Help! I am a Board Member that is being harassed by an owner in our association… What can I do to stop the harassment?

By Beth Mulcahy, Esq. Unfortunately, this is a question that is frequently presented to our law firm. Usually, the story goes something like this… Disgruntled owner is unhappy about something in the association such as a violation letter received, a planned capital improvement project, a special assessment or an increase in assessment rate. The disgruntled owner becomes abusive to the board or the manager (harassing phone calls or messages, showing up at board member’s home unannounced, bad behavior at a board meeting). Here’s what board members need to know about the best way to handle this situation. Black’s Law Dictionary defines harassment as “words, gestures or actions which tend to… Read More

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Transfer Fees 411

by Beth Mulcahy, Esq. Our Association wants to charge a “transfer fee” or a capital improvements fee to buyers when they purchase a home in our community? Is that allowable? How can we implement this type of fee? A “transfer fee,” is paid to the association for a specified purpose, such as funding the association’s reserves or contributing to the association’s working capital fund. Transfer fees are sometimes also referred to as capital contribution fees, working capital fees, and/or reserve contribution fees. Pursuant to A.R.S. Section 33-442, an association can charge a transfer fee, capital contribution fee or reserve assessment fee that becomes due at a close of escrow when the following requirements… Read More

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Reserve Studies 411

by Beth Mulcahy, Esq. Our association board is considering hiring a company to prepare a reserve study but we aren’t really sure what a reserve study is. Can you define a reserve study for us? How much do reserve studies cost? A reserve study is a budgeting guide that provides a comprehensive plan that shows an association how much is reasonable to place in reserve for a specific replacement or maintenance project. When properly executed, it can give a clear picture for the maintenance, repair or replacement requirements of association assets for the life of the association. A reserve study starts with an accurate inventory of the community’s assets to determine the… Read More

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Summer Board Meetings Made Easy!

By Beth Mulcahy, Esq. During the Summer months, many board members travel outside of Arizona to escape the heat. Due to travel schedules during June, July and August, sometimes it is difficult for the board to obtain a quorum to have a board meeting. Under Arizona law, all meetings of the association must be conducted in the State of Arizona. However, A. R. S. Section 33-1804(D)(3) and 33-1248(D)(3) permits any or all board members to participate in a regular or special board meeting through the use of any means of communication by which all directors and owners participating in the meeting may simultaneously hear each other during the meeting. As… Read More

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KEEP CALM AND CALL THE MEDIATOR!!

KEEP CALM AND CALL THE MEDIATOR!! As a Community Association Member, have you ever had trials and tribulations like…… My neighbor lets his iguana swim in the community pool- What, your neighbor has an iguana? Well, the Treasurer and Vice-President of our Board are at war with each other- Is that all? We have widespread parking disputes. That’s nothing! We have one unit owner that keeps storing his belongings in the Common Area. Well, at least he doesn’t hang superman sheets from the window. No, but the lady next door uses her garage as a disco-tech. The list goes on and on. When troubles like these arise: What to do??… Read More

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What’s the difference between a bank loan and an HOA loan?

I was recently presented with the following question from one of my clients. I am publishing it here, along with my answer, in hopes of sharing the knowledge. It is a common question that all of us within the HOA lending field should be able to answer. Question: What are some differences between a construction loan or line of credit from a “normal” bank and an HOA loan or line of credit as a specialized lending option? I’m having trouble understanding the pros and cons between them. Answer: The differences are very stark. A construction loan handled by a traditional bank reflects that there is real estate involved. The financing provided might be to construct… Read More

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Former Condo Board President Feeling Threatened by New President

W.R. from New Haven County writes: Dear Mister Condo, I been having serious issues with the new president and other board members since I stepped down a year ago. This position went to the new president’s head to the point where she put all my neighbor’s business out in the community and when my neighbor addressed her via email she then called the management company to tell them she felt threatened by her. Then we were going back and forth via email about some of the bylaws & rules and as well as rumors that she was talking trash about me, she turned around and falsely accused me of threatening… Read More

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