Nevada taking on HOAs

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Nevada legislators are looking to reform the rules governing HOAs.  SB174 is a 43-page bill that would change Nevada statute on HOAs and features many pro-homeowner measures, according to sponsor Assemblywoman Allison Copening, D-Las Vegas.

See the KOLOTV.com’s report Nevada Legislators Considering Reform for HOAs. Among the complaints by homeowners reported on in the story are “the ‘egregious’ collection fees when homeowners fall behind on their monthly association dues.”

But not all homeowners had complaints about here HOAs.  Many came out in support of their HOAs – see KTNV.com’s story Homeowners rally in support of HOAs

What do you think?  Are Nevada HOAs in need of reform?

See Senate Bill 174 here.

About Guy Johnson

I am a licensed Nevada REALTOR® living and working in Reno, Nevada. Give me a call at 775-722-4011. My team and I will be happy to assist you with your real estate needs.
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27 Responses to Nevada taking on HOAs

  1. skeptical says:

    Why would anyone subject themselves to living in a neighborhood governed by an HOA? One of the primary reasons to buy a home is to free yourself from the whims and rules of a landlord. Why buy a place when the blue haired lady next door can fine you if you don’t take down your flagpole that doesn’t conform to community standards?

    I’ll never understand the popularity of HOAs and CCRs. You can have them. Especially in a place as libertarian as Nevada (as demonstrated by many blog posts here), I just don’t see why anyone here would by a place with an HOA.

    As for the state of NV going after them for excessive fees, I have no problem with that.

    According to the article,

    “Spaniol was one of several dozen disenchanted homeowners’ association members who shared their stories about board members they referred to as “the gestapo” and “cartels.” One homeowner recited portions of the Magna Carta in his testimony that the governing boards denied fellow residents due process.”

    and

    “The reform bill still wasn’t enough for one homeowners group that is upset it doesn’t address what it called “egregious” collection fees when homeowners fall behind on their monthly association dues. One homeowner who fell behind on a payment of $78.24 racked up $3,300 in collections fees for the debt.”

    I would say one’s primary risk to liberty, outside of the banksters and corrupt politicians, are HOAs. You can have ‘em.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Maybe its the guy who has his 1983 Ford Fiesta torn down in his driveway. You know, the one with the oil and transmission fluid leaking into the gutter. And the spare parts strewn all over the front yard.
    Or maybe its the guy who has his five trucks, the newest of which is a 1978 Dodge, all parked in the front yard.
    Or maybe its the guy who sees no need for garage doors because they just hold in the ordor from the 26 ferrets he has in cages. Or the guy who sees no need to keep the lawn alive. Or the guy who thought it was really cool to paint the house pink and lime green.
    Just a few reasons.
    No question the issue of deliquency fees needs to be addressed. But I can think of few reasons how HOA help maintain property values.

  3. Sully says:

    I agree that HOA’s need some restrictions put on them. One here in Reno is particularly noted for its Gestapo like tactics over some relatively minor issues. I can see the need to control (for lack of a better word) the color code and yard appearances, but bringing in your trash can within an hour of it being picked up! That’s a bit much.

    Too many retirees with too much time on their hands perhaps?

  4. Norton says:

    A HOA is truly a mixed bag. No doubt they can maintain the appearance of a neighborhood and thus improve property values. And no doubt they can be abused by power tripping out of control people.
    Not much more to say about them.

  5. MikeZ says:

    YES! A welcome change. Something needs to be done.

    Some of these HOAs *are* run by “The Gestapo” and the rules are enforced “with discretion” which means in an overtly disciminatory manner. Don’t like the black or Hispanic couple, just keep citing them, while ignoring your friends’ violations. It’s quite ridiculous and unfair. And for the time being, apparently legal.

  6. Dirtbagger says:

    The rules governing our HOA are fairly simple and are presented in readable layman language. It is amazing at the amount of bitching and whining that occurs at meetings by individuals who purchased homes in our community knowing full well that they would be subject to these HOA covenants. They act like they are a victim of some giant conspiracy.

    IMO the benefits of “our” HOA greatly outweigh the negative factors. The HOA is really a classic example of “the individual” versus “the commons”. For those who believe HOA’s are an infringement upon their rights as an individual, what is the problem? There are many rentals and homes for sale in neighborhoods without a HOA.

    Most of the grievances against HOAs and board members seem to be centered around the refusal to grant variances to the rules. In most cases, board members are reluctant to allow any variances (no matter how minor they seem) because it would create a precedent for even greater variances in the future. No responsible board member wants to open this Pandora’s Box.

    Granted, fines and recovery mechanisms for deliquent fees should be reasonable. There should also be a number of simple appeal procedures (not written in legalese) available before liens are attached to the property. Hopefully, these are the issues that SB174 addresses.

  7. 2sleepy says:

    OMG I hate HOA’s. I’ve lived in one for almost 12 years and it has been a nightmare.
    The really disgusting thing about HOA’s is that they don’t have to do one stinking thing to continue collecting dues, there is no way to make them live up to their contractual obligations, complaining to the ombudsman’s office is pointless it’s just a ‘good ole boy network’ run by people who are closely affiliated with the HOA industry. So, they can pretty much do what they want without any fear of recourse.. But… pi$$ off the manager or board of directors and you will have hell to pay because they WILL find some stinking little rule that you violated

  8. Hobbey says:

    You know, if you don’t like what is on the television, then change. the. channel.
    If you don’t like being subject to a HOA, then don’t. buy. a. house. there.
    This is like moving into a downtown condo and then complaining about the street noise.

  9. NVGrayGeek says:

    It looks like a few of you get the picture on the benefits of living in an HOA community. The State of Nevada has more regulations on HOA’s than any of you understand. Talk about over regulation. HOA’s are corporations not mini governments like some in our government believe. STOP with more regulations already, all it does it cost every homeowner more money.

  10. 2sleepy says:

    thanks for the advice “Hobbey” if I could sell this house I would, but I can’t afford to sell it for less than I paid 12 years ago and that’s what would happen.

  11. MikeZ says:

    You know, if you don’t like what is on the television, then change. the. channel.
    If you don’t like being subject to a HOA, then don’t. buy. a. house. there.

    The love-it-or-leave-it gate swings both ways: if you don’t like the new law, pack a U-Haul and put a for-sale on your lawn.

    … not really a practical solution when it’s you who has to move, is it?

  12. Zen says:

    Admittedly, I have never lived in or owned a house that was subject to an HOA, so I can only imagine what it is like. With that said, it’s being portrayed like living under the rule of a tyrant by some here. It is my understanding that the HOA board is elected by the homeowners, am I wrong? If they are acting tyrannical or the rules are over restrictive, can’t the homeowners elect new board members and change the HOA rules that they hate so much? I’ll just bet that most homeowners never attend more than a meeting or two, if that. It’s the same thing we see over and over again. Everyone bitches about education, but how many actually shows up to a School Board meeting. You constantly hear or read about unpopular decisions made at the City Council, yet hardly anyone ever shows up to voice their opinion, much less run for office. So few even take the time to go vote every couple of years. If you don’t like something, try doing something to make it better. There, my tirade is done, have a great night.

  13. Sully says:

    On the pro side of the fence (second article):
    “Of the thousands and thousands of HOAs in Nevada, I would venture a bet that 90 percent are being run effectively.”
    But a couple of people did admit that something needs to be done for the other ten percent.

    As always, its the few that give the bad name to the whole. Apparently, there are enough problem HOA’s to make the legislation take action. Love it or leave it – is not a practical option for most right now.

  14. Tom says:

    Zen, I have been a member of a couple of these and I have represented a few others over the years. The problem I have with many HOA’s is that a group of similarly-aligned members–typically retirees with plenty of time on their hands–bands together like a political action group, and has planning meetings of their own. They then can generally control the HOA through campaigning, dominating elections, gaining committee appointments to the point of majority control of committees, and over-powering association meetings. The owner-members who are still working simply don’t have the time to match resources with such a group, so they lose by default. This results in committees dominated by ornery old grandpa’s who don’t like the shade of tan being applied to the rail fencing, don’t want live music played on summer weekends if you can hear it two houses away, don’t want a non-native species of pine tree allowed in your yard, and so forth. They generally want it quiet, homogenous and bland like a leisure world retirement community. They especially dislike the weekend influx of grandchildren around the pools. There are good points to having recorded C.C. & R.s which protect your investment, but only if enough reasonable residents stay active in association politics.

    If you are going to live in one of these communities, I suggest that you make the decision ahead of time and promise yourself that you will become proactive in the association, run for a seat on the board, and get onto some committees– because if you don’t, you will regret it.

  15. GreenNV says:

    The NRS section on “Common Interest Communities” is a good read: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-116.html Montruex is a good example of how far the CCRs and architectural rules can get out of hand: http://www.mtxhoa.com/docs/.

  16. inclinejj says:

    Google: Las Vegas Condo HOA corruption

    Google: FBI investigates Las Vegas HOA’s

  17. Zen says:

    Tom,

    “The owner-members who are still working simply don’t have the time to match resources with such a group, so they lose by default.”

    I say that they don’t make the time. You are telling me that these young whippersnappers can’t run with grandpa? I have been involved with several battles against such people in different circumstances. I was running my own business, with a wife and kids in the home, so I get it. Did it take a lot of my time? Yes. Was it something I enjoyed? No. Was I able to prevail? Yes! Was it worth it? You better believe it. Show some fortitude. If you are truly being wronged by a select few, do what it takes to make a change.

  18. Tom says:

    Zen, what you say about taking the time to become involved is true. However, there aren’t enough of those like yourself in most HOA’s, and those super-dedicated members who are still working but will nonetheless become active, tend to be out-numbered and out-voted by the retirees who can make campaigning and planning the major issue of their lives.

  19. MikeZ says:

    It is my understanding that the HOA board is elected by the homeowners, am I wrong? If they are acting tyrannical or the rules are over restrictive, can’t the homeowners elect new board members and change the HOA rules that they hate so much?

    In a development where the HOA practices favorable enforcement discretion for their friends and family, the minority who get hammered with citations for every trivial violation isn’t going to be very successful changing the rules or the board members.

    Here’s an idea: if the rules and fines are fair, then why not let everyone enforce them? Let any resident issue citations to any other resident.

  20. Mac says:

    “Let any resident issue citations to any other resident”.

    Are you serious?

    In most HOAs, that would turn into a blood feuds that would make the mafia look childlike.

    MikeZ, I don’t like your name here on the blog, and I dont’ like what you say, so let me be the first to fine you. Nothing could be more “fair” than my subjective opinion that you ought to be fined. And don’t tell me that my deficntion of what is fair for you is not fair. I decide what is fair when it comes to handing out fines. So what are you going to do? Fine me for fining you? I’ll de damned if I am going to pay any fine handed out by you.

    And down the drain it swirls………..

  21. Carney says:

    Don Corleone, my neighbor has unjustly fined me over a trivial matter. He wants to destroy my rights and liberties. I turn to you, Don Corleone, for justice and revenge. Surely a man as powerful as you can bring me justice. I have great respect for you, Don Corleone, and I trust you will bring me and my family the honor and respect we deserve. If ever I can do a favor for you, Don Corleone, such as level a fine at one of your enemies, I beg you grant me the opportunity to be of service to you.

  22. The Don says:

    Carney,
    Why did you go to the HOA? Why didn’t you come to me first? This justice you ask. This I cannot do.

    We’ve known each other many years, but this is the first time you ever came to me for counsel or for help. I can’t remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And, uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.

    I understand you didn’t want to get into any trouble. You found paradise in the HOA, you had a good trade, you made a good living. The HOA protected you and there were CC/R’s and other such things. And you didn’t need a friend like me. But, uh, now you come to me, and you say: “Don Corleone, give me justice.” But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to crush the HOA for money.

    What you ask for is not justice. Your house is still standing.

    What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, then this scum HOA would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

    Carney: Be my friend – Godfather.

    [The Don shrugs, Carney bows toward the Don and kisses the Don’s hand]

    Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day – accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.

  23. Zen says:

    Well, I guess I will have to make a concerted effort in the future to stay out of developments with HOA’s then. It sounds like I would get myself caught up in a big conflict because someone didn’t like the color of roses I planted. Maybe there is a correlation between the microcosm of an HOA and our enormous federal government. Effectively the HOA is a republic, just like our government. It seems to piss off more people than not. They both come up with a ridiculous number of rules that seem to be made only to make our lives more miserable. Both are made up of out of touch power hungry insiders. It is nearly impossible to get them out of office. Every time you turn around they want more of your money. I am definitely staying out!

  24. Carney says:

    The Don,

    Pricless.

    Salud, Don.

  25. MikeZ says:

    MikeZ, I don’t like your name here on the blog, and I dont’ like what you say, so let me be the first to fine you.

    Mac, if the rules and fines are fair, and I’m in violation, then why shouldn’t you be able to write me a citation? If my good friends are on the HOA board, that’s the only way I’ll ever be fined.

  26. bob_c says:

    Government and HOA’s are the same—–the least qualified and most narrow minded rise to the top.

  27. Eileen says:

    While I agree there needs to be some limitations of what neighbors can do, I do believe that HOA’s have gotten way out of control. There needs to be limits. From things like purchasing to unprofitable golf courses, HOA’s have gone way beyond the scope of what they were designed for. What is really frustrating, however, is the the fact that it’s getting more difficult to find newer homes without HOA’s.

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