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Board of Director Term Limits

What is your coalition’s position on term limits for HOA Board of Directors? Do you think your coalition would have a good chance at persuading legislators in the 2019 legislative session to enact a firm...
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  • From lindaL on Harassing letters from HOA

    Lynn and Dennis; I want to thank you for this thread. I have had similar negative experiences with my Board and Cadden. I was recently served a Cease and Desist letter for ‘harassing’ Cadden mandating I no longer contact them via email or telephone. I am regulated to snail mail which of course is a delay tactic and punitive punishment as I pay for certified w/receipt mail to ensure it was received. I don’t know what the LEGAL definition of harrass is but I never swore, called names or made threats. I was attempting to hold the Cadden manager accountable for disseminating the approved minutes and went up the chain of command. The VP told me Cadden works for the board not the member despite the fact our fee pays their fee and the fee of the attorney the board utilized against me.

    Go to comment
    2019/06/18 at 9:55 am
    • From Dennis Legere on Harassing letters from HOA

      Linda;
      The fact is that the management company and the assigned community manager does in fact work for the board, and not the members of the association. The fact is that the association or the management company had no right to limit the communication methods to any individual, especially if the member was simply attempting to get information that they had a right to know. The association has a duty to treat all members fairly and equally and unless they limit communication methods for all homeowner they have no right to limit communication methods without real cause for any individual homeowner. Persistency in asserting your right will never be construed as harassment especially if it was accomplished respectfully. What I tell homeowner threatened with harassment charges for simply asserting their rights is to tell the management company or the attorney to go ahead and sue me. They will lose and look foolish in the process. They will also most probable do nothing because the threat was idle and for effect only.
      Having said this it is never appropriate to go up the chain of the management company with a complaint about the performance of one of their employees. You must file the complaint with the board and it is the responsibility of the board to investigate that claim and take any appropriate action with the management company. It is very rare that one person’s complaint will cause the board to take action against the community manager or company but multiple complaint from separate homeowners will most likely generate action. If a community manager is abusing you or denying you access to records or information he/she is probable doing the same thing to others. There is strength and protection in numbers, you are less likely to be dismissed and labeled as a trouble make if your issues are confirmed and repeated from multiple homeowners.

      Dennis

      Go to comment
      2019/06/18 at 1:37 pm
  • From Dennis Legere on Mitigation of rental units

    Carol;
    Have you tried talking to the neighbor and asking them to clean up the mess? If you have and they refuse than you may need to look to the CC&R’s. is the patio identified as a common area or limited common area for the complex? If a limited common area assigned to you your neighbor and the other neighbor than typically it is the responsibility of the affected homeowners to maintain that space. Any one of you can act to clean up the mess as long as it is classified as a limited common area for the use of your unit. If the space is a limited common area assigned exclusively to the neighbors unit than you can file a complaint with the association identifying that the condition of the unit has created a nuisance that prevents you and your other neighbor from enjoying the use of your unit and the limited common area assigned to the unit. The association could then cite the owner with a violation and following the due process required by law fine the individual until it is cleaned up.
    If the area is classified as common area than it is the responsibility of the association itself to maintain to space. It is most likely classified as a limited common area,
    If you need help determining the classification than if you provide me a copy of your CC&R’s i’ll read them and let you know how the patio is classified. Use the help@azhoc.org email to provide me access to your community documents.

    Hopefully this helps
    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2019/06/15 at 8:54 pm
  • From Carol Payne on Placing a cap number of rentals in condo complex

    I’d like to respond to Cheryl’s comment about having short term rentals in her community. The CC&R’s in my community specifically state no rental leases less than 30 days. Your CC&R’s should also have something in writing concerning short term rentals. I’m not an attorney, but I find your board president’s actions and attitude egregious at best also self serving and greedy at the expense of his neighbors. He may have the right to lease out his property but I see it as a conflict of interest also. Definitely read your CC&R’s.

    Go to comment
    2019/06/15 at 2:35 pm
  • From Dennis Legere on Marijuana use on townhouse patio

    K.

    This is outside my field of expertise and as you may be aware I’m not an attorney , but I can say this. Arizona does allow the use of Medical Cannabis. in researching your question I found that ARS 36-2802 C prohibits the use of the medical cannabis in public spaces. It may be a stretch to assume that because of the close proximity of town house patio’s that they may be considered public spaces. You would clearly have to consult an attorney on that question. The Condominium or Planned community laws do not address the use of Cannabis in any way, and it is extremely unlikely that your governing documents would as well.

    Have you tried the old fashioned method of actually talking to your neighbor to first ask if his/her use is for medical purposes, and if so asking him/her to let you know before he/she uses on the patio so that you can close your door or windows, or to limit their use to certain times of the day or evening. You have to know that they are under no obligation to tell you that they have a medical cannabis card or to comply with your request. But first trying to talk to the neighbor is always the best advise and course of action. Calling the police and making accusation should only be a last resort not first.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2019/06/06 at 7:29 am
    • From K Graham on Marijuana use on townhouse patio

      Thank you Dennis for your response. There are many ideas bounced around regarding this with neighbors. We thought of asking but thought that they would not have to respond or provide reason under the Federal Housing Act, then one thought to treat as second hand smoke hazard and they need to confine to inside with closed doors and windows, then there was the thought to keep a log of time and effects when the incidents occurs but calling the police was a brief thought but the smell dissipate quickly and lose the evidence.
      Thank you for your time to respond.

      Go to comment
      2019/06/06 at 9:32 am
  • From Dennis Legere on Selective enforcement

    Brittany;

    To answer your question appropriately it is most important to see the actual language of your CC&R’s and association rules. And to understand how you believe that selective enforcement is taking place.

    The association has a duty to enforce the CC&R’s fairly and uniformly across the community. The association is also free to change the way the enforce any provision of the CC&R’s as long as it is a conscious documented decision of the board, that is communicated to all members prior to enforcement of that changed interpretation and finally that they now enforce that new interpretation uniformly across the community.

    Because as association has not applied the commercial vehicle restriction in the past the same way that it is now does not make it selective. But if they decide to change the way they have applied this restriction in the past they must communicate that change to all homeowners directly before they can enforce that position. What happens mostly in these communities is the board is not involved in the change at all , either a new management company or a new community manager comes along and decides for themselves how to interpret the CC&R’s. This is totally inappropriate. Only the board has the authority to interpret or enforce the CC&R’s.

    My advice to you is contact the board directly or attend the next board meeting and ask the question directly. Has the board decided to change the way they address company marked vehicles parked in private driveways? And if so when and in what open meeting was that decided and recorded and how was it communicated to the community?

    Arizona does have laws (ARS: 33-1809) that prevent the HOA from restricting public service vehicles where the homeowner is required to respond to emergency calls outside of normal business hours. Do if your vehicle meets these qualification you are free to park your company vehicle no matter what the CC&R’s say.

    Hopefully this helps
    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2019/06/04 at 9:24 am
  • From Dennis Legere on AZHOC Inbox: Fed Up With Property Manager

    Well stated Tom, and thank you for standing up for your rights and holding the association board and it’s managing agent accountable to the actual law and requirements of the CC&R’s. Please everyone while any board can write rules they have absolutely no authority to write rules that are not specifically and explicitly authorized in the CC&R’s. The CC&R are the only document that can place restrictions on your use or occupancy of your property.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2019/05/22 at 8:10 pm
    • From Tom Van Dan Elzen on AZHOC Inbox: Fed Up With Property Manager

      I am so fed up with our HOA management company that a month ago, I added a Trump 2020 flag under the Stars and Stripes. I got a letter last Friday, NOT from the HOA or the management company, but from the new HOA Lawyer. He told me I have 10 days to take it down. Being a stubborn Dutchman, it stays. His firm ( a well know firm in the Valley) has a great website. On his website he has a great document that specifies, in no uncertain terms, that Rules and Regs MUST be based on a valid CC&R. So I responded to him with a nice letter 🙂 using his own words and a copy of our CC&Rs to alert him that the flag stays. I have sent you a copy of the letter by email. It appears that not only do the management companies and the HOA boards do whatever they want but their legal advisers don’t do their homework either.

      Go to comment
      2019/05/31 at 3:11 pm
  • From Tom Van Dan Elzen on AZHOC Inbox: Fed Up With Property Manager

    Dennis is right on the money. Our HOA got a new property manager September 2015. She hassled me about my flagpole and flags up until late last year. She would quote R&R 3.14 based on CC&R 3.14 about signs and flags. I fought it every time and then, last year took a look at the CC&Rs, specifically 3.14. Turns out 3.14 is correct about signs but not a mention of flags. So I did a search of the entire CC&Rs for the word flag just to be safe. The word flag does not appear in our CC&Rs. I now have a letter exonerating me from all fines and abuse with regards flags and flagpoles. Unfortunately, the R&R still exists. I would, once again, have to take the HOA to task with the Arizona Dept. of Real Estate and and administrative law judge. Pay attention. HOA Boards, especially those which are “run” by the property manager (allow the property manager to basically run the show), can/will write (illegal) R&Rs regardless of the CC&Rs.

    Go to comment
    2019/05/21 at 12:48 pm
  • From Cheryl on Placing a cap number of rentals in condo complex

    My concern in my own community is that the president of the board owns an Air BnB property and has pronounced he would never vote to change the CC&R’s. Seems that’s a conflict of interest, but how can it possibly be fair to require a unanimous consent when obviously there are (in Carol’s case) 40% of the homeowners who would vote no because of their financial interest. Our CC&R’s call for a 2/3 vote to change the CC&R’s. Does the “unanimous rule” override them? Is it contract first, statute second?

    Go to comment
    2019/05/07 at 2:52 pm
    • From Dennis Legere on Placing a cap number of rentals in condo complex

      Cheryl;
      The issue is fundamental property rights. The only restrictions placed on your property are those that are specifically applied by the Declaration. If the CC&R’s allow rentals than any homeowner buying a property has the right to assume that he/she can rent that property as they see fit. While you can change some of the provisions in the CC&R’s by the supermajority voter of the members, to change or restrict the use or occupancy of an individual home not currently restricted in the CC&R’s will require unanimous consent of all owners. the concept is know as tyranny of the majority and is based on the foundation of this country not as a democracy but as a republic. The bottom line is that even if 99% of the homeowners want the change they have no right to force that change on the use of your property. The concept is a pillar in property servitude common law for the country and is made part of the black letter law in Arizona for Condominiums.

      Your question on whether the CC&R or state law prevails depends on the specific issue. If state law uses the term “notwithstanding” than it supersedes anything in the CC&R, in some provisions the state law provides a basic condition but uses “unless otherwise provided for in the declaration” in those case the CC&Rs prevail.

      Dennis

      Go to comment
      2019/06/15 at 10:59 am
  • From Lynn on Harassing letters from HOA

    Thanks Dennis! I apologize if I sounded overzealous. I’m just so upset to learn our retirement is marred by such nonsense and stress. Hearing about others being bullied only added fuel to the fire. I’m feeling calmer now. Thanks for the advice, it’s been very helpful.

    Go to comment
    2019/05/05 at 8:53 pm
  • From Dennis Legere on Harassing letters from HOA

    Lynn;

    I edited your post to eliminate your email address , you probably don’t want to post that on the web site. While we go to great lengths to protect members identity and contact information. You can always contact me at the help@azhoc.org address. Management company employees and board members have both been involved in embezzlement schemes to often to count. That is why it is so important for homeowners and board members as well to “Trust by Verify”. As a board member it is your fiduciary duty to the community to ensure that the associations money that you take from the homeowners is protected and only spent on legitimate community expenses authorized by the board as a whole. Embezzlement only happens when people are not watching, either other board members or members of the community .

    It is my intent to energize the community homeowners to get involved in their communities. I will guarantee that the old adage of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” in an HOA or Condo the opposite is more correct. “what you don’t know can and will hurt you eventually”. This should not be about a coup, it should be about a community helping their board make the right decisions. Clearly sometimes some boards or individual board members do not want any involvement or engagement of the community because they have a power trip and want to make all the decisions without any suggestions from the community.
    If a board or an individual board member refuses to listen to the input of the community he or she has no place as a board member and must be removed. Please do not attempt to remove a board member without first giving them an opportunity to change and actually listen to the community. No one wants controversy in their community, and a petition to remove a board member will generate controversy. But when it is necessary for the good of the community there is no avoiding it.

    Dennis

    Go to comment
    2019/05/05 at 8:42 pm
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