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Home Owners' Association Ombudsman
Home Owners' Association Ombudsman

AIR DATE: September 20, 2011

Everyone loves to hate them - the Home Owners' Association. They say you can't fix your car on the street and your kids can't shoot baskets on the street. But they also make your neighbor mow his lawn and keep the party noise down. So what happens when you have a complaint about the HOA or the neighbors? You might end up talking to the Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels Ombudsman - the officer in the Real Estate Division who has to sort out these disputes. Kara Jenkins joins us to talk about her job and what she can do to help resolve disputes.
Kara Jenkins, Ombudsman, Common-Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels, State of Nevada
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    I was very excited about today's show.... That is until the guest "couldn't / wouldn't" answer any straight questions! Many of the callers had very good questions that reflected (in my opinion) the concerns of many listeners that deal or are planning to deal with HOA's. I was hoping that the guest was going to help us (the listeners) out a little more with how to respectfully deal with these "Mafiosos" called the HOA! Although she did give her contact # (thank you), could we please be informed on how some issues were ever resolved?
    Lionel Sep 19, 2011 15:30:59 PM
    Everyone gets frustrated with HOA's (myself included), but few take any action to address their rights as homeowners. If you haven't read your CC&R's, read them. If your community is governed by tiers of HOA's (Summerlin Residents for example), read their CC&R's as well. The question of whether or not the contractor can proceed without approval is dependent on how much risk you're willing to assume. If the rules are enforced to the letter and an HOA pushes, you could be forced to rip out or undo whatever work is done without approval. The Ombudsman should be a last resort. Read your rules and write some letters, and take responsibility for your own community and actions. Much like your Constitutional Rights, if you don't know them, you are liable. For the record, I'm just a homeowner. I have recently joined my HOA's Board and feel the challenges. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend serving on your board or a committee. It's eye-opening in many positive ways.
    CindySep 19, 2011 12:11:47 PM
    This guest was unhelpful, as she couldn't address any caller's question, but her evasion tactics were comically illuminating of the way HOAs are operated. It's always the run around, never a straight answer. Funny, too, that there are HOA training classes for prospective board members. It seems that aspiring members need only learn one phrase to "serve" their constituents: "Please call the office," or "Call (this person) or (that person)." The person on the line never seems to have a solution. Please, SON, follow up with callers who called Jenkins' office. Did they get the help they were promised?
    KristySep 19, 2011 10:31:34 AM
    Can HOA menbers refuse to give out there names & phone numbers so that you can't find out who they are? My HOA is that way!!!!
    Francis FrankSep 19, 2011 09:48:42 AM
    I know HOA's cannot veto the installation of a solar PV system in NV. NRS 278.0208 I know that you must submit the paperwork to the HOA ( architectural review form or whatever their procedure is) prior to installation. My question is: does the contractor have to wait for the HOA to go through their often SLOW process or is notifying them enough and they can proceed with install?
    Krystal HosmerSep 17, 2011 17:45:36 PM
    I am on the board and few people show to meetings unless they have some kind of a complaint .. We really need people to attend meetings and understand that they signed on to the micro government that is an HOA .. Having said that .. board members can't make it up as they go along and should always try to see the point of all involved and if they find some one breaking rules .. they need to approach it with a fairness to all .. and assume people are intelligent and will comply when they have full understanding .. AND without any vendetta's or personal agenda.
    Trudy BeaulieuSep 16, 2011 16:37:03 PM
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