There are more than 3,000 homeowners associations in the state of Nevada. There’s a good chance that a homeowner’s association currently affects you or might sometime in the future. In Nevada, there are laws and rules that govern how a homeowners association (HOA) works. We spoke to local Las Vegas attorney Adam Kutner about the 10 HOA laws that you need to know in Nevada:
1. Nevada Has an HOA Law
Nevada has an entire chapter of laws devoted to how to operate an HOA. Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 116 is the Nevada common interest ownership law. The law covers various topics like how to create an HOA, what must be in the filing documents, and the rights of property owners. Other topics include how elections work, tort liability, and rules for dissolution. The HOA rules apply to all homeowners associations in the State of Nevada. According to Nevada Revised Statutes 116.1104, most provisions of the HOA law can’t be waived, even if there’s an agreement by both parties.
2. Even Though There’s an HOA Law, Other Laws Still Apply
Nevada law 116.1108 says that even though Nevada has an HOA law, corporate laws still apply. Property laws, contract laws, and eminent domain laws all still remain in effect. When parties create and operate an HOA, Nevada Chapter 116, the HOA law, is the first point of guidance. However, it’s important to be mindful that other areas of law still apply. There may be several laws that come into play when operating an HOA or managing conflicts as they arise.
3. It’s Illegal to Embezzle From an HOA
If an officer or other person tries to embezzle from an HOA, they may face charges. Nevada embezzlement laws apply to the financial activities of an HOA. If the amount of money involved is less than $250, the charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail. When amounts of over $250 are involved, the offender can receive up to 10 years in prison. In addition, the offender must pay a fine and restitution. If you suspect embezzlement from your HOA funds, you can report the matter to law enforcement for investigation.
4. An HOA Must Allow Disability Accommodations
Each HOA must allow owners to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. For example, if a person needs to add hand railings or a ramp to make their unit accessible, the HOA must allow it. United States federal disability laws apply, too, but Nevada law 116.2111 prohibits the HOA from preventing a unit owner from making reasonable improvements to accommodate a disability.
5. Homeowners Still Have Rights
An HOA’s authority must be reasonable. Nevada Revised Statutes 116.2111 says that an HOA must allow their owners to make reasonable improvements, changes, and modifications to their units. The modifications an owner makes can’t interfere with the common interest or change common areas without HOA permission. In addition, the HOA can limit modifications that change the exterior appearance of a unit or change the common areas. The HOA may not unreasonably prohibit access that is lawful by a unit owner to their own property.
6. There’s a Duty to Act in Good Faith
When the Nevada HOA law creates a duty on someone, the person has an obligation to carry out the required actions in good faith. In general, a person who is an officer of a corporation has a legal duty to act in good faith or act as a fiduciary on behalf of the organization. The same concept applies to anyone who has a duty under the HOA law. Officers have a duty to act in good faith when they form and operate a homeowners association.
7. All but the Smallest Associations Must Have an Executive Board
The law requires all HOAs with more than 12 units to have an executive board. Nevada law 116.3101 says that organizing documents must state that the purpose of the board is to operate as an association. In fact, there is specific wording the documents must use to identify the HOA as a “community association” or other similar entity. There are a number of different business entities that are available to an HOA as a corporate structure.
8. Election Fraud Laws Apply
HOA elections are serious business. If someone tries to rig an HOA election, they’re committing a crime. Nevada law 116.31107 creates voter fraud laws for homeowners associations. It’s illegal to change a vote, forge a vote, cast a vote without authorization, failing to count someone’s vote, or counterfeit a ballot. A violation of the law is a category D felony that may result in up to four years in prison and $5,000 in fines. In addition, the person responsible may face state forgery charges or federal mail and wire fraud charges.
Nevada HOA Laws
These are just some of the HOA laws in Nevada. The State of Nevada has thorough and comprehensive HOA laws that apply throughout the state. An experienced Nevada attorney can help you take the necessary steps to comply with the law and operate your HOA.