Arbitration an Option in Dispute with HOA

By Christopher Combs | July 15, 2018

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…

Aerial Phoenix Neighborhood

Registered Sex Offenders and HOAs

By Christopher Combs | July 1, 2018

Question: In a recent column you said that an HOA can prohibit registered sex offenders (“RSOs”) from owning homes in a community. Our Chandler community only has 80 homes, but a recent search of the official police website showed that two RSOs own homes in our community. We want to amend our CC&Rs to at least prevent these two RSOs from using the swimming pool and clubhouse owned by our HOA. Is that amendment allowed? In addition, if we do amend our CC&Rs to prohibit RSOs from owning homes in our community, can we then require that the two RSOs…


HOA Cannot Regulate “Open House” Signs

By Christopher Combs | June 4, 2018

Question: We have a small brokerage firm in Queen Creek. On Sunday mornings one of our agents places an “open house” sign in the front yard of one of his listings if there will be an open house that afternoon. The HOA has objected to the placement on Sunday of “open house” signs in front yards, because the CC&Rs prohibit business activity in the community on Sundays. Can the HOA prohibit “open house” signs in the community? Answer: No. Under Arizona law an HOA cannot regulate “for sale” signs or “open house” signs on the seller’s property, provided that the signs…


Occupation not a Protected Class Under Fair Housing

By Christopher Combs | May 28, 2018

Question: My wife and I recently moved to the Phoenix area from New York. We are both lawyers, and we have credit scores in the 800s. We wanted to rent a nice home in Paradise Valley for a year, until we decided where we want to live permanently. We signed a lease for this home and our real estate agent presented the lease to the landlord for his signature. The landlord was pleased with the terms of the lease, but when he did a credit check and learned that we were lawyers, he refused to sign the lease. We can’t believe…


Do Renters Pay HOA Fines?

By Christopher Combs | May 24, 2018

Question: I am the president of our HOA in Chandler. One of our homeowners has rented her home to a young ASU student. He has a motorcycle that he drives at dangerous speeds in our community, and he has ignored the complaints from other homeowners. We have contacted the elderly lady who owns the home, and she said that there is nothing that she can do. Our CC&Rs authorize us to fine homeowners who drive at dangerous speeds in our community. Our written fine schedule says that the first fine can be $50 and the second fine can be $100. We…

Real Estate Blog

Can HOAs Ban Sex Offenders from Living in their Community?

By Christopher Combs | March 20, 2018

Question: The Board of Directors of our HOA in Chandler wants to amend our CC&Rs to prohibit registered sex offenders (“RSOs”) from owning or occupying homes in our community. Our understanding is that HOAs in Maricopa County from the Verrado community in Buckeye to the Desert Mountain community in North Scottsdale have already amended their CC&Rs to prohibit RSOs. Can HOAs prohibit RSOs from living in their community? Answer: Yes. In 2014 the Arizona Legislature specifically authorized HOAs to have CC&Rs prohibiting registered sex offenders in their community. A.R.S. §§ 33-1260.01(H) and 33-1806.01(H). There are 14,500 RSOs in Arizona and 700,000 RSOs…

Vacation Rental

CC&Rs Can Prohibit Vacation Rentals

By Christopher Combs | February 4, 2018

Question: We live in the Desert Mountain community in North Scottsdale. Our understanding is that the community amended the CC&Rs to prohibit vacation rentals. We only live in our Desert Mountain home a few months of the year. We have rented out this home for a week or two throughout the year to friends and neighbors from Chicago. Can our HOA enforce these Desert Mountain CC&Rs? Isn’t there a statute in Arizona against CC&Rs prohibiting vacation rentals? Answer: There is no statute in Arizona that prohibits private regulation by CC&Rs of vacation rentals. One Arizona statute, however, prohibits public regulation…

Public Utility Truck

Public Utility Truck Exempt from HOA Parking Rule

By Christopher Combs | December 29, 2017

Question: The CC&Rs for our Mesa community prohibit the parking of vehicles on our streets overnight. One of our homeowners works for a City of Mesa telecommunications utility provider. This homeowner parks a large bucket truck on the street overnight in violation of our CC&Rs. Is that allowed? Answer: Probably. The telecommunications utility provider can require that the bucket truck be available to the homeowner- employee if there is a service outage or other emergency. If the bucket truck weighs less than 20,000 pounds, is owned by the telecommunications provider, and bears a visible designation of this ownership, your CC&Rs…