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Just don’t buy in an HOA

The HOA issues for me have been non-stop and it doesn’t end. My recommendation would to never purchase in a condo or townhome community with an HOA. If the wrong people get in control of a board and you don’t have community support the community will turn into a complete disaster. My HOA board has failed to put money to reserves, failed to upkeep the amenities, failed to upkeep the maintenance of the buildings and leveraged their positions to put a board president on payroll as an office assistant. The board members have written letters to the community slandering me for trying to reach out to other residents to get members involved and take notice to the financial and maintenance issues and the failures of the board.

I filed a complaint with the department of real estate regarding a conflict of interest. The HOA attorney submits request to dismiss stating the department of real estate has no jurisdiction or precedence. I’m going to get slammed with paying for roofs and any other assessments because all of the money goes to full time staffing that cannot maintain the community or pay for what the HOA is responsible for. I’m sick to my stomach daily trying to deal with this. Word to to the wise. Don’t buy in a community where you depend on an HOA to upkeep your home and community. I’m sure there are great HOA’s out there, but after this catastrophe I wouldn’t recommend people taking the chance.

5 Responses

  1. dennisl

    Rick,

    I totally understand your frustration and the things that you have experienced. I see and hear from people like you every day. That is why i do what i do to try and fight for all of you at the state house against the HOA Industry to try and get justice for the 3.5 million homeowners in this state living in these communities. While it is easy to say don’t live in these communities finding decent options are equally difficult to find. Just about every new home in this state for the last 10 years was build in an HOA or condominium or apartment complex. Unless you owned individual a lot and built your own home there is little else available. I will be looking to put forward 5 different pieces of legislation again this year, i can use all the help i can get to convince legislators to listen to the plight of homeowners instead of the lies of the HOA industry and their high price professional lobbyist.
    Relative to the comment from your HOA attorney he is absolutely full of crap. I’ve had dozen of attorneys challenge the constitutionality of the laws implementing the ADRE dispute resolution process since 2011 when it was re=established, and they have all fallen by the wayside with a huge bill to the association, and no change. This argument only benefits the attorneys and no-one else. While i have no idea what you claimed relative to conflict of interest but be very careful because the laws applying to conflict of interest are extremely weak and essentially nonexistent. The ADRE process can only address violations of statutes or governing documents and nothing else.

    Dennis

  2. Rick Jewell

    You’re absolutely Right! Unfortunately in this process they failed present the nomination in an open board meeting disclosing the conflict of interest. They instead posted about it in a newsletter that they were nominating failing to disclose conflict of interest and then voted on it in the subsequent meeting. The point was, if they conflict of interest had been announced in the open meeting prior. End of day it doesn’t matter. The board voted to hire the HOA president onto payroll, a position he created for himself, designated pay. 1st order of business, deleted all audit trails. AZDRE administrative judge found: “While the community may have not followed the law to a T the spirit of the law was there.”

    In Arizona, especially Phoenix, I can’t afford to buy anything of value in this housing market and I’m not willing to pay absurd rents more than my mortgages. People end up helpless in bad HOA situations. I’ll sign anything that comes my way from you that helps.

    Arizona Statutes as to what falls under a condominium and a planned community is also ridiculous, seems bylaws and statutes are misconstrued and poorly written and there are grey areas between the two all over. I own the lot my townhome is on, yet I have to rely on the HOA for a roof and to do any physical exterior maintenance to my building on the lot I own such as paint. Our fees are supposed to go to driveways and roofs yet if the HOA owns that, why are we paying for it through special assessments rather than our annual assessments. Our townhomes are connected yet the HOA is supposed to pay for it like a condominium, yet i’m responsible for my roof and the rest of the communities roofs. The laws don’t even protect me to maintain my own home. I can keep filing these worthless complaints with the AZDRE, but at the end of the day I still have to come home to house with paint literally coming off that I can do nothing about.

    It is very difficult to find a home let alone one not in an HOA, however i’ll still stand by it. If you’re going to have an HOA at least own a single family home so that you still have rights in upkeeping your own home.

    1. DennisL

      Rick,
      I agree with you completely. The ALJ’s are weak at best and pre-dispositioned to listen to the crap thrown at them by HOA attorneys. Homeowners trying to present their own case are at a large disadvantage. The burden of proof is yours but the association gets prefatory treatment in all of these cases. The laws are weak at best and able to be manipulated and interpreted at the will of the attorneys. This is why i work so hard to try and change the laws to actually be clear and better protect homeowners. We could try and propose legislation like Nevada that has a dedicated Common Interest community Ombudsman to oversee all enforcement of Common interest laws including governing documents paid for by a $5 per household fee , but that would take a huge legislative campaign to get passed and approved by our Governor. We would need broad-based homeowner support from 10’s of thousands of homeowners to fight the HOA industry lobby. I cannot and will not take that battle on by myself or with the couple hundred members of this coalition that support my efforts at the legislature. If the homeowners want change in this state they must rally around our efforts for change and recruit everyone in their communities to join us. I currently have over 900 members in this coalition, but only about 200 hundred are engaged in any appreciable way.

      Dennis

  3. Rick

    Well today I cam home to an hoa newsletter calling the hoa hearing case out in the newsletter, mentioning by name and listing my address and the costs assessed by the hoa to hire an attorney to handle the hearing. I will be selling my house in the new year. The board fully made me a target for harassment and comment been for physical abuse. . Never in my life did I imagine a massive financial investment where my happiness and confidence in my investment would be completely arbitrary to completely ignorant, uninformed and malicious individuals. By far the worse financial burden I will likely ever incur in my life.

    1. DennisL

      Rick,

      Once again this type of half truth is typical of HOA boards. There is no mention of the fact that if the board had complied with the law there would have been no need for the petition to ADRE. The legal cost is real and the case is real but the reason for the case is that the only way for homeowners to enforce the law is by these petitions or other legal actions when the board refuses to comply with the law. Do not make a rash move simply because of this letter. Win your case and prove that the board was wrong and they were the ones that cause the extra expenses, not you, you were simply exercising your right to enforce the law. The truth will come out, many people will refuse to see the truth and many will, that is out of your control. Just know that your were right in your actions. Make sure that you are prepared for your hearing, and have all of your facts lined up and are prepared to present your case to the judge. The association will have an attorney there and he/she will throw everything at the judge to try and see if anything sticks. Be prepared for that and stay focused on the facts of your case and your arguments.
      Dennis
      Dennis

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