Q. It has always been the understanding of our board that an agenda must be sent to the owners with the notice of the meetings. One of our members stated that the board does not need to include an agenda but just notify the owners that a meeting will take place and inform the them where they can obtain a copy of the agenda.
A. The section of the law that is in dispute is NRS 116.31083 subsection 4. This question was sent to the state ombudsman, who indicated that the law provides two methods of providing agendas to unit owners. The first method is to include the agenda with the notice of the meeting. The second method is to notify owners of the meeting and include on the notice the date of the meeting, its location and where copies of the agendas may be obtained, which must be convenient to the unit owners. In responding to this question, the ombudsman noted that her response was not any kind of legal opinion or position of the state Commission for Common-Interest Communities.
From a management and public relations point of view, it is in the best interest of the membership to include the agenda with the notice of the meeting. First, this is one of those “no brainers” — what does it take to include an agenda on the same piece of paper that is being sent to the owners noticing them of a meeting? Second, your board and management company by sending the agenda will avoid unnecessary legal disputes, conflicts and or complaints to the ombudsman’s office when an unpopular decision is made by the board at its meeting. All parties can avoid having to handle complaints from unit owners of not being properly noticed. Associations and management companies should take the broader approach by including their agendas with the meeting notices.
Q. My association has contracts for landscaping, pool maintenance, exterior lighting services, etc. The board and the management company fail to enforce the contract specifications. When I have pointed out specific failures by the contractor, no action is taken. Please note that the contracts are prepared by the contractors. What options do I have as a homeowner to compel the board and the management company to enforce these contracts?
A. You may not like my answer: Run for a director position on the board and persuade other homeowners who have similar concerns to place their hats in the ring. Over the years, the state legislature through passing new NRS 116 statutes has made it a simple process for a member to become a candidate for a board position. Unfortunately, for many associations, finding candidates has become increasingly difficult. Having sat on many board and annual homeowner meetings in the past 30 plus years, I know there are owners who attend every one of these meetings and complain about everything, but won’t step up to the plate and serve on the board. Please note that my statement in no way is meant to criticize the reader but to note a situation that occurs every month at association meetings.
What else can you do? Any other steps would take much more time and effort and would not necessarily lead the reader to his desired results. He would either have to start a petition requiring a meeting to either remove the directors or to remove the contractors. In lieu of these options, all the reader can do is continue to inform the board of what he considers are specifications that are not being met.
The reader stated that most contracts are prepared by the contractors; that is the norm but it does not prevent the association from drafting specifications that would become apart of the contract. There are associations that have created their own service contracts. One final comment: An association can have both management and legal counsel review the contract and make any appropriate changes if necessary to protect the association.
Barbara Holland, certified property 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. Her fax number is 385-3759. Questions may be shortened and are subject to editing.