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HOA board does not like the house paint color

Q: I’m a disabled American Veteran. I need help against what I believe to be an unfair request from my homeowners association, which is placing me in a physical and financial hardship.

I called the HOA last spring and asked about the color I planned on painting my house and they agreed on that color: white with dark brown trim. I received a letter in the mail yesterday telling me the trim of black on my house was not approved. When I replied to them with pictures that the color was dark brown they said it didn’t matter. They didn’t care. It was too dark even though there are more than a dozen homes in my area with dark brown doors and/or trim. I have photos of them. I have to go through the expense of painting my home again, and physically, it is very hard on me.

I’ve tried emailing them several times showing them my home’s actual color along with the other homes in the area that have dark brown trim to try and negotiate with them, and they haven’t responded to any of my emails.

I don’t understand how they can rule that my dark brown trim isn’t OK, but the dark brown trim on more than a dozen homes in my neighborhood is OK. And, if I expand to the whole community, there are three or four times as many homes with dark brown trim. One home is completely dark brown.

I live in The Lakes area. Can you please help me?

A: You indicated that you called the association and that the color was approved. You did not indicate whether you received any approval in writing.

While I do not know the policy of your association, generally speaking, an architectural request must be sent to the association with specific information as to the color and brand of the paint.

You should send a formal letter requesting a hearing with the board to review your case.

Ultimately, if you did not receive a formal approval of the color to be used, you may not have any recourse but to repaint the trim. If that should be the final decision from the board, you should ask the board for a longer period of time in which to repaint the trim.

Q: We live in a gated community with HOA. It just towed our vehicle, without giving any warning. Apparently, it was because of expired plates, which is not true. My husband paid for his plates back in August. His only mistake was that he forgot to put his sticker on. Now, we have to pay $225 to get the vehicle back? Is there a way I can get that money reimbursed? Right now, we are in a tight monetary situation because of what’s going on.

A: Under Nevada Revised Statute 116.3102 (1s), associations have the right to remove vehicles that are improperly parked pursuant to NRS 487.038 or that are in violation of their governing documents. The association must post written notice on a conspicuous place on the vehicle, or provide oral or written notice at least 48 hours before the vehicle is towed.

The association can immediately tow a vehicle if parked in front of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane; poses an immediate threat to health, safety or welfare; or is parked in front of a resident’s driveway.

I understand the hardship that residents are facing, but you probably would not receive any reimbursement from the association as the $225 is not a fine but a “hard cost” that would be coming out of the association’s operating account.

Q: Thank you for your weekly column. We live in a 55-plus community. Recently we have had a homeowner submit a request to start a community prayer group on one of our club application forms.

Our governing documents and rules and regulations state that no religious or political group clubs will be allowed.

Are these rules outdated or overly restrictive? We know there are a variety of ways for homeowners to gather together whether it be in an organized committee, club, planned social event, or just reserving a facility room for a gathering (game night, poker night, etc). Our current governing document appears to restrict any such religious gathering. How have other HOAs handled such a request? We’d like your input.

A: If in fact, your covenants, conditions and restrictions prevent a political or religious club, the only way for the association to change that restriction is for the CC&Rs to be amended. Other associations have allowed religious clubs to rent a room at the clubhouse.

I don’t think that your CC&Rs are overly restricted. Unfortunately, politics and religion are volatile subjects.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager and holds the supervisory community manager certificate with the state of Nevada. She is an author and educator on real estate management. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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