When an individual owns a home within a property managed by a homeowners association (HOA), the responsibilities, duties, and rights of the community are governed by the laws contained in a number of governing documents as well as state and federal statutes. The rules are purposely meant to promote peaceful coexistence between the homeowners and the HOA. These rules and governing documents are set by the HOA, and sometimes with the help of our Chandler HOA management company. It is evident that the rules can at times be strict. However, they are limited by states laws that restrain and guides the actions of HOA, which in turn provide the homeowners with the following rights.
Right to change HOA Rules
When homeowners or the board of directors believe that a rule or article within the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) for the community should be changed, they can wield themselves to take action, and eventually vote to change the rules or governing documents. Prior to suggesting a move to make an amendment, it is important that homeowners acquaint themselves with the HOA’s bylaws and CC&Rs. Being knowledgeable of the rules for proposing and passing an amendment is vital. For instance, the bylaws may specify the required minimum number of homeowners who are supposed to cast votes in favor to make changes to the CC&Rs, also known as a quorum.
Right to Contest Payment of fees and assessments
Homeowners are bound by law to pay assessment fees, which are allocated to cover for repair costs and property maintenance and collected on a regular basis. This can either be monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly, or yearly. However, they have the right to question whether the amount they are levied is reasonable. By reviewing the annual budget and monthly financial statements, you can see exactly where the assessment money is going and what kind of items or services it is being used for.
Right to Attend Open Board Meetings
It is important that the board of directors meet regularly to discuss and conduct business of the association. This is where the board can vote to approve new proposals, contracts, changes to the community rules, and more. Per Arizona state statute, the homeowners have the right to attend these open meetings and review their filed meeting minutes as well. This prevents shadow governing and allows all members of the association the ability to stay informed.
Right against Discrimination
The HOA is obliged to enact and enforce rules that do not single out or disadvantage a specific group of a people identified in the Fair Housing Act. Thus, homeowners aren’t entitled to fines or denied the opportunity to buy a home within a given neighborhood due to their ethnicity, religion, sex, or familial status. Additionally, the community cannot create age rules for certain amenities unless in case of safety. All of these protections are offered to ensure homeowners and HOA’s interact peacefully and coexist in harmony.
Run for Board Membership
A homeowner has the right to run for board membership position if the person meets the minimum requirement to participate in HOA board members elections based on the governing documents for the community. The aspiring board members are entitled to fair elections and equal HOA resource access. Equality among candidates and board members is always required and fair dealings are expected.
Right to Keep Satellite Dish
The federal government protects homeowners’ cable TV decisions. No matter how unpleasant the dish may appear, HOA has no right to bring it down if it is located where you obtain the best signal. However, the HOA board can set specific requirement concerning screening and placement, so the association does have some authority in this matter. Most communities are very understanding and provide guidelines with reasonable accommodations.
Homeowners are advised to carefully understand his or her rights together with the association’s governing documents to reap the full benefits of living in a homeowners association. If you have questions about your rights as a homeowner and want to inquire further about our Chandler HOA management company, contact City Property Management today at (602) 437-4777 or by connecting with us on our website!