Arizona HOA Laws

In Arizona, certain planned communities may be governed by a homeowners association (“HOA”). Their powers and responsibilities vary based on the property type and governing documents.

Who Regulates HOAs in Arizona?

In Arizona, an HOA is regulated by the Arizona Planned Communities Act found at Title 33 Chapter 16 of the Arizona Code. This Act applies to all common interest communities (condominiums, cooperatives, and other planned communities) created in Arizona.

An HOA is also regulated by its own governing documents.  Although every HOA is different, the governing documents typically include: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restriction, and other rules and regulations.

HOAs in Arizona may also be subject to applicable federal laws such as:

HOAs may also be subject to certain state laws such as:

How to Find HOA Rules/Laws in Arizona

HOA governing documents are public record in Arizona. An HOA must record its governing documents with the county land records to be enforceable. To obtain these documents visit the local county clerk’s office or website, such as the Maricopa County Recorder’s Website, and search for your HOA’s name.

In some instances, you can also obtain certain records online by using the Arizona Corporation Commission Entity Search, such as an HOA’s name, status, approval date, and annual reports.

HOA Powers in Arizona.

In Arizona, an HOA has the power to:

  • Collect assessments for common expenses;
  • Regulate common areas;
  • Collect charges to maintain and operate the common areas;
  • Collect charges for late payments of assessments;
  • Levy reasonable fines; and
  • Foreclose on your house for unpaid liens.

Additionally, HOA governing documents can grant further powers such as restrictions on home ownership, exterior paint colors, fencing and parking requirements.

Can an HOA Fine You in Arizona?  If So, by How Much?

In Arizona, an HOA may impose fines on a homeowner for violating its rules. An HOA may also impose reasonable charges for the late payment of assessments. In both cases an HOA must provide the homeowner with notice.

An HOA may charge the greater of either $15 or 10% of the amount unpaid for late fees. A payment is late after 15 days.  If a homeowner is in violation of the governing documents, an HOA may impose reasonable fines, and in some cases, collect attorney fees for any legal proceedings.

An HOA cannot fine a homeowner for (or generally prohibit):

  • Displaying the American Flag or U.S. Military Flag so long as the flag is displayed in a manner consistent with federal flag display law;
  • Displaying the Arizona state flag;
  • Displaying an Arizona Indian nations flag; or
  • Displaying the Gadsden flag.

An HOA’s governing documents may include reasonable rules and regulations regarding the placement and manner of display of these flags.

Can an HOA Take Your House in Arizona?

An HOA can foreclose on your house in Arizona for unpaid liens if the homeowner has been delinquent in payment for a year or more or the total late fees equals $1,200 or more (not including late fees, collection fees, or attorney fees).

An HOA cannot foreclosure without first mailing notice to the homeowner and giving the homeowner a chance to pay the debts. The HOA must provide the delinquent homeowner with at least 30 days to pay the debt.

If the debt isn’t paid within 30 days, the HOA must file a lawsuit for a foreclosure and follow the same legal process that a mortgage lender would to foreclose on a house.

An HOA cannot evict a homeowner or a tenant of a homeowner unless it is expressly authorized in the governing documents.  The HOA also does not have the power to force a homeowner to evict their tenant. However, the HOA may have other powers or restrictions about rental properties in its governing documents.

 Can an HOA Enter Your Property in Arizona?

In Arizona there is no provision in the law that allows an HOA to enter your property.  However, most governing documents contain a provision allowing an HOA to enter your home as reasonably necessary to maintain common elements or shared utilities.

Common elements are the shared spaces in and around your house that are collectively owned by the HOA, such as a pool.  Shared utilities may include water or sewage that are provided directly through the HOA.

Except in the case of an emergency, the HOA must generally give prior notice before entering your property. Typically, an HOA will give 1-2 weeks’ notice, but notice requirements are determined by the governing documents.

Where Do I File a Complaint Against my HOA in Arizona?

The venue for filing a Complaint against an HOA in Arizona depends on the complaint.

For complaints concerning HOA fees, a homeowner can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, homeowners may also file in state or federal court within one year of the violation date.

If a homeowner feels they are a victim of housing discrimination they can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or file a private lawsuit in Arizona federal or state court.

Otherwise, a homeowner can also bring a claim in state court in the appropriate county.

Joining & Leaving an HOA in Arizona

In Arizona, if you purchase a home in a neighborhood with a preexisting HOA, you are required to join and abide by the HOA rules. You should be presented with documents explaining the HOA and its rules at the closing for your home purchase.

If you bought a house in a neighborhood with an HOA you cannot simply leave or opt-out of the HOA. To leave an HOA you can sell your house or you can try to petition the HOA to have your home removed, but there is no guaranteed right that the petition will be granted.

How to Dissolve an HOA in Arizona. 

The process for dissolution of an HOA in Arizona may be set forth in the HOA’s governing documents.  If it is not, the board members of the HOA must propose dissolution to the members of the HOA.

For a proposal to dissolve to be adopted, all of the following must occur:

  • The board of directors must recommend dissolution to the members;
  • The members entitled to vote must approve the proposal to dissolve; and
  • Each person whose approval is required by the governing documents for dissolution must approve the plan in writing.

The HOA must notify each homeowner of the dissolution meeting. Unless the governing documents state otherwise, a majority of the votes cast or a majority of the voting power, whichever is less, must approve the proposal to dissolve.

If approved, the agreeing members will sign a termination agreement, settle any debts, dispose of assets belonging to the HOA, and file the necessary documentation, such as Articles Of Dissolution,  with the Arizona Corporate Commission to complete the dissolution.