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Case Study: The Haven Homes Method for Resolving Issues with HOAs

Posted by Eric Gutshall on Jun 27, 2018 2:00:00 PM

HOAYou could lose a home over a $1,000 HOA lien.

It doesn’t happen frequently, but it does happen. We’ve seen Las Vegas homes listed at foreclosure auctions due to relatively small sums owed to HOAs. How does it happen? And how can you prevent this? We’d like to share our tried-and-true HOA management techniques with you, so you can get a sense of how we develop our processes.

When Haven Homes first began managing properties in Las Vegas, where approximately 80-90 percent of rental homes are in HOA communities, we realized that owners were accruing fines without even being aware there was an issue with their property. Violations were going directly to residents, who often ignored them. Soon, fines started to accumulate, often on a weekly basis. Since the fine notifications were only going to residents, the owners often had no idea until they went to pay their HOA dues and got a very unwelcome surprise.

In most states, the worst-case scenario is that you then owe a lot of money and have a lien placed against your property. If you sell your home, you have to pay that violation prior to sale. Las Vegas is a special case because HOA liens are considered Super-Priority liens, which supersede even your mortgage.  As we mentioned earlier, the HOA can foreclose on your home to recoup their cost, as we’ve seen at the foreclosure auctions.

So, how does Haven Homes ensure our owners are protected? We developed an efficient system, based on our comprehensive knowledge of the intricacies of HOAs.

First, we ensure that all notices come directly to us. While that sounds easy, we’ve found that changing contact information often takes three or even four attempts before the HOA gets it right. When that’s taken care of and we receive a notification, we enter it in our system and assign it to the correct property manager who determines whether the resident or owner is responsible for remediation.

If it’s the owner’s responsibility, our management team is authorized to act as their agent with the HOA, so we work on their behalf to cure the violation. If it’s the resident’s responsibility, we provide them with notice that they must fix the violation before the HOA hits the property with a fine. (In all Haven Homes leases’, there’s a clause that requires a resident to remediate or fix a violation, so it’s important to follow this process so any potential fines can be charged back.)

As a result of our efforts, we’ve practically eradicated fines and are constantly working to eliminate violations. If you’d like to learn more about other ways we work on behalf of our owner clients, we’d love to have a conversation. Please be sure to contact us!

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Topics: Property Management, Real Estate Investments, HOA