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Nevada homeowners rally against unfair HOA practices

Nevada homeowners rally against unfair HOA practices

CREATED Jul 1, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) – Whether it's illegal towing or a $1,000 fine for dead grass on the lawn, many say their homeowners' association is out of control.

That's why protestors staged a rally Monday at the Grant Sawyer Building, calling for lawmakers to take action.

The next step in the movement to change HOAs and how they're run is to change the laws that govern them. That's the message protestors want to get through to lawmakers.

They say their demands are simple: honesty, fairness, and a return of rights.

"We need to let the legislators know this homeowner association abuse must stop," says Jonathan Friedrich.

Anyone who buys a home in a homeowners' association knows they're giving up some of their rights. But these folks say things have gone way to far.

"I'm tired of the bully boards and I want HOA boards to start treating people like human beings and stop pushing them around," argues Rana Goodman.

Protestors say HOA rules, regulations, fines, and fees have turned into a tool used to bully homeowners and enrich HOA boards and their attorneys.

"(They are) a dictatorial style of organization and they really don't have to adhere to the concepts of fair play and substantial justice," Charles Salter says.

"When I see boards behave like I've seen, this is a very poor example of human behavior," adds Pamela Winger.

The rally at the Grant Sawyer Building Monday morning had several objectives.

The group wants legislators to cap HOA fines and collection agency fees; monitor HOA boards; and eliminate what they call "kangaroo courts," or the hearings where boards rules on violations and impose fines.

"It's very, very concerning and you can see your freedom slowly but surely being usurped by a group of people who I don't think are acting in the best interests of our community," Dick Arendt explains.

They want board members trained on the law and their responsibilities to homeowners, as well as more from the real estate division ombudsman, an office they say is a disaster and argue is nothing more than window dressing that collects information but doesn't solve problems.

"Over the last five and a half years, we have seen our homeowners' living standards go from bad to worse," Arendt continues.

So what do those representing HOAs think of all of this?

We asked CAI President Pat Taylor whether she thinks it's time for a change and why we keep finding new members for our ‘HOA Hall of Shame.'

"There's a larger percentage of boards that are doing the right thing, management companies and managers that are doing the right thing.  We never hear about them.  We just hear about the small percentage.  Is there room for change?  Absolutely.  And we look forward to that and we applaud that."

The rally's message isn't to get rid of HOAs but to make them more livable communities. Nevadans can expect to hear more about this when the legislature begins taking testimony as new laws come up for debated.

And if you'd like to submit a nomination for our ‘HOA Hall of Shame,' send an email to Darcy Spears at 13Investigates@KTNV.com.