The Arizona real estate department (ADRE) took the high ground and did what was right and just: it removed the HOA special interest vendors, AACM and CAI, from its list of Resources (under HOA Due Process). To those familiar with CAI’s opposition to OAH adjudication of HOA disputes, this was the only acceptable decision. (See Is AZ ADRE violating 1st Amendment free speech on HOA public issues?) I congratulate Commissioner Lowe and Deputy Commissioner Dettorre for protecting the consumer, the HOA homeowner.
I am told that ADRE believed it was helping homeowners to better resolve HOA disputes. When presented with the facts on the conduct of these vendor special interests ADRE reacted accordingly. The department can play a significant role in restoring homeowner protections that were denied under the adhesion CC&Rs “contract” and under pro-HOA state laws. (More to come.) The defenders of the status quo, and that includes CIA and AACM, invoked the misguided argument that the homeowner agreed to be bound.
ADRE has authority to act under the statutes specifically regarding HOA disputes, and in general under real estate statutes. However, the department must be on guard not to fall into the clutches of the wolf as it appears to have done with respect to the resource issue.
Perhaps it was influenced by the Arizona HOA Coalition that claims to speak for the people. It is a closed group run by a strong personality, as I’m told, that has no qualms working with the Evil Empire to bring about justice for homeowners. It is a de facto lobbying group and not an educational group. AZHOC, as it is known, is following a failed approach that was used by another so-called group in the 2000 – 2oo5 period.
AZHOC has already submitted proposed legislation to CAI, and others, as part of ADRE’s stakeholder group. Obviously seeking CAI’s blessing before obtaining legislator sponsorship. Yet, the public HOA member is not privy to this proposed legislation and cannot provide valid feedback. But, CAI and others can.
I will not participate in the stakeholder meetings as a matter of principle, because CAI and AACM are usurpers of homeowner rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities. What is important to keep in mind about these meetings is the failure of AZHOC to advance substantive issues for HOA reforms, while arguing for changes in the law relating to the daily operation of HOAs. I don’t think CAI would support these substantive reforms nor even allow them.
HOA operational reforms are commendable, but falls far short of effecting meaningful change like supporting effective enforcement of HOA board violations as a detriment, fair elections procedures, reform of the laws regarding OAH dispute handling, requiring the HOA to swear allegiance to the Constitution as all other local governments, challenging the sales process that is ripe with misrepresentation, etc.
I have not been consulted by AZHOC, although I’ve volunteered as such last year, nor have I received any copies of its proposed legislation. That alone speaks for itself.
ADRE must continue its good work. However, ADRE must not fall into the clutches of the wolf.