the new proposed regulation to be voted upon by the board to the homeowners at a scheduled board meeting, the proposed regulation, if passed, would be included in the association’s rules and regulations. One final condition is that the regulation to register the tenants would need to be consistent with the language found in your CC&Rs.

It is not unusual for an association to register the tenants and many associations send out registration forms on an annual basis for owners to complete in order to update their records. In this day and age where there are vacated homes with maintenance emergencies, management companies and boards rely upon the registration form for telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to communicate with the owners.

In cases where there are tenants, information and correspondence are often sent to the owner, the manager and to the tenant. As for the fee, additional work is required when updating the information to the computer system since tenants move in and out of homes on a more frequent basis then owners. Many associations use the tenant registration fee to offset special newsletters to tenants.

Finally, many associations require copies of the lease agreement to insure that the owners are not renting the units to businesses or on a daily/weekly basis.

Over the years, we would not have been able to inform owners of damages to their homes if we had not had in our possession their tenant registration form.

Q: I am very sick and have been the hospital for four weeks and cannot pay my association fees. What should I do?

A: You need to contact the management company and inform them that you are currently in a hospital and that you would like to make payment arrangements. The association, by law, does not need to agree to making payment arrangements with you and they could begin the foreclosure process against your home within 60 days of you being delinquent in assessments. You could lose your home.

Q: My wife and I moved into an age-qualified community in 2005. We specifically wanted an age-qualified community in this area. There weren’t any noticeable problems with violations of the age requirements through 2008. Then in 2009, I noticed baby carriages, younger children and families moving into the community. They were not visiting or had moved in with their parents. The families were living in the homes without benefit of one of the partners older than 55 years old. My question is whose responsibility is it to maintain the age qualification?

A: The Fair Housing Act Amendments established two exemptions that would allow a residential community to be age qualified. The first exemption was one where 100 percent of the units were occupied by residents who were 62 years or older. The second possible exemption is where 80 percent of the units were occupied by at least one person who was 55 years or older per unit.

The association would be responsible for enforcing the covenants of this association and its age qualifications.

It is my understanding that one of the local attorneys in Southern Nevada has taken this issue to court and that the age qualification covenant was upheld.

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.

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