Is HOA Academy for you?

Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 22:23:27-04

The relationship between homeowners and their Homeowners Association board isn't always a happy one.

So, cities across the Valley offer HOA classes to help educate homeowners, board members and people considering a move into an HOA about their rights and responsibilities.

The City of Chandler is preparing for its HOA Academy next month.

"The majority of neighborhoods within the City of Chandler fall under a homeowners association, so there's definitely a need," according to Cristabel Dykstra. She's with the Chandler Neighborhood Division and said the classes are so popular that they sometimes have a waiting list.

But, are the academies for the HOA board or the homeowners?

We found that many of the law firms that teach the courses in most Valley cities, almost exclusively work for HOA boards-- not members who might have a dispute with them.

We wondered whether that might present a conflict of the information that is presented.

Attorney Jonathan Dessaules represents homeowners in HOA legal battles. He said the academies provide a service, but they could be better.

"I think it would be really nice to get this from a homeowner's perspective, this is from an association perspective," Dessaules said.

The Mulcahy Law Firm in Phoenix, which exclusively represents HOA boards, conducts several courses, including those in Chandler, Peoria, Glendale and Tempe.

In a statement, the Beth Mulcahy said (in part):

"...My participation in these classes have not presented a conflict or any conflicts. Our involvement is a straight-forward discussion of the law pertaining to associations. We don't get into discussion of specific issues in their associations with participants."

Dykstra said the classes help the entire community.

"It's an education that goes all around and helps every resident," Dykstra said. "They don't stand for just the community they're there to provide that information to everyone."

And she hasn't had any complaints, yet.

"If it ever came up, we would definitely address that concern right away," Dykstra said.

Lawyers who teach are volunteers, and the presentations are offered free to the public.

Chandler is accepting applications through August 26. Find out how to apply here.

Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email or attach a video explaining the problem.

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