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Condo building has strict rules on flooring choices

Q: I own a condo and use it as a rental property. I recently remodeled the unit to include luxury vinyl plank flooring. Turns out our covenants, conditions and restrictions say we can’t do that in bedrooms of a second-floor unit without permission of the board. It actually states hard-surface flooring. It does state in another section regarding vibrations that vinyl is not permitted: I haven’t been able to make sense of that one. There is also a section that states when hard-surface flooring is used, it must have an underlayment with a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 50 or higher, except for vinyl and carpet.

I applied to the Architectural Review Committee for permission, and explained that my unit has 2 inches of Gypcrete throughout (STC rating of 57 per ¾ inches) and that the vinyl planks are rated with STC of 52 by itself. I was denied and told to replace it with carpet.

There’s no way a floating nonglued, non-nailed flooring system with this application is going to be a noise nuisance.

Just wondering if I don’t comply, what’s the worst they can do? If they fine me and I pay it, does it stop or can they keep fining me? Should I try to appeal?

A: It is worth appealing their decision if you can provide documentation that the rating exceeds the standard set by the association. It is not unusual to have regulations in a condominium to help reduce the sound from one unit to another unit, especially those vertical ones.

Q: I recently purchased a home in a development that is at about 50 percent complete. The homeowners association is comprised of two developer/declarant members and one homeowner. The developer has asked the homeowner board member to conduct a walk-through of common elements in the areas of the development that have been completed, in anticipation of turning these elements over to HOA control. Can you guide us toward any Nevada Revised Statutes, State Contractor’s Board requirements or other legal governing documents that spell out the responsibility of the developer in this process?

I am asking this, as we had some extensive storm damage (storm water runoff and ponding) after the Aug. 19 monsoon. The developer has made some cosmetic repairs to the common areas, but we feel that there are underlying issues that still need to be addressed, and that they may not present as problems for many years (erosion under sidewalks, insufficient slope and drainage of stormwater, inadequately designed stormwater drains and the like). Several homeowners were impacted as water runoff from common areas breached backyard walls and created plant die-off and mud issues. To date, the developer seems reticent to accept any responsibility, and is reluctant to investigate further.

I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

A: There is no law in NRS 116 that even mentions a transition walk of the common elements.

Often a group of interested homeowners along with the homeowner board member would walk the community, listing alleged defects with photographs to present to the developer

The developer is not really required to make corrections or adjustments. Often this leads to the homeowners contacting the Nevada Contractors Board to intervene for the homeowners to require corrections by the developer. In severe cases, a lawsuit against the developer could emerge.

A recommendation is for the homeowner board member or joining members to find general contractors to walk with you.

Q: Our regulations state that holiday decorations and lights must be taken down no later than one month after the holiday.

A homeowner in our neighborhood has installed lights in his front yard that line his walkway. He can choose whatever color he decides to use. In this case, it is green. I say that the green lights qualify as holiday lighting, and the lights should be clear in the front yard.

They disagree and see no problem. So I suggested, if it isn’t a problem, then what’s to stop me from putting pink or purple lighting in my front yard? Is that OK, too? I didn’t get much of a response and would very much appreciate your opinion. I say they’re setting themselves up for something far more disturbing to come along, and won’t have a leg to stand on. This is setting a precedent that could bite them later. They’ve told me no one else has complained, but I don’t think that matters in any way.

A: Holiday decorations and lighting encompasses more then green lights. Holiday decorations would represent symbols of the holiday, such as a Christmas tree or a Menorah. Your association appears to have a broader regulation that allows color lights.

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

HOA seeks solutions to its homeless problem

Your association should have trespassing signs posted by the entrances to your community. You can advise homeowners to call 311 for assistance with the police department to remove trespassers from the community. You may consider hiring a security service to patrol the community, even if it is just a roving guard that comes through the community during a 24-hour period to remove the transients prior to them calling the police department for assistance.

Best to wait for written approval before starting project

Homeowners should absolutely avoid beginning an architectural project unless they receive written approval from their HOA board. When you don’t receive a formal written approval, unwanted consequences occur.

Condo owner may be restricted with solar panels

Since the roof is “shared” by seven other owner you may be restricted as to the installation of the solar panels.

Cars with expired car registrations becoming a problem

A vehicle cannot be towed solely because the vehicle’s registration has expired. The unregistered vehicle could be towed if there was another regulation that was being violated.

HOA board candidate can have addresses, not names

Under Nevada law, associations must provide a list of the mailing addresses of each unit, which must not include the names of the unit owners or tenants.

Homeowners get HOA fine without notification

Your association should have sent you a courtesy/warning letter that you were in violation. Prior to assessing a fine on your account, your association should have sent you a hearing notice. You can appeal their decision. You should ask the association to waive the fine. Contact the community manager to find out why you were fined without a hearing.

Town home attracts vagrants; HOA not happy

The HOA and police have contacted the owner and his property manager when they have chased vagrants from their unit. However, the owner and property manage are indifferent and have done nothing to properly secure the unit.

New law helps protect homeowners’ private information

In addition to imposing cybersecurity insurance and data protection requirements for homeowners associations’ online assessment payment processors, SB378, which was adopted this session and went into law earlier this year, helps HOA protect homeowners’ private information and streamlines the email notification process.

New law improves online protections for homeowners

Pursuant to SB 378, that was adopted this session and went into law earlier this year, entities processing homeowner payment transactions are now required to maintain a minimum of $5 million dollars in cyber-security insurance “that provides coverage for losses arising out of or relating to data breaches, unauthorized intrusions into an information system, computer viruses, ransomware, identity theft and similar exposures.”

HOAs can buy flood insurance but it’s expensive

Is it possible for the HOA to purchase flood insurance for the complex even though it is not in a high-risk flood zone?