ARTICLES & NEWS

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

CC&Rs Cannot Prohibit “For Sale” Signs by Homeowners

By Christopher Combs | March 10, 2024

Question: We want to sell our Glendale home ourselves and put a “For Sale By Owner” sign in our front yard. One of our neighbors is a Realtor, and she says that our CC&Rs only allow Realtors to put up “For Sale” signs. Don’t we have the right to place a “For Sale By Owner” sign in our own front yard? Answer: Yes. A.R.S. § 33-1808 allows a “For Sale by Owner” (“FSBO”) sign that is reasonable in size even if there is a CC&R prohibition.

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CC&Rs May Be Waived If No Enforcement

By Christopher Combs | February 25, 2024

Question: In our Mesa subdivision we have never had a Homeowners Association (“HOA”). The result is that our CC&Rs requiring HOA approval of sport courts have never been enforced, especially in relation to the recent construction of three pickleball courts. One pickleball court is next to our master bedroom. Who is responsible for enforcing our CC&Rs? Answer: If there is no HOA to enforce the CC&Rs, each of the individual homeowners has the right to enforce the CC&Rs. Because of the time and expense, however, rarely do individual homeowners enforce CC&Rs. If your CC&Rs have never been enforced, the enforcement…

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HOA has Lien for Unpaid Monthly HOA Dues but not for Unpaid HOA Fines

By Christopher Combs | December 31, 2023

Question: In a recent column you said that a homeowners association (“HOA”) has an automatic lien against a home if HOA monthly dues are not paid.  Thus, a buyer of the home would be responsible for any unpaid monthly HOA dues if not paid by the seller at close of escrow. On the other hand, you stated that an HOA does not have an automatic lien for unpaid fines charged by the HOA for violations of the CC&Rs, e.g., leaving the garage door open overnight.  Thus, a buyer of the home is not responsible to pay any unpaid fines.  This…

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HOA Enforcement of CC&Rs Prohibiting Short-Term Rentals Does not Require Complaining Neighbors

By Christopher Combs | November 26, 2023

Question: We live in North Phoenix with CC&Rs adopted twenty years ago that prohibit any rental of homes in our community for less than one year. In the last three years, for the months of January, February, and March, we have lived with our daughter in Tucson, and we then do short-term rentals (“STRs”) of our North Phoenix home. These STRs pay our mortgage for the entire year. We have never had any complaints from our neighbors. Last week we got a notice from our HOA’s attorney that, after reviewing Airbnb and VRBO listings, the HOA knows that we do…

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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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