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Meeting minutes

We are having difficulty getting copy of meeting minutes. Is there a ARS regarding meeting minutes or is it the civil code? Thank you Bente

VRBO

We live in condominium complex in Phoenix. Our CC&R’s states a lease has to be for a period of at least 12 months. Now we are faced with homeowners using VRBO and a minimum of...
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  • From benteh on Meeting minutes

    Thank you Dennis
    I posted s response earlier, but I do not see it so I am trying again.
    We have had to use the statute to get financial documents in the past. Make sense minutes are under the same statute.
    We are however not entitled to minutes until approved, and usually they get posted on the website 30 days after approval if we are lucky.
    We have not had any minutes posted since March 2019.
    I will request all minutes as per the statute. They will however not release draft minutes.

    What law can I use to refute their claim?
    Thx again
    Bente

    Go to comment
    2020/02/26 at 1:47 pm
    • From dennisl on Meeting minutes

      Bente;
      The claim that minutes are not official records until approved is accurate to a point but is really simply a tactic to shade and eliminate transparency in the association business. Any association wishing to conduct their business with complete transparency will provide draft minutes to anyone once they are generated. The laws for public bodies (cities and state and county agencies) ARS 38-431.01 require that draft minutes be made available 3 business days after any public meeting. The argument from the HOA attorneys is that Title 10 for non profit corporations (which have no open meeting requirements) have no requirement for draft minutes. The AZ attorney General in an opinion in 1997 concluded that the definition of a meeting relative to HOA’s and Condo’s comes from the definition provided in the Public body section of statute not the non-profit portion of statute. While it would be a significant leap to conclude that the public body statute for draft minutes should also apply to HOA’s, it is a logical if not legal conclusion.
      I introduced a bill this year HB-2483 that included in that bill language that HOA’s must make draft minutes available to any homeowner 15 business days after any meeting. However that bill was successfully killed by the HOA trade industry prior to it ever being heard in committee. That will have to wait for next session.
      Just because an association does not have to provide draft minutes does not mean that it should not do so to benefit the community. Many communities do provide drafts minutes to anyone, because they have nothing to hide. Yours’s clearly sending the message to your community that they don’t care about the residents and especially do not want the residents to know anything about what they are doing. Communities like this are why we have open meeting laws, and I would suspect that they stretch the boundaries of what they discuss in closed session contrary to the precise limits of the law.

      When boards take these stands there is only one thing that homeowners can do and that is replace the board with one that will be more receptive to transparency. SB-1412 in this session will ensure the homeowners rights to organize to deal with community business including the recall of board members.

      Dennis

      Go to comment
      2020/02/27 at 6:34 am
  • From Bente on Meeting minutes

    Thank you Dennis.
    Our association refuse to release minutes until they are approved and nobody gets to see draft minutes. They vote to approve the minutes at the meeting and then if you are lucky they post on website within 30 days.
    What can I point to to refute that?
    The statute does not mention that.

    Thx again
    Bente

    Go to comment
    2020/02/26 at 11:51 am
  • From dennisl on Meeting minutes

    Bente;
    Both the planned community act and the Condominium act have specific statutes relative to the availability of homeowners to view and get copies of association records. ARS 33-1258 for condominiums and ARS 33-1805 for HOA’s. Basically the statutes state that all homeowners are entitled to get access to any non-confidential association record within 10 business days of a written request for those records. Meeting minutes are association records and therefore fall under this statute. The association must make the records available for you to view. if you wish a copy of any record the association cannot charge you more than $0.15 per page for copies.
    Many association try to deny access to meeting minutes because they are not an official record until the minutes are approved at the subsequent board meeting. This is absolute crap and simply shows that your association does not care about transparency and wants to deny access to the draft minutes as long as possible in the hope that people will just forget to ask later.

    To enforce this law you can use the Dept. of Real Estate’s dispute resolution process to force the association to comply with the law and provide you access to the draft minutes that you seek.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2020/02/26 at 9:31 am
  • From Scott on Board conducting unnoticed email meetings and voting on non-emergency open-meeting issues

    Hi Dennis,
    I have been on my HOA board for over a year and just resigned recently after an election and the same board President and Vice President ended back in place. Yikes!
    The previous board prior to my joining the board conducted the majority of business using Unanimous Consent based on nonprofit corporation law. I brought this to their attention and said we only need to meet more frequently to be in compliance with the law. They to date have refused to do so and the property management company with the CAI certified property manager have not clearly said it is a violation of law. They’re quite the joke!
    I resigned after the new board election did not change anything and I would be fighting another whole year with every decision to have open meetings. The other two board members like to point their finger that I am the reason nothing is being done. I felt I had no choice but to resign.
    I wish the statute had some teeth in it. For instance, an automatic civil penalty against the property management company for being complicit in any violation of the open meeting law unless they can show they explicitly informed the Board that this was against the law at each attempt to violate the open meeting law.
    In my experience, the property management company doesn’t want to come to more meetings either.

    Go to comment
    2020/02/25 at 11:41 am
    • From dennisl on Board conducting unnoticed email meetings and voting on non-emergency open-meeting issues

      Scott;
      You are correct and the management company and other board members are wrong. Action by unanimous consent without a meeting is a direct violation of the open meeting laws for HOA’s ARS 33-1804, if that action was not an emergency that could not wait for the 48 hours required for notification of an open meeting.

      It is long and well established in Arizona case law that general statutes cannot supersede or usurp more specific statutes. That is what is happening here. The HOA industry has claimed that since most if not all HOA’s have been incorporated as non profit corporations that then can use NPC laws to apply to these HOA’s. That can only happen if there are no conflicts with any provision of the more specific statutes of Title 33 chapters 9 and 16. NPC have no open meeting laws. The attorneys that drive this behavior also wrote most of the governing documents for these communities and I again would bet that every set of governing documents specifically include and allowed action without a meeting for the board.
      If you want to stop this behavior, get copies of the minutes of every time your board conducted any business via written consent without a meeting. Then file a petition to the Department of Real Estate against the board for violation of the HOA open meeting laws. It will initially cost you $500 to do this but the association will be forced to pay you back when you win. I can help you prepare for the hearing before the Administrative law judge and provide you at least 3 other cases on the exact same issue that were all won by the homeowner.

      if you decide to pursue this approach contact me at the e-mail address above.

      Thanks
      Dennis

      Go to comment
      2020/02/26 at 7:01 am
  • From dennisl on NEW HOME TOWER HEIGHT CONFLICT

    Terry
    This is getting very close to legal advice so I’ll tread very carefully. If you do not get the ACH approval , and you proceed you will be doing that at great risk. Do not believe that the association and their money hungry attorneys will hesitate for one minute to sue you. If I were you if the association rejects your request. Get an attorney right away. A letter and threat from your attorney may be sufficient to have them change their mind on their totally arbitrary and caprious decision to not approve your plans without any specified violation of the governing documents . I have seen far too many cases were homeowners were forced by the courts to remove or substantially modify homes that were built without ACH approval. In this case a strong offense is the best defense.
    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2020/02/13 at 1:56 pm
  • From benteh on VRBO

    Hi Dennis
    Thank you so much for all the time you take to help all of us living in an HOA.
    Bente

    Go to comment
    2020/02/12 at 7:30 pm
  • From dennisl on VRBO

    Bente
    No I do not know of specific cases where the association won a case against a homeowner. But the reality is the association does not have and seldom goes to court to apply fines or penalties. It would take a homeowner to sue the board based on fines or penalties that the board already applied to them. There have been and continue to be cases where homeowners sued the board for CC&R amendments dealing with short term rentals that were illegally implemented.
    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2020/02/12 at 7:18 pm
  • From dennisl on HOA trying to limit second floor observation deck height

    Terry;
    The restrictions to what you can build and what you cannot build must be specified in the community governing documents. If it is not restricted in the governing documents, which would include the CC&R’s and the ACH guidelines then the ACH has no authority to limit what you do. Especially if other houses have similar features even if they are different heights. For the association to restrict you from building this feature, there would have to be a specific height restriction in the governing documents. I’m assuming that what you said relative to the municipal code and the absence of restriction in the governing documents. If the association insist that you cannot build that feature their decision would be arbitrary and capricious and would never hold up in court.

    If I were you I would insist that you be allowed to build your feature as planned.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2020/02/12 at 7:01 pm
  • From benteh on VRBO

    Hi again Dennis
    Do you know of any cases where the HOA got a judgement against an owner for violating CC&R ‘s
    retal policy, short term VRBO versus CC&R’s 12month lease.
    Thx again for all your help
    Bente

    Go to comment
    2020/02/09 at 2:40 pm
  • From Bente on VRBO

    Hi again Dennis
    Do you know of any case where the HOA has been successful in getting a judgement on a CC&R violation regarding a lease.

    Go to comment
    2020/02/09 at 12:53 pm