ARTICLES & NEWS

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

Recovery of Attorney’s Fees in CC&R Disputes

By Christopher Combs | July 2, 2023

Question: We live in a beautiful community of 27 homes in Litchfield Park near the Wigwam Country Club. There is no HOA. Our CC&Rs require any amendment of the CC&Rs to have the approval of the majority of the homeowners. Everyone in our community has always been opposed to short-term rentals (“STR”). Therefore, when a STR owner bought a home in our community last year, we had to hire a lawyer to write letters back and forth with the lawyer for the STR owner. We finally had to file a lawsuit, and the STR owner immediately sold the home to…

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My HOA Wants to Test My Dog’s DNA. Can They Do That?

By Christopher Combs | April 23, 2023

Question: We live in an HOA community in North Scottsdale. We have two French poodles that we walk in the community, and we carry a “scoop and bag” to clean up any mess. Last week, our HOA Board of Directors passed a Rule that requires DNA testing by the HOA of all dogs in the community. Although the DNA testing is free, there will be a fine of $250 against the owner of any dog that is not tested. The obvious purpose of this rule is to find the “bad” dog owners in our community who don’t clean up after…

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Foreclosure sign

Homeowner Association Lien Typically Lost By Foreclosure

By Christopher Combs | January 22, 2023

Question: A homeowner in our Glendale community has not paid the monthly HOA fees for more than a year, and our HOA now has a lien of $8,000 for delinquent monthly HOA fees. The HOA president recently received a notice of foreclosure from the homeowner’s mortgage lender. If there is a foreclosure by the homeowner’s mortgage lender, will the HOA get paid the $8,000? If not, how does our HOA collect the $8,000? Answer: In general, a foreclosure of a first mortgage on the home will “wipe out” the $8,000 HOA lien on the home. If the foreclosure is other…

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New Association Rules Need to Be ‘Reasonable and Foreseeable’

By Christopher Combs | December 4, 2022

Question: In our Glendale HOA community there have been two recent incidents involving a small child being severely bitten by large dogs. Our HOA has now amended the HOA Rules and Regulations to require that all dogs be muzzled while being walked in our HOA community. We have two Golden Retrievers and we don’t want to walk them with muzzles. We know from reading your column that the Arizona Supreme Court recently said that amendments to CC&Rs have to be “reasonable and foreseeable.” Is that the same standard for Rules and Regulations? Can we be fined for not complying with…

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Enforcement of CC&rs with no HOA

Enforcement of Covenants, Restrictions Without an Association

By Christopher Combs | November 20, 2022

Question: The CC&Rs for our Buckeye community of 38 homes were adopted in 1978. There has never been an HOA to enforce the CC&Rs. A provision in our CC&Rs prohibits two-story homes. A recent buyer of a one-story home in our Buckeye community plans to “tear down” the one-story home to build a two-story home. Several owners of one-story homes in our community, whose views of the White Tank Mountains will be affected by two-story homes, want to oppose the construction of this two-story home. If there is no HOA, how do we enforce our CC&Rs to prohibit two-story homes?…

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Condominium Associations Cannot Prohibit ‘For Sale’ Signs

By Christopher Combs | October 23, 2022

Question: In a recent column you cited an Arizona statute that restricts an HOA from prohibiting “For Sale” signs on a homeowner’s property. We live in a beautiful condominium community in the Arcadia area. The CC&Rs for our HOA community prohibit “For Sale” signs. After we showed your column to our HOA property manager, she said that this Arizona statute only applies to homes and does not apply to condominiums. Is she correct? Answer:  No. ARS § 33-1261 specifically restricts condominium HOAs from prohibiting “For Sale” signs. Note: An amendment to the condominium CC&Rs generally requires the consent of at…

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Can Rules Be Amended to Prohibit Short-Term Rentals?

By Christopher Combs | October 2, 2022

Question: Although your Q& A column has said several times in the past few years that a community can amend HOA covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) to prohibit short-term rentals, didn’t the Arizona Supreme Court recently rule that an HOA community cannot amend CC&Rs to ban short-term rentals? In other words, can or cannot CC&Rs be amended by an HOA community to prohibit short-term rentals? Answer: An HOA community can amend CC&Rs to prohibit short-term rentals. An amendment to ban short-term rentals can be enforced against future home buyers in that HOA community. The only question is whether or not…

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HOAs Cannot Prohibit ‘For Sale’ Signs in Yard

By Christopher Combs | July 31, 2022

Question: We purchased a new home in Fountain Hills six years ago. Four years ago, the developer transferred the enforcement of our covenants, conditions, and restrictions to the homeowners. Our HOA then amended our CC&Rs to prohibit ‘for sale’ signs in our subdivision. The HOA said that ‘for sale’ signs destroy property values, and that MLS is already available for the sale of a home. We want to sell our home, and our listing agent says that the law allows her to place a ‘for sale’ sign in our front yard despite the prohibition in our CC&Rs. Is our listing…

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