In his Sept. 15th seminar, Best Practices for Meetings in an Era of New Regulation, Arizona CAI attorney Scott Carpenter realizes that HOA abuse can no longer be denied or hidden from advocates and from the internet. He asked HOAs to stop activities that will bring further regulation of HOAs, repeatedly using the phrase, “They know us.”
At the very start of the seminar, Carpenter stated that his purpose was not to get around loopholes in the law, or to get around the law, but to show how to “adjust to the new laws.” He then proceeds to play the same “redefine game” that he cautioned HOA boards to avoid — holding workshops rather than meetings because the statutes say nothing about workshops, or not to hold regularly scheduled committee meetings since they are restricted under the statutes. His recommended “adjustments to the law” read like plain, old “finding loopholes in the law.” For example, his advice included:
law doesn’t require you to meet monthly.”don’t discuss everything – it may go viral on the webalways use closed meetingsrestrict the publication of board videos by homeownersdon’t fear emails, but don’t overuse it — will lead to more regulationhold non-regular committee meetingsuse unanimous consent to avoid meetings — just have all board members sign off on the actions — but with care to avoid more regulation
The above is definitely not in keeping with the intent of the Legislature. Carpenter, as a self-promoted expert in HOA law and experienced lobbyist for CAI, denies knowing the meaning or purpose of these “It is the intent of the Legislature” sections included in several of the new bills. An experienced attorney knows well that statute and contract interpretations and clarifications often involve the court looking into the intent of the drafters. He is letting the HOA boards know how to “get around the laws” and the intent of HOA reform legislation, raising the question of good faith conduct by HOA boards if they pursue these loopholes.
And finally, one last point, Carpenter is feeling the heat of the activities by homeowner rights advocates. He laments,
It is the homeowner advocates who say they are on the homeowners side who gave the feedback, the evil conduct of the bad boys of the management companies [no mention of the attorneys]. They’re the ones who have drafted this type of legislation.
This only creates more “us agin them” hostility. It should be noted that he did not deny that abuse goes on in HOAs.