Your home is one of your biggest and most valuable possessions, so you want to protect it and its value. Homeowner associations (HOAs) can help preserve the characteristics of a neighborhood that make it desirable and thereby protect the value of the homes within the association.
In theory, an HOA serves primarily as a means of protecting the local community and enforcing standards for the maintenance and appearance of individual homes. However, an HOA can also have a negative impact on a homeowner if it unfairly enforces certain rules or singles out an individual homeowner.
Community members should have the right to demand transparency. What happens when an HOA board won’t hold open meetings or allow homeowners to address issues and abuses of power that they witness?
Arizona law requires open meetings for HOA boards
Sadly, there are those who let any amount of power go to their heads. Individuals elected to the board of an HOA could potentially abuse that authority for personal gain or even to be vindictive and controlling toward certain neighbors.
To protect people against discrimination or mistreatment, Arizona state law mandates open meetings for HOA boards. They should let residents know when they plan to meet and give an opportunity for community feedback.
An open forum at a board meeting can be an opportunity to challenge the behavior of an HOA board member or call for changes when there is a policy or board member doing more harm than good to the community. Keeping the public out of meetings could be a way for corrupt and abusive board members to retain their authority.
How can you respond to inappropriate HOA activity?
Challenging the inappropriate behaviors and practices of a group that has power over your access to amenities and the value of your home can be a frightening prospect. However, the alternative is to do nothing and allow someone to abuse their position of authority indefinitely.
Homeowners unable to attend meetings due to intentional avoidance by the HOA could file a complaint with the Arizona Department of Real Estate to plead the situation before an administrative law judge. Taking such steps will require an understanding of HOA laws and your rights as an Arizona homeowner.