ARTICLES & NEWS

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

Homeowners Should Demand CC&R Enforcement

By Christopher Combs | September 19, 2021

Question: We recently purchased a home in a new Peoria subdivision. One of the reasons that we purchased this home was that we liked the architectural and landscaping standards required by the CC&Rs for all homes in our subdivision. The CC&Rs also state, however, that our HOA is controlled by the developer’s representatives until 75% of the homes in our subdivision have been sold. At this time, only 50% of the homes in our subdivision have been sold. The problem now is that our HOA is not enforcing the CC&Rs, especially the exterior painting of at least eight homes in…

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Amendments To CC&Rs Must Be Reasonable

By Christopher Combs | July 11, 2021

Question: In recent columns you have said that, if the CC&Rs of a community are amended by the requisite number of homeowners, e.g., 51%, 75%, etc., the CC&R amendment is binding on all homeowners in the community, unless the CC&R amendment violates federal or state law. I am a real estate lawyer, and you are not correct. A CC&R amendment must also be reasonable. In 2010 the Arizona Court of Appeals invalidated a CC&R amendment requiring HOA membership and payment of monthly dues by all homeowners. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the CC&R amendment was not reasonable because some…

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Federal Law Protects Homes For Recovering Addicts

By Christopher Combs | June 13, 2021

Question: The CC&Rs that govern our Chandler community restrict the homes to a single-family dwelling, and prohibit any “business activity.” A home in our community has recently been remodeled and converted into a halfway-house for six recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. The result has been a loss in property value of neighboring homes, e.g., one of the neighboring homes sold for almost $400,000 less than appraised value because of this halfway-house. At the last HOA meeting we were told that nothing could be done about this halfway house because of protection under The Fair Housing Act. Is that correct? Answer:…

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HOAs Can Probably Prohibit Section 8 Housing

By Christopher Combs | May 30, 2021

Question: We live in an HOA community in Chandler. One of the owners in our HOA community has recently rented to a Section 8 tenant. This Section 8 tenant and their children have been a nightmare! Loud parties and physical altercations with neighbors. Can we amend our CC&Rs to prohibit Section 8 tenants in the future? Answer: By way of background, Section 8 housing was originally authorized by the Housing Act of 1937, and now currently assists low-income households by issuing vouchers for rental payments to landlords. Although several states have laws that prohibit discrimination against Section 8 tenants, Arizona is…

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Deed Restrictions Can Prohibit Large Dogs

By Christopher Combs | May 16, 2021

Question: When we bought our Gilbert home last year, we received the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) from the HOA. Probably like most home buyers, however, we didn’t carefully read the fifty or so pages of CC&Rs. We are now being fined by the HOA because we have two large German Shepherds, and the CC&Rs prohibit pets that weigh more than forty pounds. We think that the real reason that we are being fined by the HOA is that one of our German Shepherds growled at a little boy two months ago. Other than selling our home, or farming out…

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HOA debt not disclosed

Who is responsible for undisclosed HOA debt?

By Christopher Combs | March 14, 2021

Question: After we bought our home in Chandler, we attended the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) annual meeting. At this HOA annual meeting we learned that our HOA was in debt for $62,000.00 for attorney’s fees incurred because of a prior lawsuit with our landscaping company. The result is that a portion of our monthly HOA dues goes to pay back this $62,000.00 debt which is of no benefit to us. There is nothing in the HOA Addendum or in our purchase contract regarding this $62,000.00 debt. The seller has denied knowing anything about this $62,000.00 debt. Why should we have to…

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large van

No Grandfather Rights if CC&Rs are Amended

By Christopher Combs | February 14, 2021

Question: Our Mesa community has CC&Rs that prohibit commercial vehicles larger than ¾ ton. I have had a ¾ ton commercial van for more than five years with no HOA problems. The HOA has now amended the CC&Rs to prohibit ¾ ton commercial vehicles. Is my ¾ ton commercial van grandfathered? Answer: Probably not. Under most CC&Rs there is a clause allowing amendments to the CC&Rs upon the written approval of a certain percentage of homeowners, e.g., 75% of the homeowners. Therefore, if your CC&Rs have been properly amended to prohibit ¾ ton commercial vehicles, you will probably have to…

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Pool Deck

CC&Rs Must Be Followed Regarding Neighbor’s Pool Deck

By Christopher Combs | January 3, 2021

Question: We have owned a home in Chandler for over eight years. Our neighbor recently built a large wooden pool deck next to his swimming pool only five feet from our property line. We were in Colorado for most of the summer while this pool deck was being built. Our neighbors and their guests can now stand on this pool deck and look directly into our backyard. We never had any notice from the HOA or from the neighbor about the construction of this pool deck. Although we recently planted large ficus trees on our property line, this pool deck…

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