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Community to complete landscaping project over three years

Q: Ms. Holland, I value your input on homeowners association concerns, and here is our issue:

The association received a proposal that exceeds 3 percent of our annual budget. It was determined that funds were not available for this safety issue, so it was decided to spread the requirement over three years utilizing the vendor that currently provides like services. Thus, removing the three-bid requirement and going directly to onsite vendor. The executive board had reservations of splitting the requirement over three years; thus the first increment was not approved. The safety concern also did not seem to be that important.

Can you comment, please?

A: Upon receiving your question, I spoke with you for additional information. The project pertained to palm trees in the community. After receiving the proposal from the current landscaper, the board decided to have this landscape project spread out over a three-year period. In essence, dividing the landscape into three sections.

One section would be done each year until the project was completed. The work would be performed by the current landscape contractor. The board had some reservations about spreading the work over the three-year period.

Nevada Revised Statute 116.31086 pertains to the solicitation of association projects. Section 1 states that if an association solicits bids for a project, it must, whenever reasonably possible, solicit at least three bids. In your case, because the association has less than 1,000 units, bids should be obtained if the expense is 3 percent or more of the annual budget. First, please note the law begins with the word, if the association solicits bids.

This law has always raised questions for both managers and directors when a project pertains to a current vendor’s contract, in this case, the landscape company. Does the board still need to obtain three bids? In general, many managers and directors will forgo the bidding process as they already have an existing vendor under contract that can perform the task. When making a decision to use a third party to perform a special task , there is always a potential problem when the current vendor has to maintain the work . If problems should occur, you end up with two vendors pointing fingers at each other as to why the problem has occurred, i.e. the work was initially not done correctly or the work was not properly maintained.

In this case, the board contacted its current landscaper for an estimate. Technically, the association would not have to obtain three bids. There is no problem, per se, of having certain work spread over a period of time. Such decisions are often made by boards where they balance available funds to meet the desired project. You do not go into any detail as to why the board was hesitant of spreading the work over a three-year period.

To aid in making its decision, the board may want to consider obtaining three bids. If board members discover that all of the bids exceed 3 percent of their annual budget, their decision could be made with more comfort level.

Q: Our association releases a preliminary agenda about 30 to 45 days prior to the regular meeting. On the agenda is, “Per NRS 116.3108 the final version of the agendas will be available the business day prior to the meetings at 12 p.m. Please contact (management company) to pickup the final version of the agendas at their office or to obtain it via email or fax”

I looked up 116.3108, and it does not speak to a final version of the agenda being available on the business day prior to the meeting. This section speaks to the annual member meeting, which requires not less than a 15-day release of the agenda.

The meeting that is applicable here, under 116.31083 is the regular board meeting and specifies the agenda be given to the owners not less than 10 days prior to the meeting. Correct? I do not see any provision that allows for the agenda to be released the day before the meeting.

Am I missing something here? Is there any provision that allows for such late notice of a pending executive meeting?

A: NRS 116.31083 pertains to the board of directors meetings. Under subsection 5, it states the notice of the meeting must state the time and place of the meeting and include a copy of the agenda for the meeting or the date and the locations where copies of the agenda may be conveniently obtained. Under subsection 2, it states the association shall not less than 10 days before the date of the meeting cause notice of the meeting to be given to the homeowners.

In your case, the agenda is not being sent with the notification of the board meeting. This is a legal option for the board as often an agenda is not ready to be sent with the 10-day notice. The law is absent any specifics as to the timeline for an agenda to be available.

Barbara Holland is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

Barbara Holland is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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