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Armed security guards will drive HOA insurance up

Q: Our homeowners association has a few community owners who think armed guard security would be a good thing. We have no crime problem. Our current master policy and related umbrella coverages has an annual premium of $98,703.

From your perspective, would you have a ballpark figure on what our HOA might estimate (a cost increase) if we were to go from unarmed courtesy guards to armed guards?

A: No. There are few armed security services because of the high cost of operations, including their insurance.

I would recommend that you make calls and obtain the cost difference between a security guard with a weapon and one without. In addition, you should check with your association’s insurance company as to any additional premium because of the potential liability of an armed guard shooting someone.

Q: I have a question as I am on the HOA board for our community as secretary. I have read many of your articles about HOAs and like your explanations and thoughts on different subjects.

We have no rule or regulations in our documents regarding fireworks. Can a HOA board in Las Vegas advise homeowners that a fine may be imposed if illegal fireworks are set off?

We had a renter in our small single-family home community set off illegal fireworks. It was observed by another homeowner on July 2, and when she returned to community a little later, there was a small fire in the backyard from the fireworks which they were not aware of. The renter was told about this, and the fire was extinguished.

A member of the board was notified by the homeowner (his wife). The board member notified our management company and they sent one of our normal friendly violation letters regarding this, and our community manager also called the company managing the rental and advised them what happened (left message) as the lease specifically says no fireworks are allowed by the renter.

Just wanted your opinion if I should pursue with the board that we should add a new rule and regulation to cover this in the future since we have nothing, now.

Or, should we just leave this to law enforcement as it appears that even the police cannot control the illegal fireworks well with written violations. The other board members have not indicated they are concerned about future occurrences and the action we could take as a board if we had something in the rules. I just wanted your opinion so I can stop thinking about this.

We did have a reminder in the homeowner correspondence stating that illegal fireworks are not allowed in the community. I mentioned that this should be placed in the newsletter as there was an incident last year that caused some commotion amongst neighbors.

Sorry to ramble, but this has been on my mind and I wanted an opinion. I am trying to be a good board member, but as I age I seem to be overthinking stuff too much. We have a wonderful board with common sense, and most homeowners are cooperative and follow our rules and guidelines.

A: Many associations have fireworks rules and regulations. Following the due process procedures, an association can fine a homeowner for violating their firework regulations. It is worthwhile discussing this with your board, especially in light of the fire in the backyard. You may want to discuss this issue with your insurance agent.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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