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ARTICLES & NEWS

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ARTICLES

HOA Changes CC&Rs to Prohibit Street Parking

By Christopher Combs | June 6, 2019

Question: When we signed the purchase contract for a new home in Sun City, we were given a copy of the CC&Rs which allowed street parking for up to 24 hours. The day before closing we were given additional documents by the title company, including what we thought was just another copy of the CC&Rs, so we didn’t bother to read these additional documents. In actuality, these additional documents were amended CC&Rs that prohibit any street parking. When our daughter visits us now she has to park at the main entrance to our community and walk to our home. Are…

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Horse Property Must Conform to Public Zoning and Private Restrictions

By Christopher Combs | February 15, 2019

Question: We purchased a home on five acres in North Phoenix. The seller owned horses, and had a small corral in one corner of the property. We had reviewed all of the title documents, including the CC&Rs, and there was no prohibition against horses. After moving into our home with our horses, however, we received complaints from one of our neighbors about our horses. Yesterday we received a notice from the City of Phoenix that the City zoning code prohibits horses in our community. If the CC&Rs in our community allow horses, how can the zoning for the City of Phoenix…

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Second Amendment Case Doesn’t Prohibit HOAs Banning Firearms

By Christopher Combs | October 29, 2018

Question: In a recent column you said that a Glendale HOA could probably enforce a CC&R prohibiting firearms in the community. How can this CC&R be enforceable in light of the Heller decision of the United States Supreme Court? Answer: In 2008 the United States Supreme Court in the Heller decision ruled that the Second Amendment of the Constitution prohibited the enforcement of a Washington, D.C. law that banned handguns in the home. (“The handgun, out of all firearms, is considered by the American people to be the quintessential self-defense weapon.”). Therefore, any state like Arizona or a city like…

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Can HOAs Ban Gun Carry in the Community?

By Christopher Combs | September 24, 2018

Question:  The CC&Rs for our Glendale community prohibit the “carrying, use, or discharge of firearms or other weapons” in the community.  Although our HOA Board of Directors has never enforced this ban on gun “carrying,” at our annual meeting one of our homeowners said that he has several guns in his home.  He also said that he regularly takes these guns for practice shooting at a local shooting range.  Isn’t this homeowner “carrying” weapons in our community if he takes these weapons from his home to the shooting range?  If so, can we fine this homeowner for violating the CC&R? Answer: …

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Arbitration an Option in Dispute with HOA

By Christopher Combs | July 15, 2018

Question: We bought a “fixer-upper” in Tempe six months ago. In doing the remodeling of the home, we thought we had an acceptable paint color for our home based on the criteria for paint color in the Rules and Regulations of our HOA. The HOA disagrees with us, however, and the HOA has been charging us small fines until we re-paint the home. The cost to repaint the home is less than $3,000, so getting a lawyer and going to court makes no sense. Is there a cheaper way to fight the HOA? Answer: The Arizona Department of Real Estate…

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Aerial Phoenix Neighborhood

Registered Sex Offenders and HOAs

By Christopher Combs | July 1, 2018

Question: In a recent column you said that an HOA can prohibit registered sex offenders (“RSOs”) from owning homes in a community. Our Chandler community only has 80 homes, but a recent search of the official police website showed that two RSOs own homes in our community. We want to amend our CC&Rs to at least prevent these two RSOs from using the swimming pool and clubhouse owned by our HOA. Is that amendment allowed? In addition, if we do amend our CC&Rs to prohibit RSOs from owning homes in our community, can we then require that the two RSOs…

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HOA Cannot Regulate “Open House” Signs

By Christopher Combs | June 4, 2018

Question: We have a small brokerage firm in Queen Creek. On Sunday mornings one of our agents places an “open house” sign in the front yard of one of his listings if there will be an open house that afternoon. The HOA has objected to the placement on Sunday of “open house” signs in front yards, because the CC&Rs prohibit business activity in the community on Sundays. Can the HOA prohibit “open house” signs in the community? Answer: No. Under Arizona law an HOA cannot regulate “for sale” signs or “open house” signs on the seller’s property, provided that the signs…

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Occupation not a Protected Class Under Fair Housing

By Christopher Combs | May 28, 2018

Question: My wife and I recently moved to the Phoenix area from New York. We are both lawyers, and we have credit scores in the 800s. We wanted to rent a nice home in Paradise Valley for a year, until we decided where we want to live permanently. We signed a lease for this home and our real estate agent presented the lease to the landlord for his signature. The landlord was pleased with the terms of the lease, but when he did a credit check and learned that we were lawyers, he refused to sign the lease. We can’t believe…

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