Higbee to address it. Vegas April 16, - 5: Can a homeowners association restrict a sex offender from purchasing a house? A homeowners association does not have the power to preclude a sex offender from purchasing a home in a common-interest community.
Additionally, an association may not be able to stop a sex offender from residing in the community as a tenant but this issue is still up for debate.
Also, depending on the governing documents of the particular association, it may be able to notify residents when a sex offender has moved into the community. Public information about sex offenders The laws concerning sex offenders have developed over the years as a result of violent crimes against children. Federal law now requires all states to register convicted sex offenders and keep track of where they live.
Nevada law requires those convicted of a crime against a child and those classified as sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies. Certain information about registered sex offenders is available to the public. The information is part of what is called the Central Repository. The public is authorized to obtain online access to portions of the Central Repository.
At present, there are approximately 1, registered sex offenders in Las Vegas. The location of these registered sex offenders is easily obtained by going to the Nevada Sex Offender Registry and entering an address. Bans by associations With the ease of locating sex offenders in Nevada, residents in common-interest communities are concerned about their children and grandchildren frequenting common area pools and playgrounds where sex offenders may have a right to frequent as well.
At some point, a board of directors for an association will want to know if they can ban sex offenders from residing in the community. First, the board needs to review the covenants, conditions and restrictions to see if there is already a ban on sex offenders from residing in the community.
Some of the reasons a court would not uphold a ban on sex offenders: There are no statutes that specifically allow an association to preclude sex offenders from residing in a community.
These courts have not made rulings that create precedence. And, the Nevada Supreme Court has not addressed this issue. Public policy concerns Bans against sex offenders may be contrary to public policy because they could restrict the residency options of the sex offenders who have served their time and been released from prison.
Even though many people choose to live within common-interest communities specifically because of the perceived security they offer, that should not become a vehicle to ensure that those problems remain the burden of the former offenders who may be the least able to afford a viable solution.
Such bans on sex offenders could approach the harassment dangers addressed by the U. A ban on sex offenders could make a property unmarketable and concentrate wealth. Certainly, there are numerous associations in Nevada and if they all closed their doors to sex offenders, most may be confined to a narrow area. Possible violations of fair housing The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against handicapped people in the sale or rental of property.
What drives a sex offender is unknown and thus, it is unlikely that a sex offender falls under this definition. With courts narrowly interpreting the Federal Housing Administration, sex offenders likely will not be considered handicapped. What action can be taken by an association? Provided there is authority in the governing documents, there are some actions that an association can take. The residents can determine for themselves whether or not sex offenders are living in the community.
However, this can expose an association to liability if the wrong information is provided. The association should not provide the name, address or photograph of the sex offender. Higbee is a shareholder with the law firm Marquis Aurbach Coffing. She is an AV-rated attorney with Martindale Hubbell.