December 13, 2021 - 8:36 am
Q: I am purchasing a duplex in a new 55-plus community. The color scheme I selected has colors pre-selected for the doors. I thought I could select from option one or two. However, that is not the case. My home elevation includes a reddish door. The opposite elevation has a kelly green door that I prefer. I was told by the sales consultant, that after I am in the home, I can submit a request to the homeowners association to paint the door.
The color door that I prefer is offered in various collections in the community. My home will begin construction in March or April. Is there a way to get HOA approval prior to construction or is there a way that the general contractor can approve the change during construction? The color door I prefer is in the home collections. It would be easier to have the door color I want up front rather than requesting approval to change the color after it has been completed. I have not seen the HOA covenants, conditions and restrictions, yet. I’ve searched, but was unable to locate the document.
A: You should be cautious. You must obtain a copy of the CC&Rs and the architectural guidelines to determine the flexibility of the association in changing any of the colors. There are associations with not only specific colors but also have a set color scheme per house. In this case, as an example, the association may not allow two adjacent homes to have a kelly green door. You need to contact the management company to find out their policy.
Q: Our homeowners association board is trying to hold an emergency meeting to purchase artificial turf and tear out the dead grass in our dog park. The grass has been dead for more than six months. This has discussed in several board meetings over the months. Our 3 percent cap is roughly $3,500. This expense will be over $6,000. They received a bid from a new vendor (not our current landscaping company).
My understanding is that this would:
1. Not qualify as an emergency so a closed emergency meeting without notice to residents would be against the Nevada Revised Statute 116 regs.
2. Would exceed our 3 percent spend cap and would require notification of homeowners and a vote.
3. Needs to have bids opened during an HOA meeting because we are selecting a new vendor not using an existing one and because we are changing from a grass dog park to a new turf (no dog) green space.
A: I will address the questions you have in order:
1. An emergency meeting is not a closed board meeting. An emergency meeting is one in which the notification to the homeowners that the board will be conducting business is less than the required 10-day notice per NRS 116.31083 (2). Under section 13, the law defines the term, emergency, as: “Any occurrence or combination of occurrences that could not have been reasonably foreseen, or affects the health, welfare and safety of the residents or requires the immediate attention of and possible action by the board or makes it impractical to comply with the 10-day notification requirement.”
I do not wish to speculate why your association wants to hold this emergency meeting. As an example, it could be based upon the proposal that it is good only for a certain time since many landscape companies try to increase their business during the colder months. There may be concerns that the rebate would expire from the Southern Nevada Water Authority to help pay for the cost of the conversion from greenbelt to draught-tolerant landscape.
2. As noted in my response to question No. 1, the homeowners have to be notified only if the timeline is decreased for the notification period. You refers to the 10 percent cap, which is 3 percent of the annual budget. This cap applies to associations with less than 1,000 units. (see NRS 116.31086 subsection1). The law pertains to the bidding process only. As to any requirement for the homeowners to approve this expenditure, you would have to review the covenants, conditions and restrictions or bylaws.
3. Under NRS 116.31086, the bids must be opened at the meeting.
Q: Didn’t this piece of legislation put a cap on what an HOA can charge to set up a new homeowner’s account for monthly dues? Does it matter if the HOA is still under the control of a builder? I thought there was a max of around $350, with possible adjustments for inflation. What can you tell me?
A: Assembly Bill 237 was signed into law this past legislative session. The fee for the opening and closing of any file for each unit must be based on the actual cost that the association incurs, not to exceed $ 350. The fee can be increased each year based upon the Consumer Price Index and may not exceed 3 percent each year. In addition, there is a cap on resale certificate expedite fee of an additional $100.
Please note, that this law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2022 which amends NRS 116.3102 and NRS 116.4109 (4).
Q: Under state law, NRS 116.31151, homeowners have the right to reject a budget. Under subsection 3, it states, that unless at a meeting of a majority of the unit owners or any larger vote specified in the association’s governing documents reject the proposed budget, the proposed budget is ratified whether or not a quorum is present. Strictly reading the law, the association is not required to send out ballots.
A: The ratification meeting of the budget requires the association to provide a summary of the budget not less than 14 days and not more than 30 days after the mailing of the summaries.
If a homeowner believes that the budget ratification process was not properly executed by the board, the homeowner should contact the Nevada Real Estate Division’s Ombudsman Office.
Barbara Holland is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.