Shared by Deborah Goonan
Across the USA, there are many dedicated individuals making efforts to improve HOA governance standards at the state level. Retired Col. Robert Frank of Nevada is one them. The Col. has served the last 3 years as Homeowner Representative & Commission Secretary, on Nevada’s State Commission for Common Interest Communities & Condominium Hotels (CICCH). As his 3-year appointment comes to an end, he shares his thoughts regarding CICCH and the agency’s ability to serve the best interests of Nevada’s HOA residents.
As you read his letter below, you will come to understand that state level regulatory agencies often fall far short when it comes to timely and meaningful enforcement of the law. A state can have hundreds of pages of laws governing homeowners, condominium, and cooperative associations. But if those laws are toothless in terms of required accountability, or if those laws are not regularly enforced, they become meaningless. This not only has an adverse effect on residents of Association-Governed Residential Communities, but also all taxpayers and housing consumers. Quality of life and preservation of individual and property rights is an issue that affects all of us in America, no matter where we happen to live.
My appointment to the HOA Commission is completed. I did not request reappointment for a normal 3 year term. So, I can now move on with the satisfaction that CICCH Commission records show I did my best to make a difference on behalf of unit owners.
Regretfully, the records shows that legislative and executive branch authorities do not appear to want the CICCH (HOA) Commission to effectively perform its statuatory mission on behalf of all home owners. It is under the tight control of industry and government interests–to the serous detriment of unit owners and other occupants.
The record of the past decade shows that well over 95% of unsettled law violation complaints filed with the state by unit owners against HOA boards and licensed managers are summarily dismissed by the state. The division does not have to show or defend the merits and results of its secret, multi-year investigations with board presidents and their attorneys. The division’s dismissal decisions are not subject to anyone’s review or dispute unless high cost civil law suits are initiated. This is gross injustice for unit owners. Imagine if the courts only tried 5% of the valid complaints filed with them?
The less than half a dozen cases out of hundreds filed each year that are actually prosecuted under the administrative statutes by the Attorney General staff to the CICCH Commission always reflect high level criminal violations as well. But, criminal investigations and prosecutions never seem to get prosecuted. HOA and Condo unit owners are losing many millions of dollars due to known criminal violations every year and the government is failing to do anything. This knowing and willing failure of justice for HOA owners is a true outrage for our state.
The Real Estate Division is also not subject to any kind of outside oversight of its decisions that almost always favor the boards and licensed managers. This means the Division is given a blank check by the Legislature to continue to hide its apparent misconduct and denial of homeowner justice.
As a result, HOA owners currently have no viable paths for demanding and expecting to receive citizen property rights protections from the abusive industry and state/local government controllers.
Unfortunately, it now seems clear that a large, Nevada grassroots organization and legislative caucus must be formed to represent aggrieved property owners against the combined business and government power blocs. The consequences of doing nothing can create a continuing blight upon the previously attractive Nevada home markets.
Robert Frank, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)