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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11576
Experience:  I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
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I own a unit inside a home owners association in North Las

Resolved Question:

I own a unit inside a home owners association in North Las Vegas. I rent the home. I spend a lot of time in Thailand and I was gone for two months.

The association knew I was gone, but notified me by registered mail that my house was not in compliance regarding weeds not pulled and bushes not trimmed.

I learned of the problem a little over three weeks ago while in Thailand. I was advised that I would be fined 550 dollars, the fine had gone up to $200 per week. I talked to a representative and she said that after the corrections were made that they could consider eliminating or reducing the fine.

The letter I got said that I had until the 13th of this month to notify them if I thought the fine was in error. I flew back to Las Vegas and found someone to trim the bushes and to pull / spray the weeds. I sent a photo on the 11th showing that the corrections were made and received a notification on the 12th that they had received it.

Then on the 14th I was sent a letter notifying me that the fine had increased to $770. On that same day the representative told me that she would submit my request to the board to lower the fine.

They will not discuss with me what they do with others as they say it is private. My problem is that I know they negotiate with people over fines. They are afraid of the big banks so they frequently (always maybe) reduce or eliminate their fines. They will not agree with me that they need to tread everyone the same. I really feel that they act in an arbitrary way.

What is the law? Do they need to treat everyone the same? I think the answer must be yes. How can we tell if they refuse to talk? $770 is a lot... but for sure not enough to go to court over?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provided you with Excellent Service


They seem to act arbitrarily and their fines are extreme.


1. What was their reason for increasing the fine after you had complied with their requests ?


2. Is there no mortgage on your property and that is why they are so anxious to file a lien against it

Thank you,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was out of the country when they initially fined me. I received a letter dated 29th of last month telling me that I was being fined $570.00 That letter stated that if they did not hear from me by May 13th that they would be forced to move ahead with additional collection costs. The work was completed on the 11th and I sent an email to my contact there and she replied that she received it.
They did not wait, They had my notification and wrote again on the 13th.. .that they were increasing the fine to 770 and that they would send it to collections if not received by the 28th.

I think this is very heavy handed. They gave me to the 13th to reply... I did reply by the 13th and they acknowledged.

In fact, my contact there sent me email on the 14th telling me that she would contact the board on my behalf about reducing the fine ... and I received the letter dated the 14 telling me of the increased fine and potentinl recording of a lein.

No.. there is no mortgage on the property.

My concern is that that they are not treating people equally. They know they can push around a single owner but they have many banks that get property back and do not take care of lawns... but they have legal staff and do not put up with this nonsense.
It is my thought that thay must treat people equally... right?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still here?
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I am here and I am preparing your Answer. I do not give "stock" Answers. I prepare each Answer according to the customer's facts. I just do not type very quickly. Please give me a few minutes,

Thank you for your patience,


ANDREA
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your additional information and your kind patience,

You asked,

"...It is my thought that they must treat people equally....right ?"

Answer

The Officers and the Board are charged with the responsibility of seeing that the Declarations, C,C, &Rs, By-Laws, and any other Rules that may be enacted from time to time are carried out and obeyed. They cannot enforce some Rules on some homeowners while exepting other homeowners from the same Rules. Fines imposed for certain violations must be enforced in the same way, equally and not aritrarily here and there.

First, the additional amount of $200 should not have been included because they gave you until the 13th of May. They could clearly see that you had complied by the 13th of May and you had notified them before the 13th that the fine was incorrect. They did not have the right or the authority to increase the fine to $770 after you had laready complied.

Although I do not believe in bluffing, in this case, a little bluffing is very appropriate. You should notify them in writing that after speaking with several homowners about the fines beig imposed on the residents, it is your understanding that their fines were eliminated because they had complied with whatever it was that the Board had requested of these homeowers. Then, you can go a little further and say that all of the Rules, Regulations, Declarations, C,C & R, etc. prohibit the arbitrary enforcement of Rules and the imposition of Fines against certain homeowners and not others. Also that you hope that this situation can be amicably resolved, but you are prepared to protect your proprietary interests and prevent the unequal enforement of the community's Rules.

I understand that it is not a great amount, however, keep in mind that if you sued the HOA, they would have to incur legal fees because they must have an Attorney representing the HOA in Court. Therefore, if youmake them believe that you are prepared to protect your rights by means of the Courts, they might be, should be more eager to negotiate a more reasonable settlement,

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ANDREA
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11576
Experience: I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
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