compromise needed on problem of abusive HOAs
Article Courtesy of The Scottsdale Tribune
January 28, 2002
|If this is the year the Legislature finally
provides some needed relief for people abused by tyrannical homeowners
associations, those on each side of this polarized issue will have to compromise
State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, has introduced a bill taking away HOAs’ power to seize property to satisfy unpaid fines and liens. While that would help people victimized by their HOAs, it also would provide a safe haven for deadbeats who thumb their noses at authority.
It thus would seriously undermine the efforts of conscientious HOAs to enforce their codes and rules fairly.
Instead of gutting all HOAs, the Legislature should provide an avenue of recourse for residents who sincerely believe their rights are being violated. The responsibility to take and review complaints —- along with some authority to resolve certain kinds of cases — should be placed with county attorneys or with the state attorney general.
Presumably, many cases could be resolved quickly — as happens with many consumer complaints handled by the AG’s Office. In cases where residents’ rights were blatantly violated, authorities can and should prosecute the offending HOAs.
Wronged residents would have recourse, and rotten HOAs would be on notice to clean up their acts for face serious consequences. Meanwhile, a few deadbeat homeowners wouldn’t be able to spoil the efforts of good HOAs to enforce their codes.