Question: We bought a “fixer-upper” in Tempe six months ago. In doing the remodeling of the home, we thought we had an acceptable paint color for our home based on the criteria for paint color in the Rules and Regulations of our HOA. The HOA disagrees with us, however, and the HOA has been charging us small fines until we re-paint the home. The cost to repaint the home is less than $3,000, so getting a lawyer and going to court makes no sense. Is there a cheaper way to fight the HOA?
Answer: The Arizona Department of Real Estate (“ADRE”) has a binding arbitration procedure for disputes between homeowners and HOAs. In general, you can file a petition for arbitration with the ADRE and pay a filing fee of $500. The HOA is then required to file a response. An arbitration hearing will be scheduled at the ADRE offices with you and the HOA presenting testimony of witnesses and other evidence. The ADRE hearing officer will make a binding arbitration ruling, and there is no appeal.
Note: See Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 32-2199.01-.05 for the ADRE binding arbitration procedure.