Nevada Legislative Update

Nevada Legislative Update

The Nevada legislature recently amended its laws governing the mediation and arbitration of claims involving residential property, and governing common-interest communities.  Both bills are effective October 1, 2013.

NEVADA ASSEMBLY BILL 370

 

 

“Program” means a program established by the Real Estate Division of the Department of Business and Industry (the “Division”) under which a person, including, without limitation, a referee or hearing officer, can render decisions on disputes relating to:

  • The interpretation, application, or enforcement of any covenants, conditions, or restrictions applicable to residential property or any bylaws, rules, or regulations adopted by an association; or
  • The procedures used for increasing, decreasing, or imposing additional assessments upon residential property.

 

Upon receipt of a written claim and answer in which all the parties indicate that they wish to have the claim referred to a program, the Division may refer the parties to the program.

 

 

The person to whom the parties are referred according to the program must review the claim and answer and, unless the parties agree to waive a hearing, conduct a hearing on the claim.  After reviewing the claim and the answer and, if required, conducting a hearing on the claim, the person must issue a written decision and award and provide a copy of the written decision and award to the parties.  The person may not award to either party costs or attorney’s fees.

 

 

Any party may, within 60 days after receiving the written decision and award, commence a civil action in the proper court concerning the claim.  Any complaint filed in such an action must contain a sworn statement indicating that the issues addressed in the complaint have been referred to a program.  If an action is not commenced within 60 days after receiving the written decision and award, any party may, within 1 year after receiving the written decision and award, apply to the proper court for a confirmation of the written decision and award.

 

 

Any civil action must be submitted to mediation or referred to a program by filing a written claim with the Division.  The claim must include, in addition to other requirements, a statement of whether the person wishes to have the claim referred to a program.  The claim no longer must include a statement of whether the person wishes to have the claim submitted to a mediator or to an arbitrator and, if the person wishes to have the claim submitted to an arbitrator, whether the person agrees to binding arbitration.  The claim must be accompanied by a filing fee of $50.

 

 

Upon being served, the person upon whom a copy of the written claim was served must, within 30 days after the date of service, file a written answer with the Division, which must include a statement of whether the person wishes to have the claim referred to a program.  The answer must be accompanied by a filing fee of $50.

 

 

Mediation must be completed within 60 days after the filing of the written claim.  Not later than 5 days before the mediation, each party must submit to the mediator a written statement which sets forth the issues in dispute.  Mediation must not exceed 3 hours, unless the parties agree to an extension of time.

 

 

The parties are responsible for the cost of mediation, which must not exceed $500 for 3 hours of mediation.  If the parties agree to extend mediation beyond 3 hours, the fee for the additional hours must not exceed $200 per hour.  If the parties participate in mediation and an agreement is not obtained, any party may commence a civil action in the proper court concerning the claim that was submitted to mediation.  Any complaint filed in such an action must contain a sworn statement indicating that the issues addressed in the complaint have been mediated, but an agreement was not obtained.

 

 

Before commencing a civil action in the proper court, the parties named in the claim may agree to arbitration if the parties have participated in mediation in which an agreement was not obtained or if a written decision and award have been issued.  Unless the parties agree in writing to binding arbitration, the arbitration is nonbinding.  The cost of arbitration must not exceed $300 per hour.

 

If all the parties have agreed to arbitration but have not agreed whether the arbitration will be binding or nonbinding, the arbitration will be nonbinding.

NEVADA SENATE BILL 280

 

 

The holder of a first security interest on a unit in common-interest community or the holder’s authorized agent may establish an escrow account, loan trust account, or other impound account for advance contributions for the payment of assessments for common expenses based on the periodic budget adopted by the association if the unit’s owner and the holder of that security interest consent to the establishment of such an account.  If such an account is established, payments from the account for assessments for common expenses must be made in accordance with the same due dates as apply to payments of such assessments by a unit’s owner.

 

 

An association may not mail to a unit’s owner or his or her successor in interest a letter of its intent to mail a notice of delinquent assessment, mail the notice of delinquent assessment, or take any action to collect a past due obligation from a unit’s owner or his or her successor in interest unless, not earlier than 60 days after the obligation becomes past due, the association mails to the address on file for the unit’s owner:

  • A schedule of the fees that may be charged if the unit’s owner fails to pay the past due obligation;
  • A proposed payment plan; and
  • A notice of the right to contest the past due obligation at a hearing before the executive board and the procedures for requesting such a hearing.

 

The notice of sale in a foreclosure of a common-interest community lien must be mailed by the person conducting the sale by certified or registered mail (previously first class mail) prior to the date of first publication or posting.

 

 

The association may charge the unit’s owner a fee, not to exceed $20, to provide resale package documents in electronic format (previously there was no charge).

 

 

A unit’s owner, the authorized agent of the unit’s owner, or the holder of a security interest on the unit may request a statement of demand from the association.  Not later than 10 days after receipt of a written request from the unit’s owner, the authorized agent of the unit’s owner or the holder of a security interest on the unit for a statement of demand, the association must furnish a statement of demand to the person who requested the statement.  The association may charge a fee of not more than $150 to prepare and furnish a statement of demand and an additional fee of not more than $100 to furnish a statement of demand within 3 days after receipt of a written request for a statement of demand.  The statement of demand:

  • Must set forth the amount of the monthly assessment for common expense and unpaid obligation of any kind, including, without limitation, management fees, transfer fees, fines, penalties, interest, collection costs, foreclosure fees, and attorney’s fees currently due from the selling unit’s owner; and
  • Remains effective for the period specified in the statement of demand, which must not be less than 15 business days after the date of delivery by the association to the unit’s owner, the authorized agent of the unit’s owner, or the holder of a security interest on the unit, whichever is applicable.

 

If the association becomes aware of an error in a statement of demand during the period in which the statement of demand is effective but before the consummation of a resale for which a resale package was furnished, the association must deliver a replacement statement of demand to the person who requested the statement of demand.  Unless the person who requested the statement of demand receives a replacement statement of demand, the person may rely upon the accuracy of the information set forth in the statement of demand provided by the association for the resale.  Payment of the amount set forth in the statement of demand constitutes full payment of the amount due from the selling unit’s owner.