Think your HOA is going overboard? There may be something you can do to right the ship.
Start by attending the HOA meetings regularly. That's where the decisions about your neighborhood are made. Know when meetings are held and how to get your item on the agenda.
Another good idea is to start talking to your neighbors. There's a chance they may be having the same problem that you are dealing with. There is power in numbers and several homeowners bringing up an issue is more impactful than just one.
Also get familiar with your Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). They are the rules that govern your neighborhood. You accepted them the day you signed for your home so you and your community are legally bound by them. However, that doesn't mean they stay the same forever. CC&Rs can and do change -- another reason to attend meetings regularly. A copy is filed with the Maricopa County Recorder's Office.
Don't like the rules? There are provisions to allow for changes. Read up on them. It often involves a big chunk of the HOA members to vote on the change, but if you think the HOA is not following the CC&Rs you have options too.
Getting your HOA to follow rules and state law can end up in the court system. There is a mediation process through the Arizona Department of Real Estate. http://www.re.state.az.us/HOA/HOA.aspx/ But often issues of legality are settled in court. So document everything, get a good attorney and find some neighbors to help share the costs.
Problems with your HOA can be hard to handle, but knowing your rights and being actively involved can help.
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Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email or a video email where you attach a video explaining the problem.
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