AZHOC - Arizona Homeowners Coalition
Voice for homeowner rights and justice.
azhoatruth@gmail.com

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Rules of Conduct

We have a board that is going to run a husband and wife for office. I thought this was not allowed ? But when I ask questions, I am told that they fixed that, or...
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OAH Hearing

I have an upcoming OAH hearing regarding our HOA’s failure to follow our Master Declaration by attempting to add a liquor license to our Activity Center without the required resident vote on the Substantial Change...
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  • From Rick Jewell on Just don't buy in an HOA

    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.

    Go to comment
    2021/10/26 at 3:44 pm
    • From DennisL on Just don't buy in an HOA

      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

      Go to comment
      2021/10/26 at 6:59 pm
  • From DennisL on Overstepping Power

    Jim,

    In re-reading you post it sound like you are simply another homeowner in the community and not a board member. Unfortunately there is very little that you can do to stop this behavior from neighbors, other than injunctions against harassment. If they threated you or anyone individual or their homes document those actions as best you can with your phone camera. If two incidents occur in one year you can file a request for an injunction against harassment in your local municipal court. You get enough of these by various homeowners and they will become automatic and the harassment will stop. As far as filing legal actions against the HOA for unfounded issues he can continue to do that and continue to lose and cost him $500 every time. If the association is wrong in their actions than the homeowner has every right to file those petitions. Frivolous law suits or claims have a way of correcting themselves based on the cost to the individual. Legitimate law suit are in fact the only way the homeowners can enforce the laws of this state and the governing documents. There is no outside oversight agency making sure that associations comply with the law, that is left to homeowner to either file a civil suit in superior court of file a petition To ADRE to enforce the law.

    Let’s make sure who is in the right here before we cast dispersions on the individual filing legal action. The association will always tell the community that the homeowner is wrong and the association is right. You can take that for granted whether they are right or wrong, they will never admit it even if proven wrong in court.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2021/10/26 at 2:24 pm
  • From DennisL on OAH Hearing

    John,

    I will reach out to you separately, but even though the scope of your petition is within the purview of the ADRE and AOH dispute resolution process, my experience with Administrative law judges is that this issue is beyond the capability of the actual judges to comprehend and rule appropriately on. I’ll need to see your petition and your CC&R’s and see if i can help you frame your case and your presentation to increase your potential for success.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2021/10/26 at 2:06 pm
  • From DennisL on OAH Hearing

    John,

    Please contact me at AZHOATruth@gmail.com I tried the web site you suggested and came up empty.

    Go to comment
    2021/10/26 at 2:02 pm
  • From DennisL on Rules of Conduct

    BB,

    There are State laws relative to HOA governance but they do not address this issue. Your bylaws would dictate. Do not trust anyone’s explanation for what the bylaws allow. Read them yourself. While some do allow a husband and wife from the same household to run for the board most do not. Membership is limited to the owner of record for a property and if the husband and wife are both listed on the deed then either one can run but not both. It is my belief that allowing two occupants of the same property be be on the board is always a bad thing for the community because it provides a vast amount of power to one household. These two member get to cast only one vote as a member but if they are both on the board the cast two votes in a board of 5 or more directors. For board of only three board members a husband and wife cannot both be on the board because they would violate the open meeting laws for the state. Two members of a board of only three members would constitute a quorum so anytime they ever discussed anything about the community they would have to post a notice of that meeting and allow any homeowner to attend.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2021/10/26 at 1:29 pm
  • From Jim Cooper on Overstepping Power

    How do the HOA residents cope with a small group of residents who don’t understand our CCRs? They file nuisance legal actions wasting our HOA funds. They agreed to the HOA rules when they purchased their homes. They have avenues within the HOA to make changes to rules but the majority of residents don’t agree with their ideas. They try to bully those that don’t agree with them even going as far as being physically aggressive in public to other residents. How can residents stop this incessant behavior? Do we need new laws?

    Go to comment
    2021/10/25 at 7:19 pm
    • From DennisL on Overstepping Power

      Jim,

      I often talk about abusive boards treating members badly but there are equally bad homeowner’s that also try to bully the association or the other members. If you are a board member you actually have all the power you need to deal with these issues within the authority of the governing documents. While you must treat the members fairly you cannot allow them to disrupt or threaten the community. This is a very fine line. I’ve dealt with some very difficult and upset homeowners where there is nothing that i can do or say to convince them that they are wrong and unjustified in their anger. Most people act out based on frustration from either how they believe the board should be acting or if they believe that they are being treated unfairly. As a board you actually have a duty to protect the members of the community from threatening actions against their persons or property. Including calling the police. The best advice i can give board members is sit down and talk to individual and find out what his/her problem is. Remember you have no obligation to do what this individual wants you to do. Your duty is to the best interest of the community as a whole and not to any one or group of homeowners. As a board you will never make everyone in your community happy ever so don’t try. The members put you in a position to make decisions in what you believe is the best interest of the community not what they believe is the best interest of the community. If i were you i would listen to their concerns and then make a judgement as to whether you should change you belief based on their input, or stay with your own perspective. Communication and transparency is the key to tranquility in these communities the more you utilize the better everyone will be. I fully understand that even with the best actions of the board some individuals will never be satisfied then the board will have to resort to fines and penalties or legal action to restore harmony in the community.

      Dennis

      Go to comment
      2021/10/26 at 1:47 pm
  • From DennisL on Overstepping Power

    Cindy,
    Your story is very familiar and why i do the work i do and why i created this coalition. The balance of power in these communities is totally one sided and with that power comes the ability to abuse it and the people that live in these communities. The best way to try and re-balance that power is with legislation aimed at doing just that. I know that you just joined the organization so you missed the last two communications that i sent to the membership about legislation that i am working on this coming session. You will here more on these pieces of legislation as we approach the legislative session in January.
    But once again homeowners have power and that power is centered on the fact that they can elect and recall their board of directors at will. But they need to get engaged and organize their neighbors to take back their communities from abusive boards. Far too often the real problem is not the board but rather the incompetent community managers and the money hungry attorneys advising these board to do what they do, The board members are all volunteers, but they are the only people tasked with taking actions in the best interest of the community and the members. The advisors have no responsibility to the members in any way and advise the boards in ways that benefit them, or the corporate entity of the association. My top priority legislation this year will be focused on establishing these duties of the board to their communities and the members, and eliminate the indemnification of the business judgement rule that allows taking advice from advisors alone as protection for the boards.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2021/10/25 at 7:36 am
  • From DennisL on Can I do a term search on this site?

    Sorry Gerarl when i built this site i did not add word search capability to save cost. What were you looking for? it it was relative to your other post i’ve answered that question, if not let me know and i’ll try and help.
    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2021/10/24 at 6:53 am
    • From gerard kindt on Can I do a term search on this site?

      Actually you do have word search if you go to the articles heading it drops down to a 404 error that has a query box within it and does in face find search words. I just like to search key words to find relevant stuff quickly.

      BTW thanks for developing the site it is a great asset

      Go to comment
      2021/10/24 at 4:26 pm
  • From DennisL on Vague terms in CC&R' rules

    Gerald,
    Unfortunately the real test or question is what does the rest of the community look like? if you are an outlier you can argue semantics all you want but the association has the upper hand and the right and duty to maintain the character of the community intended in the CC&R’s. Most desert grasses in these communities are classified as weeds and counter to the aesthetics of the community envisioned by the developer in the CC&R’s.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2021/10/24 at 6:49 am
  • From Georg on Seeking Valley law firms experienced in righting HOA Boards

    I live in a community that has been labeled as “uncaring”. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The people in my community do care but the board ignores questions when asked and none of the members on the board engage with members of the community at all. They never post meeting information until the evening before the meeting and they ignore questions and concerns of the community. They do what they want when they want and the community looks like crap. Most of the property is dirt. They refuse to seed or do a turf conversion or anything to improve the community. They close the door on our faces when we go ask about things like our January of 2021 $8,500.00 water bill! I just realized that there is something a community can do to elect the right board members. Avoid antisocial people. Look for the neighbors who say hello and engage a conversation with you when you walk by. If your neighbor has never spoken to you or even acknowledged your existence they probably won’t make a good board member. Hoa board members are suppose to do what is best for the community which takes communication. Go walk through your neighborhood every evening for a month and keep track of the individuals who spoke to you. Start engaging in conversation about what is going on with the hoa board members and suggest to the social people themselves that they join the hoa board.

    Go to comment
    2021/10/23 at 11:25 pm
    • From DennisL on Seeking Valley law firms experienced in righting HOA Boards

      Georg,

      You are absolutely correct, to key to a happy community is an engaged community that wants the best for their community and the place that they live. It is very easy to complain that things are not getting done the way you like or that a board is none responsive. They work for you if they are not doing their job don’t complain be a victim organize a petition to recall the board member or members and put new board members in place that will take care of the community. Being on the board can be a thankless job and some people wear down, but are concerned that no-one else will take their position and they feel stuck. While you can look for people that are outgoing and ask them to run for the board as you suggest but you could also run for the positions as well. Often the best board members are the ones that care enough about their community to simply get involved. Please remember that as a board member you will never please everyone so don’t even try you will simply get frustrated your only job is to act in the best interest of the community as a whole as you see it. If you do this with simple common sense and honestly you cannot or should not be second guessed.

      Dennis

      Go to comment
      2021/10/24 at 6:44 am
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