This proposed bill was adapted from Florida’s SB 1348 (2015) and specifically tailored for Arizona. (It was initially proposed in 2008 by Florida’s Cyber Citizens for Justice, http://ccfj.net). Its objectives are the creation of a state agency called the Department of Homeowners Associations headed by a Commissioner, and the creation of an HOA advisory board to make recommendations to the Commissioner. It was modeled along the lines of the AZ Department of Real Estate.
Understand that the bill must specify in detail the powers, authority and procedures to follow in conformance with the law.
The format of the bill follows generally accepted standards for bill drafting. It uses CAPS for new words and strike-outs for deletes. These are the important provisions of the bill. The remainder, in normal formatting, is presented as unchanged wording that must appear as required by bill drafting standards. Generally, they may be ignored. Each part of the statutes is introduced with “Section n,” not part of the statute, followed by the title of the actual statute being changed, such as “Section 33-1806.” A descriptive, either a “is repealed” or “is added” in total, or “is amended” phrase follows. Changes are then presented along with the required unchanged wording of the section.
Adapting to other states. The areas to focus on in order to understand the proposed agency are those, as mentioned above, in CAPS and strike-outs. They may be incorporated into the statutes of other states as is. However, no complex bill is without links or references to other statutory sections that relate and bear directly on the validity of the new agency. These ‘links’ would need to be modified and adjusted, most likely extensively, if the bill is to be introduced outside Arizona. It requires someone with sufficient understanding of bill formatting and who can work with legislative staff to assist in making these necessary adaptations.
The descriptions given below may contain the advisory, “IGNORE,” which identifies code unique to Arizona and probably needs to be changed if adapting for use in other states.
Understanding the bill, Sec. by Sec.
Note that the bill contains seemingly duplicative changes. One addresses 33-1200 et seq. (and following) and the other addressing 33-1800 et seq. This is because the 1200 sequence pertains to condos and the 1800 sequence pertains to HOAs (planned units).
Sections 1 and 2 add additional wording to title of existing statutes. IGNORE.
Section 3 adds the Department of Homeowners Associations and establishes the office of an HOA commissioner under Title 41, Chapter 20, 41-2325. Paragraph (A)(3) defines the duties and powers of the department, including the authority to use the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) for dispute resolution. Subsections (B) and (C) present the intent and purpose of the bill.
Section 4 adds the powers of the Commissioner to enforce the condo and HOA statutes, which under subsection (B) includes training and education requirement. Subsection (C) grants the Commissioner the power to set rules that have the power of law. Many agencies have been granted his power, including the real estate department.
Sections 5 and 6 detail the procedures to follow and powers of the Commissioner to handle complaints and investigate complaints, respectively.
Section 7 specifies the penalties for violating the proposed bill statutes, a requirement absent from HOA governing documents, but required by public criminal law. It’s a notice requirement.
Section 8 adds the funding requirement of $4/door to support the agency.
Section 9 adds the establishment of the HOA advisory board. Subsections (A) and (B) specify the breakdown of the homeowner dominated board. Subsection (E) defines the authority to recommend revisions in the best interest of the public.
Sections 10 – 16 specify the procedures regarding HOA disputes and OAH hearings since the existing agency is set to expire in 2019. It just moves current law into a new section of code, Chapter 20. IGNORE.
Sections 17 and 18 revise linked statutes to the addition of Chapter 20 above. IGNORE.
Section 19. Omitted in error.
Section 20 repeals the existing OAH funding.