Commonly Used Terms In A Las Vegas HOA
It seems like a simple term, unit owner, however the Nevada Real Estate Division was recently tasked with a request to formally define what a unit owner is. According to a newly drafted opinion provided by the Commission, the term “UNIT OWNER” has been clarified and defined as follows and is referenced in NRS 116.095 and NRS 116.093 as well as NRS 116.2105: “A unit’s owner is any person who is considered an owner of real property by law. Real property interests must be transferred in writing. Therefore, a unit’s owner is a person or entity that can provide a written conveyance or other writing that transfers a unit to them. The written conveyance or other writing must be signed by the person transferring the unit. A unit’s owner is also a lessee of a unit if the written lease expires when the common interest community expires. An owner of an entity that is a unit’s owner is anyone who can provide the association with evidence of ownership of the entity regardless of the ownership percentage.” Note: A deed does not need to be recorded for ownership to be effective, the law only requires that any transfer of interest in real property be in writing, signed by the grantor and notarized. *Draft Nevada Real Estate Division Advisory Opinion, November 20, 2013.
We have compiled a number of commonly used terms, like the one above, and provided an abbreviated version of the definitions of those terms for your reference.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Community Management Solutions team, we would be happy to help!
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HOA Vocabulary & Terms
- Association and Unit Owners Association: The unit owners association organized under NRS 116.3101. *Commonly known as “HOA” or “CIC”.
- Common Elements: in all common interest communities, any other interests in real estate for the benefit of a units owners which are subject to the declaration. *Commonly known as “common area”.
- Common Expenses: expenditures made by, or financial liabilities of, the association, together with any allocations to reserves.
- Common Interest Community (CIC): real estate described in a declaration by virtue of the persons ownership of a unit, is obligated to pay for a share of real estate taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance or improvement of, or services or other expenses related to common elements, other units or other real estate described in that declaration. *Commonly known as a homeowners association or “HOA”.
- Community Manager: a person who provides for or engages in the management of a common-interest-community or the management of an association of a condominium hotel. * A Community Manager is licensed through the Nevada Real Estate Division and are commonly known as the “CAM” or Community Association Manager. There are a couple variations of certification that can be obtained such as the “SCM” or Supervising Community Manager
- Declarant: any person or group of persons acting in concert who: as part of a common promotional plan, offers to dispose the interest of the person or group of persons in a unit not previously disposed of; or reserves or succeeds to any special declarants right. *Commonly known as the “Developer” in a new community still in the construction phase of development.
- Declaration: any instruments that create a common interest community, including any amendments to the instruments. *Commonly known as the CC&R’s or “Governing Documents” of an association.
- Executive Board: the body, regardless of name, designated in the declaration or bylaws to act on behalf of the association. *Commonly known as the “Board of Directors” of an association.
- Executive Session: a specific portion of a meeting dedicated solely for the executive board to discuss private matters. The only topics that can be discussed in the executive session are owner account information such as delinquencies and violation hearings, legal matters and personnel matters related to staff. This meeting is not open to the public, with that, owners can only attend by personal invite, typically in the form of a hearing letter or other formal written document. A quorum of the board must present in person or by telephone in order for this meeting to be called to order.
- Governing Documents: the declaration for the common interest community which include the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and rules of the association, and any other documents that govern the operation of the common interest community or association. *Commonly known as the CC&R’s of an association.
- Limited Common Element: a portion of the common elements allocated by the declaration for the exclusive use of one or more but fewer than all of the unit. *example: a patio or balcony in a condominium unit.
- Management of a Common Interest Community: the physical, administrative or financial management and maintenance of a common interest community, or the supervision of those activities for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration.
- Master Association: an organization described in NRS 116.212 whether or not it is also an association as described in NRS 116.3101. *Commonly seen as a large association consisting of residential or mixed, residential and commercial or public buildings or parks, that all owners are a member of. Typically include a number of smaller communities that pay a separate assessment to and is commonly known as a sub-association.
- Planned Community: a common interest community that is not a condominium or cooperative. A condominium or cooperative may be a part of a planned community.
- Quorum: the number (as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to conduct business.
- Regular or Open Session: a specific portion of a meeting in which the board of directors or “executive board” meet to discuss matters of the association, approve minutes, accept financials and review policies. Owners are permitted to attend this portion of a meeting and have a dedicated period of time at the beginning of the meeting to discuss agenda items and at the end of the meeting to discuss any other concerns that they may have in an open forum setting. A quorum of the board must be present either in person or by telephone in order for this meeting to be called to order.
- Residential Use: use as a dwelling or for personal, family or household purposes by ordinary customers, whether rented to particular persons or not but do not include spaces or units primarily used to derive commercial income from or provide services to the public.
- Sub–Association: a smaller community typically found within a master association. A sub-association typically pay two separate assessment amounts, one to the master association and the other to their sub association and are bound by two separate sets of governing documents.
It is highly recommended that you review these definitions with those sections of NRS 116 mentioned by logging on to https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-116.html