I know that HOA has become a bad term over the last few years.  Just like the rest of us, the homeowner’s associations have had a rough few years.  That being said, a lot of people feel the HOA’s have taken advantage of their need for additional cash flow at the expense of all of the innocent buyers out there. We were seeing transfer and disclosure fees suddenly going from a couple hundred dollars to more than double that amount. Well big brother has stepped in to save the day.  There have been new laws and statutes put into place to help protect the innocent buyer from the big bad HOA’s.

One of the most notable of the many changes to be implemented is the new guideline in regard to resale & disclosure fees. To get slightly technical, Arizona revised statue 33-1806 for planned communities and A.R.S. 33-1260 for condominiums now caps this fee at an aggregate amount of $400.00. Now don’t worry, if the current fee is less than $400.00 there’s a cap on how quickly the HOA can increase their fee. The cap is 20% per year. It also imposes a cap of $100.00 if a rush of 72 hours or less is needed (like for that demand statement we need once our short sale approval letter comes in after 5 months and grants one week to close.) Here is the cool part, if the HOA fails to comply to this new statute, THEY have to pay a fee or fines of up to $1,200.00. What’s that they say about Karma?

There are some other really cool things like Arizona Revised Statute 33-1807 for planned communities and A.R.S. 33-1256 for condominiums that state that should the HOA fail to supply the HOA demand statement within the required ten day period it will actually extinguish their lien on the property.  These statutes further indicate that should the statement be received appropriately but with incorrect information……….too bad it will not count and the lien can be extinguished.

I think my favorite one is A.R.S 33-1808 for planned communities and A.R.S. 33-1261 for condos that puts the kibosh on those crazy signage fees.  We could never figure out why the HOA would charge a fee for us to hang a sign to sell, lease or rent out our properties.

All in all these changes are all good for us and humbling for the HOA’s.  2012 is already shaping up to be a better year for buyers in the Valley.