One of the defining characteristics of HOAs is the use of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Although you might be familiar with the term, do you know how it really affects Nevada associations?
“If you’re a homeowner living in a community with an association, CC&Rs have a huge impact on your quality of life,” said Corbin Seti, senior vice president of community and lifestyle services for FirstService Residential in Nevada. “You can think of this document as a kind of ‘Bill of Rights’ that also provides guidance for homeowners regarding what’s permissible and what isn’t within the community.”
So what should you know about your CC&Rs? Here’s a look at what they mean to you and how they affect you as a member of your community.
The basics
CC&Rs are legally binding contracts. That means homeowners have a legal obligation to the association to abide by the stipulations set forth in the document. Failure to do so can have consequences, such as fines. Extreme cases involving serious violations of your CC&Rs (like failure to pay your assessments) could result in the loss of your home. The power of your CC&Rs is outlined in Nevada Revised Statues 116, which you can review in full right here.

Why they matter
CC&Rs aren’t just a bunch of rules to follow; they are there for a reason. Their primary purpose is to protect your property values and maintain a safe and beautiful community. With this in mind, it’s important to see your CC&Rs as a benefit rather than a burden. They’re the glue that holds your community together and that helps ensure a great quality of life for everyone.

The benefits
CC&Rs are an invaluable tool when it comes to keeping neighborhoods safe and appealing. They ensure a certain standard of living so that all owners and residents have the same privileges and are held equally accountable for their actions. Because of this, you may not have to worry about your neighbors painting their homes in unsightly colors or leaving their broken-down vehicles in the driveway for months on end. CC&Rs might even protect your view from being obstructed.
This is just the beginning of the benefits associated with common-interest communities. The dues you pay often go toward enhanced amenities like dog parks, pools, and athletic facilities. And with proper planning, your association can put funds in reserve to accommodate the kinds of major upgrades or repairs that need to be made from time to time.
How they’re created
Typically, CC&Rs are drafted by your developer. Your board has the power to adopt resolutions and policies that support the CC&Rs to better serve the community as it evolves over time. Some common examples are rules and regulations, collections policy, investment policy, and architectural guidelines. Many Nevada HOAs partner with a community management company, such as FirstService Residential, whose job is to act as the enforcer of these rules. A great community management company can help educate homeowners on the value of the association’s governing documents by providing clear communications and being a source of continual education.
The part you play
Your CC&Rs are a big part of what makes living in your community so rewarding. You can help do your part by taking the time to get familiar with the rules and how they affect you. Homeowners will want to pay particularly close attention to the “Use Restrictions” portion of their association’s documents. This part of your CC&Rs details what’s permissible in common areas, such as prohibiting changes to the exterior of the unit or building, as well as within the home itself.
Nevada legislation dictates that you should have received a copy of your CC&Rs when you bought your home. (If it was a resale, you should have received them as part of your closing package.) If you don’t have a copy of the document, reach out to your board or community management company. And if you rent your property, it is highly recommended that you share a copy of the CC&Rs and any other association rules and regulations with your tenants so that they can assist in keeping your property up to par with the community’s standards.
Your CC&Rs are the foundation of a beautiful, peaceful community for both you and your neighbors. For more information on the benefits of association living, contact FirstService Residential, Nevada’s leading community management company.
Thursday July 28, 2016