Are you paying an unlimited HOA fee?

PHOENIX - We've found another HOA fee you may not know you're paying.

It's called a "transfer" fee and is collected when a title changes hand. That usually happens during a sale. It's legal, it's unlimited, and it's not tied to any specific project.

Homeowner advocate Dennis Legere, President of the Arizona Homeowners Coalition, says that needs to change.

"My HOA got $600 for transfer fees at sale time," said a viewer on the Let Joe Know Facebook page.

Viewer Diana sent us her statement.

She paid $500 each for the same fee with different names.

One was called a "reverse contribution" fee, and the other, a "working capital" fee, but there's no explanation of where the money goes.

Ironically, the statute allowing it is called "prohibition on transfer fees."

Somehow, HOAs got an exception.

Legere says the lack of limits and vagueness of the law is leading to greed.

But Linda Lang, CEO of the Arizona Association of Community Managers, says so far, she has not seen that.

Lang also says the fee must be spelled out in your HOA rules, your C, C&R's. And the law says the fee must be tied to the land.

Lang says that means it has to stay in the community. She says the fees help keep assessments down.

But Legere feels they must be limited, tied to a purpose, and that HOA's need to be held accountable for how those fees are spent.

"When you have excess money, you find a way to spend it," said Legere.

So do you think these fees need to be limited?

Check out your sales statement and let me know if you paid similar fees.

 

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