RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Some downtown Reno high rise residents recently learned a painful lesson: they've been forced to move out of their homes temporarily for a multimillion dollar repair job, and they're getting stuck with the bill. Perhaps their biggest frustration is not having a say in any of this.
On the outside, the high rise condominium at 1200 Riverside Drive looks to be in good shape, but serious plumbing problems have forced the Homeowners Association to gut the 40 year old building and install new pipes on the inside at a cost of $3 million.
"We've had a lot of pipe failures out there. They're becoming more and more significant," says HOA Attorney Adam Clark.
The repair project is not going over well with the longtime residents like Roger Reid. He's being forced to move out for nearly three weeks while the work is done. He and other residents will also have to share the bill. For Reid, that means coughing up $32,000 to pay his share of the repairs.
"I was shocked," Reid says. Reid's neighbor had a similar reaction, "Of course I was shocked," says property owner Angie Phillips. "I'm not going to be able to afford that."
Residents like Reid and Phillips say they're upset that they had no say in this project, but according to state law, property owners are only entitled to a vote on capital improvements, not repairs. The HOA considers this $3 million project a repair job because they're replacing existing equipment.
Clark says anyone moving into a building like this should plan for repairs and inquire about them before signing on the dotted line. As buildings age, projects like this become inevitable, and it's good to keep in mind they can be pricey and rarely convenient.
"It's a good time to take a vacation if someone's planning one," Clark says.
The HOA Board says it has been as transparent as possible during this while process, even holding public meetings for the property owners to attend. The bottom line: it is the board's decision, and property owners are at the mercy of the Homeowners Association. One option is to join the board, but that might be the only way to guarantee you have a voice.