Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Nevada

I paid cash for my home outright with having the specific purpose of purchasing where the was no HOA. My deed/title specifically states that there is no HOA out here. Now 18 months later i received a letter in the mail stating that I am late on my dues for the past year and a half and if i do not pay they will take ownership of my property and sell it at auction. Also there are at least a half dozen other home owners who's deed/title states that there is no HOA in this area. My first question is if this HOA does in fact exist am I responsible for dues even though a contract was signed stating that there is no HOA? Second can they take ownership of a property that does not have a mortgage or any money owed on it?

Asked on 8/15/15, 7:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Rick Williams Law Offices of Frederick D. (Rick) Williams, Chtd.

First, I must conclude you transacted the purchase without the use of a title company to hold the escrow, do the accounting and to insure the deed. Any escrow handler would have researched the public record and discovered the existence of an HOA, made certain the dues were current (apparently they were at the time of the transaction, too, or your deficiency notice would have been for much more than just 18 months) and done a pro rata sharing of the dues to the date of closing. You would normally have paid a transfer of membership fee to the HOA to have the property recognized in your name, and gotten some sort of package of information from the HOA after recording of the deed. Moreover, you would have been presented a copy of the CC&R's for the neighborhood at closing so you would know all the rules by which you were expected to live in that neighborhood.

If you did the whole transaction without a title company, you must not have title insurance and that is a serious oversight. Also, I have never seen a Nevada deed that stated the negative - that there is no HOA. I have a hard time imagining that.

If, indeed, you owe an HOA back dues you most certainly can suffer a lien filed on your property, and if the HOA chooses to execute on the lien, they most assuredly can take your home away from you for nonpayment of the dues. It could then be sold at auction and the net equity returned to you after deduction of the back dues, legal costs, court costs, appraisal fees, accounting fees, trustee fees and whatever else they decide to tack onto the bill. It sounds like you have gotten into some hot water and could benefit from hiring legal counsel to help you through the errors and oversights of your purchase.

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Answered on 8/15/15, 7:53 pm

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