The Arizona Legislature recently passed seven new laws which will affect the way homeowners associations, condominium owners associations, and other community associations in Arizona operate. Six of the new laws will go into effect on July 20, 2011, and the seventh will go into effect on December 31, 2011. These new laws may require significant changes to association governing documents or the operation of boards of directors to ensure compliance.
The laws going into effect on July 20, 2011, include the following important changes:
- Persons attending boards of directors meetings and meetings of members may audio or videotape portions of meetings, but boards of directors may adopt “reasonable rules” governing such taping.
- Increased transparency in the way community associations provide notice of and conduct their meetings.
- Associations may not charge a fee for using or placing a “for rent,” “for sale,” or “for lease” sign on a property. Associations may be penalized for violating owners’ rights to have “for sale” signs, temporary “open house” signs, “for lease” signs, and open houses during certain hours.
- The alternative dispute resolution process previously held unconstitutional by Arizona courts will be reinstated.
- Removing or altering a political sign or other hand-delivered candidate materials from a residence during the period beginning 45 days leading up to a primary election and ending 7 days after a general election will become a class 2 misdemeanor. Associations will not be able to restrict “door to door political activity” except in a few limited ways.
- The Gadsden Flag, also known as the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, will be added to the list of flags that owners are permitted to display on their properties.
The law going into effect on December 31, 2011, affects associations’ disclosure and transfer fees upon the resale of a property. It will broaden associations’ disclosure requirements, shorten the time in which to make a disclosure, and restrict the amounts that can be charged by the association or property manager when a property is sold or ownership is transferred.
These new laws will likely raise novel legal issues in the field of community association law, which will be more clearly seen once they go into effect. For more information regarding how these laws affect your community association, please contact Titus Brueckner & Levine PLC at 480-483-9600.