Homeowner feels he is being unfairly treated over shed

Homeowner feels he is being unfairly treated over shed

Q: I have read a few of your articles about homeowners associations and hope you can give me some advice on how to handle my HOA Tuff Shed issue.

In August 2013, we submitted an architectural review committee request to install a shed. It was approved with the condition that we stucco and tile the shed. We talked to a board member and requested they allow the shed without stucco and tile since there are numerous sheds in our development without stucco and tile. Our request was denied.

We did not install the shed at that time. Since then, several more sheds were installed in our development without stucco and tile.

Even the board member who denied us has a shed without a tile roof. We feel we are being unfairly targeted by the board.

In November 2016, we purchased and installed the shed. Within two days, we had a violation letter stating Unapproved Shed Remove Shed. Unfortunately, we live across the street from the president. We didn’t think this would go unnoticed, but last summer, two sheds were installed a few doors down and another cabana with a metal roof. We were told all structures must have tile.

We contacted the HOA management company and have tried to work out this issue based on that we are an 80-home development, and there are more than 20 sheds visible that are not finished with tile and stucco. Our board states that it is “Flavor of the Board,” and our shed is not approved without being finished with tile or stucco.

We have received a hearing notice, so we are trying to figure out how to resolve this with the board since other sheds have been allowed and approved by previous board members.

We don’t understand how we can be denied when there are so many other sheds in the development. They don’t have a problem with us keeping the shed, even though our ARC request was expired … they just want to force us to tile and stucco. I will do it but feel all other 20-plus homeowners should do it as well.

A: You should prepare your case prior to attending the hearing. This should include the addresses of homes that have installed comparable shreds that you installed at your home.

Because of confidentiality pertaining to violations, you do not know if the homeowners who have just recently installed sheds without stucco or tile are being sent violation letters or being fined.

If the board decides not to accept your shed, and assuming that all of the other homeowners have not received violation letters, you do have the option to file a complaint with the Ombudsman for mediation based on the premise of inequality.

Q: I read with great interest your article in this past Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal. One question I have is: What if the homeowner never applied for an Architectural Review and the HOA, after several years, finds out about the violation? Such as the installation of hard flooring in a multistory residential building when the covenants, conditions and restrictions require carpet and pad.

A: I had the opportunity to discuss such issues with John Leach, the attorney who wrote the architectural article that was published last Sunday.

First, many multifamily CC&Rs state that noise complaints would be a homeowner-to-homeowner matter, and that an engineering firm would be required to initiate a sound test, with the cost being borne by the losing party.

If there are no specific covenants addressing this issue, the courts would be looking at the facts involving this kind of architectural violation. This is not a violation that would be visually noticed by the association. The violation would have to be reported by the homeowner who is living below the homeowner who installed the hard-cover flooring.

I have seen a few cases where hard-cover flooring was installed and were approved by the association because of the Fair Housing laws pertaining to the disability of the homeowner.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent toholland744o@gmail.com.