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Telephonic and Videoconference HOA Meetings: Fact and Fiction

Have you ever wondered whether you MUST allow members (not directors) to participate via telephone or videoconference at homeowners association meetings if they request it?  If you have you are not alone.  Like other questions, the answer is found in what the statutes and governing documents say.
FACT:  Both the Arizona Condominium Act and Planned Community Act  require that all meetings be “open to the members.”  Nothing in these statutes forces an association to allow members to attend meetings by phone or video if they can’t make it in person.  The only provisions that address telephones simply states a “quorum of the board of directors […]

Can my HOA foreclose on my home?

Arizona homeowner association law (AZ HOA law) can be difficult to understand and questions oftentimes arise. One question we get from homeowners is often “Can my HOA foreclose on my home?” The answer is “it depends.” Arizona law requires that a foreclosure meet certain threshold requirements before a foreclosure lawsuit can be filed. Those requirements are outlined in ARS 33-1256 for Condominiums and ARS 33-1807 for Planned Communities.  If you read through the legalese of these statutes it can get rather confusing.  The good news is that the statute has been litigated and the courts have upheld the provisions therein […]

HOA Parking Enforcement On Public Roads

Yes, parking enforcement on public roads is still under the HOAs authority!  First, this statute does not apply to condominium associations.  It only applies to planned communities, which are generally single family residential communities.  The new statute, A.R.S. 33-1818, says associations do not have authority over public roads. Some homeowners believe this statute prohibits all associations from enforcing parking violations on public roadways–period.  They are wrong.  Actually, the statute bolsters the argument that associations CAN enforce parking violations on public roads.  Why?  Because this new law only applies to “planned communities for which the declaration is recorded after December 31, […]

Enforcement Information Arizona HOAs Must Disclose

QUESTION:  I just received a newsletter from A.D.R.E. that states “The laws provide specific requirement the HOA must include in any notice of violation to a homeowner.”

ANSWER:  Interesting.  A.R.S. 33-1803 (for planned communities) provides certain notice requirements.  First, the law requires that “after notice” and “an opportunity to be heard” can the association fine a member for violations of the governing documents.  Admittedly, what constitutes “notice” and an “opportunity to be heard” is a debate among the legal community and will be saved for another article.  To answer the specific notice question, however, read particularly A.R.S. 33-1803(D).  That part […]

By |November 6th, 2014|Ask the Experts|0 Comments

Bankruptcy Helps HOA Collections

Boards and managers frequently call me “freaked out” that they have to write-off HOA debt because of bankruptcy.  My response takes them off guard because I congratulate them, because bankruptcy helps HOA collections happen.   Let me explain.

HOA attorneys mostly deal with two types of bankruptcies, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  Both of these chapters can actually help an association get paid.  A chapter 7 bankruptcy is one in which an owner’s “personal obligation” to pay assessments is eliminated.  This is bad news because it means the HOA cannot get a judgment on the discharged debt and garnish the debtor’s […]

By |November 4th, 2014|HOA Collections|4 Comments

Dry Wells and Reserves

Dry Wells are designed to collect and dispose of stormwater by allowing water to percolate
into subsurface soils above the aquifer. All dry wells in Arizona must be registered with the
Department of Environmental Quality. They are considered common area components and
maintenance responsibility generally falls on the HOA.

With regular maintenance and repairs, dry wells are typically a long-life component; however,
failure does occur on occasion due to a number of factors (poor construction, neglect, etc.). If
failure does occur, replacement costs for dry wells can range between $15,000 – $18,000. If
your community has dry wells, then your Reserve study should include them. Omitting […]

By |November 3rd, 2014|HOA Landscaping|0 Comments

HOA Board Delay – How Long Is Too Long?

Question about HOA Board delay, submitted by an HOA Institute member:
Question:

“How long does the Board of Directors have to respond to a homeowner’s letter (sent via the Property Manager… asking for clarification regarding the delay of the board’s decision concerning a particular issue)? If they do not respond what then? The CC&R’s, By-Laws and Rules & Regs do not address the time constraints.”
Answer:
An HOA board delay can be frustrating. Sometimes it is not the board’s fault; other times it is. While the law does not prescribe a deadline to respond to an owner or their representative, the law does require that […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Ask the Experts|0 Comments

Covenant Enforcement: Don’t Delay

There are a million different kinds of violations and many enforcement options to deal with them. RVs, Boats, garbage cans, unapproved sheds and the list of infractions goes on… When asking nicely and issuing fines don’t work, board members may be hesitant to file lawsuits, because of the costs and fees associated with enforcement. Sometimes, contested lawsuits can cost more than $30,000. Thankfully, average lawsuits to enforce CC&R violations costs much less. In many cases we are able to get the relief the association needs for around $1,500 to $4,500. Even better, judges oftentimes award some or all of those […]

HOA Meeting Notice Requirements

Notice: HOA Meeting In Progress
Arizona recently changed it’s law regarding notice to open meetings. It used to be that the statute almost always defaulted to what the governing documents said. Not so anymore. In Arizona there are three kinds of meetings that may be subject to notice:

Member Meetings
Board Meetings
Committee Meetings

Member Meetings
Member meetings are meetings where the members make the decisions. An example of this would be annual meetings where directors are elected and special meetings where amendments to the CC&Rs are voted on. Notice for member meetings shall be not less than 10 nor more than 50 days before the […]

No HOA Directors – Now What?

What is an HOA Without a Board of Directors?
Being on a board can be tough, it is not uncommon for a director to resign, but what happens if they all resign or quit? We have seen this happen even in managed communities. The management company then asks whether they can just act as the board. That is a bad idea. It increases liability of the management company among many other things. So, what is a homeowner or management company to do if the entire board resigns or quits?
Best Case Scenario
Ideally, the homeowner or management company should consult with its […]