In Arizona, homeowner associations are governed by a multitude of laws including state statutes for planned communities and condominiums, the Arizona Nonprofit Corporation Act and federal laws and regulations. Many associations in Arizona have governing documents that were drafted before certain of these laws were enacted and thus, may contain provisions that are unenforceable or conflict with current law.

As the law governing community associations becomes more complex, so does serving as an HOA board member. Fortunately, Arizona law allows board members to rely on opinions from legal counsel. Obtaining qualified legal advice may be viewed as a “cost of doing business” for an association and seeking legal guidance before a dispute arises may help avoid costly litigation down the road.

In addition to providing opinions on particular legal issues, an HOA attorney can assist the Board in a number of ways:

• Determining if governing documents are consistent with current law;

• Drafting amendments to CC&R’s and Bylaws;

• Enforcing CC&R’s;

• Collecting delinquent assessments;

• Reviewing vendor contracts;

• Transition from developer control;

• Compliance with open meeting laws; and

• Addressing removal petitions.

A homeowner association should establish a professional relationship with an attorney who practices in community association law and is familiar with its governing documents before a need for legal services arises.

Wendy Ehrlich can be reached at

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