Q: I live across from people who live in chaos. The children were removed by child protective services for neglect and (use of) drugs, and parental rights were revoked. The police have been there at least 50 times in 10 years. The house hasn’t been painted since it was new 20 years ago, and it looks like the Addams family lives there and people come and go at all hours with loud cars and radios. We even had a guy visiting from across the street chasing a woman in my yard and trying to choke her. I called the police. We installed several video cameras. With the exception of these people, the area is beautiful, maintained and quiet.
I contacted my homeowners association and they tell me there is nothing they can do. Isn’t there something an owner can do in this type of disruptive situation?
A: The least your association can do is send out nuisance violation letters. If the neighbor continues with this disruptive behavior, your association may send them a hearing violation/fine letter. Unfortunately, fining a neighbor doesn’t always result in compliance.
If the neighbor is a tenant, the association has more leverage to pressure the landlord to take action and evict the tenant.
Continue to call the police and document the information. Make sure your association receives this information.
Q: I am writing to ask for help with a failed HOA in the Las Vegas community.
The HOA did not act for years on the following offences:
■ Pest control in community areas that causes health risks and damage to public and private property.
■ Several homes for short term rentals confirmed on websites.
■ Nuisance and/or obnoxious neighbors with criminal activity, selling/using drugs, music, parties, barking dogs, abandoned property.
■ Abandoned and broken houses causing nuisance and concern.
■ HOA does not even respond to written complaints submitted.
Police and code enforcement have been contacted, but the HOA must be held accountable and an investigation must be conducted to determine if the HOA is capable of doing their job. Many residents come to the conclusion that expensive HOA fees are a total waste of money and are upset with the current situation and inaction. Photos, videos and written timelines may be submitted to validate complaints upon request.
If you are unable to provide assistance, can you please provide contact details of who can be contacted for assistance in need. Thanks.
A: Sorry to tell you, but “strangers” giving you advice won’t solve your basic problem. Solutions start with owners. Owners who want to be proactive board members to effect change. Finding a strong professional management company with community managers who have dealt with similar issues and helped other associations will help solve some of your problems.
When it comes to your crime issues, make an appointment with your local police captain. Contact your city or county council representative to discuss your community and its surrounding neighborhood. Contact security companies. Ask them to visit your community. Ask them about possible steps that can be taken to help control activity in your community.
Q: I own an investment property in a 20 unit condo community in Incline Village. The budget has been mismanaged for years. It has wreaked havoc on unit owners, with one special review so far and another to come. One thing to note is that a decent amount of the budget goes to pay for an association lawyer to create surveys, send out letters, etc. which is what some unit owners and myself think the job should be of the management company. When we asked about this at a board meeting, the response we received was that neither HOA nor the board have insurance and therefore the lawyer is used to protect them. Shouldn’t all HOAs and the board have insurance and what do you think about the constant use of an attorney?
A: Under Nevada Revised Law 116.3113, associations must maintain, to the extent reasonably available and subject to reasonable deductibles, the following insurance coverage: property insurance, commercial liability insurance, crime insurance, and insurance directors and officers.
Even if there were no law, your association is walking a tightrope. It’s snowing. I slip, I fall and I hurt myself. I am filing a complaint against the association for mismanagement of the owners’ funds. Having your lawyer write letters does not protect your board or members from personal injury claims or issues such as mismanagement, which is usually covered by directors and officers insurance.
Quite frankly, your attorney should have advised your board of directors on obtaining appropriate insurance coverage for your association.
Barbara Holland is an author and property management educator. Questions can be sent to [email protected]