Most homeowners in Arizona, especially those in a planned community, are familiar with a homeowner’s association. If you reside in one of the roughly half of Phoenix valley homes that are part of a homeowner’s association (HOA) of some kind, then you were given your covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) before you purchased your home.
We understand that might have been the last time you reviewed the CC&Rs that you agreed to when you moved into your neighborhood, but that document lays out the HOA duties and your duties owed to the community and the other homeowners in the community.
Here are some important things you need to know about Arizona condo association duties and how they work for the association and condo owner.
Arizona Condo Association Duties
Condo associations typically have more duties than a typical homeowners association. They are generally responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of everything outside of your individual unit. This generally includes things like roof maintenance, building paint, maintenance of parking lots, common areas, landscaping and more. This means fewer individual duties for each condo owner in the association, which can certainly be part of the general appeal, but that also typically means that condo association fees are higher than a homeowner’s association with single family homes.
Arizona Condo Association Restrictions
Condo associations typically have stricter rules on pet ownership, number of occupants per unit, and parking restrictions as well. As all individual condo owners share walls and common areas while living in closer proximity, most condo associations will impose stricter rules on the number and size of pets that owners can keep in their unit. A condo association will typically restrict how many individual changes you can make to your unit. They are unlikely to allow you to paint your unit a different color or make any substantial changes that could impact your neighbors.
Arizona Condo Association Assessments and Fees
Almost every condo association will have regular assessments. These will generally be paid monthly or quarterly. These fees cover the cost of general maintenance, landscaping, common areas (like a pool), and site management. Arizona condo association boards are generally able to raise the regular assessment once a year by majority vote.
Every condo association is subject to special assessments. These are typically a onetime payment to cover the cost of repairs or general improvements to the property. Special assessments usually just require a majority vote from all the individual condo owners.
Condo associations might also charge late fees and fines when an individual condo violates association rules. The CC&Rs would typically detail any possible fines, although they might also allow the board to assess fines as needed.
Termination of Arizona Condominiums
Arizona does have some unique laws regarding the termination of a condominium association. If 80% or more of individual unit owners decide to terminate the association, the remaining 20% or less of individual owners can be forced to sell their units for fair market value.
This law has been used by investors to take over an entire condo complex by purchasing at least 80% of the units. Arizona legislators recently added a provision that required an additional payment of 5% for moving costs to be paid to those minority owners forced to sell. However, there is continued public discussion around further changes to the current law that still seems to favor large real estate investment firms over individual homeowners.
Arizona Real Estate Attorney
Whether you are considering purchasing a condo with onerous CC&Rs or you reside in a complex with rules and restrictions that have caused you an issue, our firm can help review the case and represent your ownership rights in the association vigorously. We can also assist if you’re involved in the forced sale or termination of a condominium association in Arizona. Contact us today at 602-533-2840 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online here.