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Communities can get reputation for being difficult, unstable

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Q: Ms. Holland, I am an avid follower of your Sunday column and value your viewpoints. Our homeowners association is in dire straits. We have combating factions trying to control every aspect within our community. We have recalls for every member (five) of our executive board. Our management firm has submitted its 60-day notice resignation. Our board sent out six request for proposals, and only one responded. That sole response was incomplete. I feel it was because of how the solicitation for management services was too vague.

Here are my questions:

1. What happens if our HOA cannot come to an agreement and is left without management services?

2. What options do we have?

3. What is your recommendation?

A: Technically, your association could self-manage, but under the circumstances of the recalling of your five directors, it does not appear that your association has stability. You could reach out to the Nevada Real Estate Division to see if they can assist. Often, they would suggest having a receiver manage your association until you could find five directors along with a management company. The division also may have an extensive list of management companies that you can contact.

Because one management company responded, you need to meet with them and discuss their services and costs.

You raise an issue that I have never directly addressed in my column, and that is the reputation of your association community. In many ways, Las Vegas is a small town when it comes to reputation. From current and past homeowners, directors, managers, management companies and vendors, word spreads around quickly if your association is difficult and unstable. Harassment and bullying have often been the reason why volunteers quit, community managers ask to be removed from servicing your community and management companies send termination notices.

It is a topic that I will address in more details in another column.

Q: I am hoping you can answer a question regarding contracts. I live in (an age-qualified community) and we have several employees including a general manager. I would like to request a copy of a contract we have for the general manager. It is my understanding as a homeowner I have the right to do so. Is that correct? Is there a Nevada Revised Statutes 116 I can send them, showing I have the right? They are saying I can only go to the office and look at it.

A: If the general manager is an employee of a management company, the answer is no, as it is considered privilege information between employer and employe

Q: I like reading your articles on HOA matters. I was wondering if you know if there is a Nevada statute that an elected board member must sign that basically says they must enforce all of the rules of the community’s covenants, conditions and restrictions, and not pick and choose which rules they want to enforce. And is there consequences for them if they do not enforce all of the rules in the CC&Rs consistently. Is this where the ombudsman group can fine them ?

A: When a board member is elected or appointed, they are required to complete and sign form 602 from the Nevada Real Estate Division. This form states that the board member has certified that they have read and understand the governing documents of their association and the provisions of NRS 116 (associations) or NRS 116B (condominium hotels) and Nevada Administrative Code 116. This form is kept as an association record. The division could request a copy at any time.

Many associations have additional forms that they have created for their board members, such as confidentiality statements or code of conduct.

Under NRS 116.3102 (3), the board may determine whether to take enforcement action. The board does not have the duty to take enforcement action if it determines that, under the facts and circumstances presented, the association’s legal position does not justify taking any or further enforcement action, or that the association’s governing documents are inconsistent with current laws. The law continues with the exceptions to enforce if it is not in the association’s best interest to pursue an enforcement action, and finally if a violation does exist and it is not so material or so objectionable to a reasonable person or to justify expending the association’s resources.

In making decisions not to enforce, the law states that the association should not be making arbitrary or capricious decisions in taking or not taking enforcement action.

If a complaint was made against the association by a homeowner stating that the association is not enforcing a regulation or that the board is picking and choosing who they are sanctioning, the association would have to defend its action based upon the above law. Whether they would be fined by the commission (not the Division) would depend upon the seriousness of the offensive or a pattern of unacceptable actions.

Barbara Holland is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to [email protected].

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