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Sorry, you just can’t quit your HOA

Q: I stumbled across two articles of yours in the Las Vegas Review-Journal while researching a subject for my father. I’m hoping you might be a good resource to confirm something both my father and I remember hearing about in the last maybe three to six months.

We both recall seeing something in the news that (said) if you’re an original homeowner (who had) owned a home in a homeowners association for 20 to 25 years or more, that you can opt-out of your HOA. However, I’m unable to locate anything related to this. Does this subject sound familiar? If so, can you direct me to where I might find more details? I know I wasn’t dreaming this because we both remember hearing about it. I live in Las Vegas and he lives in Sparks.

I would appreciate it if you have a moment to let me know if this rings a bell. Thank you in advance!

A: Sorry, an individual homeowner cannot opt out of a homeowner association. Under Nevada Revised Statutes 116.2118, an association can be terminated, which is a complex process that requires the support of the membership.

Q: Thought I’d take a minute to let you know I enjoy your columns and have been reading since moving into my HOA community about four years ago. Because of various issues in the complex that were not being resolved and questions going unanswered, I ran and was elected to the board. Now, with visibility into the inner workings, I have a good idea of what has been going on (or rather not going on). As it stands now, it will be an interesting and likely challenging two years.

A: You took the plunge. Congratulations. If you need assistance, I’m happy to help.

Q: Is there a minimum number of homes in an HOA that would make them exempt from having to have a reserve study done?

I live in an HOA that was started in 1994. We have only 10 homes, and we follow NRS. We have had a reserve study done per NRS a few years back, and are following its schedule.

A homeowner has said that those rules applied to HOAs of 12 or more homes and that HOAs fewer than 12 are exempt.

Our covenants, conditions and restrictions say we need a reserve account, and we do have it. But there is no mention in our CC&Rs of having to have reserve study done.

So is our small HOA exempt from needing or following the reserve study recommendations?

A: Regardless of the state law, which does have some exemptions for smaller associations, the fact that your CC&Rs state that you need a reserve account would imply that you would need a reserve study. How else could you properly fund the reserves without a reserve study? Based upon your email, your association did have a reserve study. It is worth the cost. The purpose of the reserve study is to allow an association to properly fund for capital expenditures in order to avoid large special assessments.

It is also a marketing tool when selling your home as it informs a potential buyer as to the strength of your association based upon your finances and your reserve account balance in relationship to the reserve study.

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

HOA vice president has right to hear complaint against him

If the president wants to review the complaint with the full board, the president should call for a formal hearing. The president should not be judge and jury.

Homeowner says letter wasn’t nice but it wasn’t harassment

I sent management a couple of emails they didn’t like. Now I’m being charged for harassment. There is no bylaw covering “you have to be nice to management,” so they are citing me under a “no firearms are to be discharged/ no unsafe fires are to be started.”

Homeowners association has power to fine fighters

I live in a townhouse community. There is a home where the residents nearly daily get into extremely loud, screaming fights. Police have been called more than a few times. Numerous complaints have been filed to the homeowners association, but nothing seems to be getting done.

What new water restrictions could communities face?

It does not take a rocket scientist to know that we have a major water issue in Southern Nevada. Lake Mead is now 29 percent full. I can remember going to Lake Mead with my family to see the water that was overflowing in the 1990s through the spillways. The writing is on the wall!

New water law unclear when it comes to communities

You are not the only one waiting for clarification. I think we all are waiting for direction. It is my understanding the law, which was passed last legislative session, excluded residential owners who own their own property. This would include their front and backyards. Common areas of an association would fall under the new law as to whether your common area landscape is inefficient use of grass.

Homeowner wants rental cap for new community

Based on the six-month rental clause in your governing documents, there is no rental cap. You could have a significant number of renters. You would have to talk with the developer and see if they are willing to modify the CCRs to have a rental cap not to exceed 25 percent of the units.

Homeowner has long list of HOA complaints

As to the first item: Set an appointment with the management company and bring all of your documentation. It may take then a week or so for their accounting department to go through their records. Assuming that the same management company has been in place during the last six years, the accounting department should be able to view your information against the association records.

Large tree sheds leaves into neighbor’s yard, pool

If you have not contacted the owner of the house, please do so. If you don’t feel comfortable meeting face to face, then send the homeowner a letter. You may want to include some photographs. Ask the owner to please take care of overhangs, otherwise you will be forced to have your landscaper cut the limbs. By placing your neighbor on notice, allowing a reasonable amount of time for the neighbor to respond, you would be reducing any liability from the neighbor by trimming the tree.