Great Column in Las Vegas Newspaper

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Rana Goodman

On My Soap Box

The Mess Continues, The Government Does Nothing!

For the past two months, I have been telling you about the issues of the Crossroads III Condominiums homeowners. Unfortunately, nothing has been resolved as of this date, since the wheels of the Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) move painfully slow – even in the face of this emergency situation.

Terry Williams, Public Information Officer for the Nevada Department of Business & Industry, did speak to me about the case and promised to see what she could find out. She wrote me a long email ending with the following which I found very troubling:

“When an intervention affidavit is filed, the case is considered the state’s case. It is not the complainant’s case. The state has no further duty to report the status of the investigation until the investigation has been completed. The Division caseload is extremely heavy and while a complainant may feel a particular sense of urgency for resolution, the division can only complete an investigation as resources and circumstances (including responsiveness of the other parties named in the complaint, etc.) of individual cases allow.”

Perhaps that is why I have another homeowner incident on my desk that is now going into the fourth year. It has simply languished (or perhaps, been ignored?) by NRED’s bureaucracy.
And perhaps that is why Jerry Marks, who is a Supervisory Community Association Manager, (licensed by the NRED) turned to Channel 13 TV for help when he ran into problems with the HOA he lives in, rather than go through the tedious steps of “going by the NRED book.”

Jeez, the new forms alone would give you angina.

In my attempt to help the Crossroads III board and homeowners, I reached out to their Las Vegas Councilman, former Senator Bob Coffin. I sent several emails via his web page, as well as the previous Vegas Voice editions. I also enclosed a cover letter listing the problems and contact information for the board. The Councilman did not even have the courtesy to respond. No email, no phone call – nothing!

With no end in sight, Crossroads III homeowners cannot even get simple repairs made. The common areas are simply neglected by Sherryl Bacca, the community manager, even though she is paid by the “other” group that claims to be the “rightful board.”

There is now a 4 page recall petition for the “second board” that has been signed by many owners in the complex. Now that they have the required amount of signatures, by law, management has 90 days to hold that election.

If they refuse to do so, the homeowners would have to go back to the Real Estate Division to force compliance. However, as previously stated, no help has been forthcoming from NRED.
Believe me, I am very familiar with the cliché: “If you don’t like living in a HOA, why did you buy a home in one?”

Well, let’s be realistic. The largest percentage of homes built in the Valley over the last 15 or 20 years are in HOA communities. There is very little choice. Reading your governing documents only tell you the rules; you do not have any idea as to the type of board or management you are going to get.

When I was first introduced to the NRED Ombudsman’s office around 2007, a homeowner’s first “HOA problem-solver”, they were happy to give help and instruction. These days, that office is tied up for unlimited amounts of time with bureaucratic layers of forms and rhetoric that lead nowhere.

At the 2011 legislative session, few legislators wanted to talk about presenting HOA bills. However at the last session, there were hundreds of HOA bills, since legislators were besieged by homeowners who were having so many types of problems and needed help.
Things are only going to get worse and help will not be available since while “a complainant may feel a particular sense of urgency for resolution, the division can only complete an investigation as resources, circumstances… allow.”

Suffice to say, any homeowner wishing to sell and bail out of Crossroads III might as well forgetaboutit. There are disclosure laws in this state and sellers must “show and tell” if there are law suits pending, defects they are aware of, and/or “trouble in “River City.” A potential homeowner would have to be out of his/her mind to buy into that mess.

Unless of course, they are into war games!

Rana Goodman is The Vegas Voice political editor and a “trouble shooter, advocating for seniors.” She also maintains a community web site, Anthem Today; a forum for residents in Sun City Anthem. She can be reached at: rana@thevegasvoice.net.

 

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About Ward Lucas

Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, “Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association,” is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation’s legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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