What Are A Director’s Fiduciary Duties To Homeowners?

The general rule of thumb is that a director has a duty to “treat members fairly” and act “reasonably” when exercising his or her discretionary powers.  Those discretionary powers include rule-making, enforcement and design-control powers.  These duties were recently upheld by the court in Kitchukov v. Tierra Ranchos.

But what does this all mean?  Here are a few examples:

1.  Homeowner John and Harry both park RVs on the side of their lots in violation of the CC&Rs.  Harry is a nice guy that everyone in the community loves.  John regularly criticizes the board at meetings and is rather confrontational.  The board […]

The Short Term Rental Conundrum

QUESTION:  Everyone loves the Superbowl… I DON’T!  I manage several condominiums and need a better way to discover and enforce short term rentals.  How do I do that?  I feel like I manage hotels rather than homes!

ANSWER:  Special events cause all sorts of interesting legal issues, including a spike in short-term rentals.  But, you don’t need a special event to know that many associations constantly struggle with this problem.  They have a hard time catching (and enforcing) owners that do this.  Before figuring out how to “stop” short-term rentals, you have to make sure you can.  To answer that question […]

Secret Ballots In HOAs

Question:  “Do absentee ballots need to be signed by the homeowner who is voting? Does any identifying information (lot number) need to be on the ballot?”

Answer:  Yes, unless …
Common Methods.  No one but eligible “Members” can cast votes in a community association.  To eliminate voter fraud or ballot stuffing law makers passed a statute that says, “the ballot does not authorize another person to cast votes on behalf of the member.”  How is this requirement met?  Well, one way is to have the lot number, printed name, address, and signature of the member who signed on the ballot itself. […]

New HOA Laws About Renters

The new rental laws can be hard to understand. Some of the language is great, some…not so much.  This article will not only break down the statute into plain language but will address how it impacts communities with the crime-free program.
The New Law
Tenant Information.  First, the new law prohibits an association from getting copies of tenant rental applications, credit reports, lease agreements, rental contracts and any information other than:  (1) the first and last name of all adult occupants, (2) contact information of the occupants, (3) vehicle information, and (4) terms of the lease.  For age-restricted communities, the association […]

By |January 8th, 2015|HOA Legislation|0 Comments

Why Should Our HOA Contribute to Reserves

Why Don’t HOA’s Contribute to Reserves and Why Should They?
When it comes to adopting an operating budget, reserve contributions are far down on the list of items to include. A typical operating budget will include things like; utility bills, insurance premiums, landscaping maintenance, and management fees. Unfortunately, reserve contributions are viewed as something that can only be done if the association generates an end-of-year operating surplus. Most homeowners consider reserve expenses as far out in the future and do not plan on living in the community when these expenses occur, so there is no reason to pay for replacement […]

By |December 30th, 2014|HOA Reserve Studies|1 Comment

Can Residents Report Violations And Remain Anonymous Under The New Law?

QUESTION:  A former community manager would not act on complaints unless they were signed by the individual’s first and last name.  The members want to do away with this policy and remain anonymous. I thought there was a law that requires us to disclose the first and last name of the person that observed the violation. Is there a way to report violations and remain anonymous? Can anonymously reported violations be enforced?

ANSWER:  Arizona HOA laws change every year.  The violation procedures changed a few years ago.  These changes apply to both Condominiums and Planned Communities. See ARS 33-1242(B) – (D)  (Condominium Act) […]

HOA Director And Manager Email Do’s and Don’ts

We live at an amazing time in an amazing world.  I think email is one of the best inventions since the telephone.  What business survives without it?  Email is essential.  This is especially true in community associations.  While email is an amazing tool, if used improperly it can cause problems and even get boards into serious trouble.  This article addresses several email do’s and don’ts and tips on how to communicate correctly via email and what legal traps directors and managers should avoid.

TIP # 1:  Email can violate HOA law.  Check your specific state laws because email can sometimes […]

By |December 8th, 2014|HOA Board of Director Resources|0 Comments

HOA Insurance Pitfalls: Solutions and Suggestions

We answer tough questions asked by managers, boards and homeowners. This article tackles frustrations with HOA insurance companies.

QUESTION:  How can a board, manager or homeowner hold the HOA insurance provider accountable once a claim is made against the HOA, board and/or management company?  (i.e. making sure they timely respond, making sure they assign the claim to a law firm familiar with HOA laws) Is it possible for a general clause to be added to the insurance contract that allows the association to pick who will represent them?
YOUR SUGGESTIONS:  What do you do to avoid (or deal with) these problems? […]

By |December 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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 […]