Lot Split in Wickenburg Sparks Confusion

By Christopher Combs | May 9, 2014

  Question: We live in an older subdivision in Wickenburg. Each of the lots in this subdivision is at least 5 acres. The CC&Rs that govern our subdivision prohibit lot splitting. At the time that our subdivision was developed, the developer dedicated easements to Maricopa County for roads.   We recently checked the county assessor’s map of our subdivision, and we learned that the county assessor two years ago “split” the lots to have separate tax-parcel numbers for the lots and for the roads. The county assessor’s explanation for this split was “as a courtesy to the taxpaying homeowners who…


HOA Rules Can be Adjusted to Limit Rentals

By Christopher Combs | March 30, 2014

  Question:  We live in a small community of 21 homes in the Camp Verde area. Several of the homeowners live in Phoenix and rent out their houses. Buyers of two houses currently in escrow also live in Phoenix and intend to rent out their homes. We do not want this small community to become a community of “rental” homes. Can we amend the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of our homeowners association to prohibit no more than 20 percent of the homes to be rentals? If so, can we “grandfather” the existing leases of rental homes?   Answer: You will initially…


"For Sale" Sign Law Trumps HOA Rules

By Christopher Combs | February 2, 2014

  Question:  We have lived in a community in the Biltmore area of Phoenix for more than 10 years.  For years, the only “for sale” signs in our community were the same light brown and low to the ground.  In the past year or so, several of us have noticed a proliferation of “for sale” signs in various colors and sizes.  When we brought up the issue at our homeowners association meeting, all the homeowners except the real-estate agents that live in our community wanted to go back to the old “for sale” signs.  The president of our homeowners association…


Mini-Garage Violates CC&Rs

By Christopher Combs | December 21, 2013

Question: Our next-door neighbor recently completed the construction of a mini-garage for his recreational vehicle.  This mini-garage is 7 feet from my side wall, which is a violation of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for our community.  When I complained to my neighbor, my neighbor said that Mesa had issued a building permit for this mini-garage.  When I contacted the building inspection division, I was told that the building permit had been properly issued under the building code for the city of Mesa.  Even though the CC&Rs prohibit the construction of this mini-garage, my neighbor says that the building code…


Questions on “For Sale” Signs After Court of Appeals Decision

By Christopher Combs | September 26, 2013

  After our email last week on the Hawk decision by the Court of Appeals prohibiting restrictions by HOAs on “For Sale” signs, we received numerous questions. The following is a sample of those questions along with our answers. Does this Hawk decision also apply to “for lease” signs? A. Yes, the Hawk decision also applies to “for lease” signs.  In Hawk v. PC Village Ass’n, Inc., the Court of Appeals of Arizona “conclude[d] that A.R.S. § 33-441 applied to the Pine Canyon CC&R’s and, by its terms, superseded [the CC&R’s] prohibition of ‘for rent’ and ‘for sale’ signs.” Hawk…


Court of Appeals – HOA Cannot Prohibit “For Sale” Signs

By Christopher Combs | September 18, 2013

  On September 3, 2013, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in Hawk v. PC Village Association that a CC&R prohibiting “for sale” signs in the community was unenforceable. Comment:   The Arizona Legislature in 2009 passed A.R.S § 33-441 which rendered unenforceable any CC&R that prohibited “for sale” signs.   The HOA argued that their CC&R’s were adopted prior to this 2009 legislation, and that this 2009 legislation was unconstitutional as a substantial impairment of contractual rights already existing under the CC&R’s.  The HOA also produced affidavits of numerous residents who opposed non-uniform multi-colored “for sale” signs as eyesores, and who wanted…


Is New Home Safe From HOA Fee Lien?

By Christopher Combs | May 18, 2013

  Question: We lost our Mesa home to foreclosure a year ago. We were almost immediately able to buy from an investor a smaller home in Queen Creek using carryback financing from the investor.   The home prices in our Queen Creek subdivision have increased significantly in the past year, and we have approximately $20,000 equity in our home. The problem is that the homeowners association for our former home in Mesa now has a judgment for $8,000 in delinquent HOA fees that we did not pay for several months before the foreclosure. This $8,000 judgment has been recorded and is…


Dues Liability Ends With Foreclosure Sale

By Christopher Combs | March 30, 2013

   Question: Our son purchased a condominium in Tempe while he was attending Arizona State University. He has graduated from ASU and taken a job in Los Angeles. The condominium was “underwater,” and the home was sold at a foreclosure sale to an investor several months ago. At the time of the foreclosure sale, my son was current on his HOA monthly dues. He is still getting bills, however, from the HOA for the monthly dues. Is my son liable for any HOA monthly dues after the foreclosure sale?    Answer: Probably not. The foreclosure-sale process is as follows: There…