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Category Archive : HOA

Las Vegas Homeowner Associations and Some of Their Unknown Rules

Living in Las Vegas and Henderson comes with many great things. Some may say one of those things includes Las Vegas Home Owners Associations or HOA’s.  They help to regulate the standards in our community’s which most home owners and landlords come to appreciate. They watch over the neighborhoods to ensure everyone is abiding by the rules and regulations that help to keep the communities safe and clean. After all, that’s what they were created for. The “Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” or the “Rules and Regulations” aren’t too difficult to follow.  For example, we are not allowed to leave our trash cans out on the curb after a certain amount of time on trash days; we have to install our satellite dishes where they cannot be seen; our festive decorations and lights have to come down once the holidays have passed and so on and so forth.

One key factor for new home owners, families moving to Las Vegas from out of state and investors is to be very aware of HOA communities and their common laws.  Unfortunately, a vast majority is unaware of these rules, sign the closing documents and /or lease and then come to find out about some of the more unknown rules. Did you know that in some communities you are not allowed to have a company vehicle? Some don’t even allow you to park it in the driveway. Most company vehicles cannot fit into a garage. What service technician wants to park his or her work truck on a public street to have it burglarized of all their equipment?  Or, did you know that many communities do not allow any vehicles to park on the street.  Maybe you have a garage full of recreational items or equipment and cannot fit that third car into the drive way. Only until it’s too late and you have accrued a fine or had your vehicle towed does this come to light; contracts have been signed and now you are stuck.  This can be a very unfortunate situation as you can imagine

How do you as a new homeowner, landlord or tenant avoid these situations? Make sure you have a good Realtor and/or Las Vegas Property Management Company that have the knowledge and know how to research the association’s rules and regulations on your behalf in order to avoid the these types of situations before they happen. They are more common that you can imagine.

For more information about our Las Vegas property management services, give us a call at 702.376.7379, email us at info @ shelterrealty.com or complete the form to the right.

Las Vegas HOA Management: Why Your Association Needs Professional Management

There’s a lot more to managing a community association than you may realize.  Managing a Las Vegas homeowners association is more than just community management, it’s about compliance with state laws, your governing documents, licensing requirements, enforcing rules, conducting elections and so much more.

Having a professional management company for your HOA takes the pressure off of you as a board.

Your home-ownership interest in the community and its common elements is possibly your largest asset.  However, being a board member is a huge responsibility all by itself, let alone trying to manage all aspects of your community without the assistance of a professional management company and a knowledgeable, trained community association manager (CAM). What about the cost of hiring a professional management company?  We understand that financial hardship may be a big hurdle that keeps you from taking the next step towards professional management, especially given the current economy and possible high number of delinquent homeowner accounts but consider all that a professional management company and CAM can do for you and your association.

  • Professional managers must go through continuing education courses in order to be a licensed manager in the state of Nevada, which includes Nevada laws that govern your Las Vegas HOA (NRS 116).
  • A professional management company typically have a number of staff members to assist with the day-to-day operations of the association that must have a working knowledge of finances, accounting, budgets, taxes and insurance requirements to name a few.
  • Your community manager and management company would have strong personnel management and communication skills which could aid the board in hiring and supervising contractors and staff for your community. Communication with the residents on the part of your community manager is also a major relief for a board.
  • Community managers are trained and have a keen understanding of proper preventative a regular/ongoing maintenance of a homeowners association such as landscape repairs and replacements, upkeep of the facilities and regular mechanical maintenance.
  • Most importantly, a professional community manager and management company are in place to coach and assist the board in many ways. They help conduct inspections, prepare for and conduct meetings and ensure compliance with the associations governing documents to name a few.

If you have any questions about specific coverages to meet your needs, we strongly recommend that you contact your insurance provider for additional information and clarification.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Shelter Management Group (SMG) team, we would be happy to help.  Contact us at 702.818.4780. Article Authored by:  Jamie Collins, Supervising CAM, CMCA, AMS co-owner, Shelter Management Group (SMG)

Las Vegas HOA Recall Elections: How Do I Get A Board Member Recalled?

Las Vegas HOA Recall Elections: How Do I Get A Board Member Recalled?

Every executive board in an association must go through an election process on a regular basis, which is typically annually and spelled out in the association’s bylaws.  In accordance with NRS 116 and the associations governing documents, every board must consist of no less than three board members and can be as large as seven to nine board members.  But what happens when a board member needs to be removed from the board? Can a director be removed from the board?

YES.  According to NRS 116.31036 board members can be removed from the executive board and here’s how it works …

A member of the board can be removed with or without cause provided that the unit owners are able to obtain the signatures of at least 10% (or less if the governing documents allow) of the unit owners on a petition to request a removal election.  This petition must be mailed, return receipt or served by a process server to either the Community Manager or the Board.

The next step is to send out secret ballots to the owners between 15 and 60 days before the removal election meeting and is handled by the Community Manager.  The ballot process is handled the same way that a regular election is processed.  The removal election must be completed within 90 days of the receipt of the petition and is typically monitored by the association’s attorney given the nature of the process.

In order for a recall election to be successful, at least 35% of all unit owners must vote in favor of the recall and the majority of the total votes cast MUST be in favor of the removal  If the Association does not receive at least 35% of the owners to vote in favor of the recall and a majority of the total votes cast are not in favor of the removal, the Director will remain on the Board.

In conclusion, it is possible to remove a member of the board.  This may seem like a very high standard to meet but there is sound reason behind the restrictions. It is my opinion that the laws may have been written this way in order to prevent frivolous removals of board members while still making it possible to do so should there be a broad-based community support for such an action.

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

How to Best Get Along in a Las Vegas Homeowner Association

Chances are very good at some point you will live in a community here in the Las Vegas area that is controlled by a homeowner association (HOA). There are about 2,300 associations here. If you live in a single family home built after 1995 there is a very good chance it belongs to an HOA.

What is the Purpose of an HOA?

HOA’s are set up as non-profit corporations in most cases and their purpose is to establish and enforce standards. These standards are meant to protect the assets and living experience of all the members of a particular community. Can you imagine someone in Sun City Anthem tearing down their home and replacing it with a double wide trailer? Obviously, the trailer would be incongruent with the standards of the community and if you were the next door neighbor imagine the effect of that homeowner’s decision on the value of your house!

HOA’ also are charged with maintaining records of the community, handling the finances, budget, and maintaining common elements, as well as their long term replacement.

How are HOA’s Organized?

As previously mentioned, HOA’s are set up as non-profit corporations and generally governed by Nevada State Statute (law) provisions named NRS116 and the accompanying code written primarily by the Nevada Common Interest Community Commission and Nevada Real Estate Division. HOA’s are also subject to relevant Federal statutes.

Once the HOA is filed with the State they have corporate documents known as “governing documents”. These include Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, rules and regulations. HOA’s also employ a representative government in the form of an elected board. This board has specific duties and powers to govern the community in accordance with the governing documents. Board members are unpaid volunteers and have legal responsibilities to uphold the duties of their office. Being the work associated with many associations is far more extensive than the time a board member can generally commit, so boards often contract with management companies to perform much of the work needed to run the HOA.

Here are Some Tips to Make Your Life Easier in an HOA

  • Once a home is a part of an HOA, the occupants (including all tenants) are subject to the rules of the community. If you don’t like the rules don’t live there or try and work with the board to resolve issues. First, you will have to get educated on how an HOA works. Sometimes people who initially disagree with how a community is run come to understand why some things have to be accomplished when they come to know the totality of issues involved.
  • Pay your assessments on time, even if you are in a dispute. Unlike rent where you can withhold rent in certain circumstances, not paying your HOA will only subject you to grief and fines. State laws provide avenues to address legitimate grievances. Did you know an HOA can actually foreclose on your home if you don’t pay your assessments?
  • Understand assessments should increase incrementally over time. Assessments that never go up may appear on the surface to be a good thing, but as inflation makes the cost of services more expensive, assessments that don’t keep pace forces the board must scale back on the upkeep of the community’s assets in order to stay on budget. This can lead to components of the community needing replacement sooner, increased legal liabilities such as slip and fall hazards. The possibility of large special assessments to pay for unexpected costs in later years can end up costing far more in the long run than regular small increases to the assessments.
  • If you get a notice of a violation don’t ignore it, deal with it directly. Most HOA’s just want compliance. Good communication is welcomed in a good HOA to get problems solved quickly, and at a minimum of inconvenience to all parties. Nobody likes paying fines, so if you receive a courtesy take action right away. Delaying will usually just end up costing you more in the end.
  • Seek out a few neighbors and the board members. Having direct relationships can really help you when issues may arise.
  • Do not make any architectural changes without first checking to see what the HOA’s policy is on changes. Nobody wants to pay for changes to their home only to have the HOA force them to remove the changes. Yes, they can legally do this, so be careful. Again, simple communication is the key.
  • Know the basics of your HOA: parking restrictions, rules about noise, rental restrictions etc. Most of the important rules governing use are usually located in the governing docs and outlined in a table of contents. You don’t have to be a legal scholar to understand your governing documents.

Jamie Collins is co-owner of Shelter Management Group (SMG) and a licensed Supervising Community Association Manager (CAM). For questions about HOA’s and related management services you may call her at 702-818-4780 or email: info @ sheltermanagementgroup.com

Commonly Used Terms In A Las Vegas HOA

It seems like a simple term, “unit owner”, however the Nevada Real Estate Division was recently tasked with a request to formally define what a unit owner is. According to a newly drafted opinion provided by the Commission, the term “UNIT OWNER” has been clarified and defined as follows and is referenced in NRS 116.095 and NRS 116.093 as well as NRS 116.2105:

“A unit’s owner is any person who is considered an owner of real property by law. Real property interests must be transferred in writing. Therefore, a unit’s owner is a person or entity that can provide a written conveyance or other writing that transfers a unit to them. The written conveyance or other writing must be signed by the person transferring the unit. A unit’s owner is also a lessee of a unit if the written lease expires when the common interest community expires. An owner of an entity that is a unit’s owner is anyone who can provide the association with evidence of ownership of the entity regardless of the ownership percentage.”

Note:  A deed does not need to be recorded for ownership to be effective, the law only requires that any transfer of interest in real property be in writing, signed by the grantor and notarized.  *Draft Nevada Real Estate Division Advisory Opinion, November 20, 2013.

This, like many other definitions that we hear on a daily basis can be somewhat confusing. We have compiled a number of commonly used terms, like the one above, and provided an abbreviated version of the definitions of those terms for your reference on the Shelter Management Group website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Shelter Realty or Shelter Management Group (SMG) team, we would be happy to help.

*It is highly recommended that you review these definitions with those sections of NRS 116 mentioned by logging on here.