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Suggested reading material for HOA 101

Q: I recently volunteered to become a member of our HOA board. What would you recommend as a “starter set” of reading materials or references I should acquire?

For example, I am familiar with Robert’s Rules of order and have a copy. Now, I need to find out if that is what is used. Ha. Should I get a copy of the NRS that pertain to HOA’s?

A: You would want a copy of NRS 116, NRS 116A, which are the laws that govern associations and community managers. In addition, you would want a copy of NAC 116 and NAC 116A, which are the regulations administered by the Nevada Real Estate Division.

You should contact the Nevada Real Estate Division and Community Associations Institute Chapter for other practical information in governing associations as well as seminars that are being taught on a regular basis to assist managers and board members. You can contact the division at 702-486-4033. Their email is red.nv.gov. The CAI can be reached by calling 702-648-8408. More information can be found at cai-nevada.org.

Q: I have a question for you regarding the timing to send out ballots for a recall after a petition has been turned in. I ask because this is a current situation happening at my HOA.

I am a board member. Several issues are going on in our community. A second recall is being done back to back because some homeowners were unhappy that two board members were not removed according to the 35 percent needed of total number of voting members of the association to remove a board member during the recall ballot count.

I now question if the management company is following NRS 116.31036 correctly on the time frame to mail out the ballots for the second back-to-back recall. The community manager, sent an email to the full board on Aug. 23 stating they had been served with a petition for a second recall of the same board members that didn’t have enough votes to recall them and a second recall ballot would be sent out. She did not confirm the date the petition was received or the date to send out the ballots.

Questions:

Our ballots for the second recall showed up yesterday in our mail, Sept. 1. If the petition was received Aug. 23, per the email, this is only nine calendar days after receiving the petition, not the 15 minimum required days. The date for the members meeting to count the votes has been set for Sept. 15 at 5 p.m.

If the ballots were mailed less than 15 days after receiving the petition, what steps would take place with an inappropriate mailing date for ballots per the NRS code? Would the whole recall process need to be redone? A new petition and ballots sent out again?

If the petition was received earlier than the date of the email, Aug. 23, and we were not informed regarding an earlier date, what takes place then?

How many times can homeowners do a back-to-back recall on the same board members when they haven’t reached the desired outcome to recall the board member?

The first recall, a few weeks earlier, I did receive a copy of the petition with signed and dated staff names showing the date received along with the person’s name who turned in the petition. I have emailed a request to the community manager for a copy of the petition, as we received copies of the first petition to confirm the date it was received.

The two board members also have been locked out, for over a month, from the web-based billing program to review the invoices that are being approved and paid by the management company.

I look forward to your response in understanding what happens if ballots are not mailed out within the proper time after receiving a petition for a recall.

A: Per NRS 116.31036, first, there are two requirements to recall a director. The first one is that at least 35 percent of the total number of voting members cast their ballots. In your case, less than 35 percent of the owners voted, therefore the recall failed. If the first requirement is met — the 35 percent received ballots — then the second requirement must be met. The second requirement is that at least a majority of the votes received approved the recall. If not, the recall fails.

The law does not have any limit as to how many times a recall can be held. Obviously, each time a recall is initiated, it costs the association money.

A removal election may be called by the unit owners constituting at least 10 percent or any lower percentage specified in the bylaws of the total number of voting members. The unit owners must submit a written petition that is signed by the unit owners requesting the recall.

The recall voting is exercised by the use of secret written ballots. The ballots must be sent not less than 15 days or more than 60 days after the date on which the petition is received.

In setting the date for the meeting to open and count the ballots, the meeting cannot be held more than 15 days for the deadline for returning the ballots and not later than 90 days after the date on which the petition was received.

In your case, the mailing of the ballots may have been sent out too early, depending upon the date the petition was received. You would need to confirm this date with your community manager.

As to receiving a copy of the petition with the owners’ signatures, I do not believe that you are entitled to the copy, given the fact that the recall ballot is done by secret ballot. To provide you with the actual copy of the petition with the names of the owners would, in my opinion, violate the confidentiality of the secret ballot law.

Until a successful recall elect is concluded, the board members who are being recalled should still have access to association information.

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

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