Dear Arizona Legislators,
I cannot fathom the continued refusal of the Legislature to put this bill into law, having failed to do so for the past four years — SB 1360 (2007), HB2724 (2008), HB 2034 (2009), HB 2153 (2010).
This refusal to pass this bill invites more and more senseless litigation that only benefits the HOA lawyers, who should be advising their HOA of its violation of the law rather than willing go off to court against the member. Suppose I park my car on a public street in Sun City, or Sun City West, or Anthem, perhaps in front of a board member’s home. How will the scenario unfold?
Nothing happens, and everybody lives happily ever after Not likely, since these HOA members have argued over the years before legislative committees for their right to stop this parking.
Some HOA member, presumably a board member, or his “hired gun”, the management firm, call the local/county police to evict me. I ask the officer his name, rank and serial number, and just what law I am breaking parking on an unrestricted public street. If he persists on getting me to move, I say to him this is harassment and you are violating the law, and wrongfully acting to evict me. If he says that I am creating am nuisance, I reply that he is the person violating his authority and acting on behalf of a private person/organization who is filing a false complaint. I ask him to arrest the HOA member for filing a false complaint.
- Does the HOA fine the member for not “policing” his street segment, under which he has no legal authority to do anything but plead and beg me to move? If so fined, then I have no sympathy for any homeowner who allows his board to engage in establishing such “laws”, presumably under the advice of the HOA attorney.
- In effect, all this posturing is an illegal extortion of the HOA member to violate the law under the threat of a fine, as the HOA and its attorney know better than to undertake such an illegal enforcement action themselves.
- The HOA member has the right to file suit against the HOA, if he believes that the HOA “law” is illegal, contrary to public policy or unconstitutional, and he may do so. The Legislature will honor his beloved CC&Rs contract, between the member and the HOA, and not third-parties, and do nothing, leaving him to happily pay his fine as a good, loyal HOA member.
- If the HOA does not fine the member, what is their real issue, except the power struggle of who controls and regulates the people within the HOA territorial subdivision. All these HOAs have to do is to go to their zoning board and get a variance. Why aren’t they doing it? Why?
Suppose 10 other cars are so parked throughout these HOAs. Then what?
You may ask why hasn’t this happened? Perhaps because:
- homeowners are law abiding,
- they do not understand or know their rights under the law since there is a broad “no negatives about HOAs” policy pervading the state,
- there is no “Truth in HOAs” law like truth in lending or truth in advertising,
- and they are intimidated by their HOA with its coercive fines and liens authority, without effective legal recourse to stand up to the HOA with its money and attorneys.
This sad and preventable state of affairs, creating divisiveness, hostility, anger and resentment only benefits the HOA attorneys who are all too eager to go to court — their reason for being. All because the Legislature has failed to uphold the Arizona Constitution and to pass this bill.