By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
A few weeks ago, State Rep. Kelly Townsend proposed regulation of radar gun usage in Arizona HOAs. The bill proposed that the radar gun be calibrated, and that no fines be issued unless the driver’s speed was at least ten miles over the posted speed limit.
IAC Commentary on the policy of HOA authority to monitor and enforce moving traffic violations:
Last week, the bill was killed by the Arizona Legislature, according to a report by Gary Harper, 3 On Your Side.
State Senator Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) Proposes a bill that would ensure that minority condo owners who are opposed to termination of their association — often a hostile corporate takeover by investors — would receive fair market value for their condo units.
Here’s how it would work. An owner can pay for their own independent appraisal. If the owner’s appraisal is within 2% of the appraised value presented by the majority faction initiating the termination, the higher value would be payable to the unit owner.
If the difference is greater than 2%, the owner would be entitled to payment equal to the average of both values.
In either case, owners would also be paid 5% of their unit’s value for moving expenses.
As currently written, the provisions would apply to all condo associations, as of the effective date of the amendment.
SB 207 (IN)
A bill sponsored by Sen. Aaron Freeman (R) proposes to limit the restrictions an HOA can make with regard to installation of solar panels on privately owned property.
The bill would not be retroactive.
It currently states that solar installations cannot be prohibited, except due to a threat to public health or safety, or a violation of existing law. Furthermore, the HOA cannot restrict the location and orientation of solar panels if doing so would significantly reduce their efficiency or increase the cost of installation by more than 10%.
The current version of the bill allows for some other specific aesthetic restrictions, such as requiring properties with yard mounted solar panels to be fenced in, to obstruct the view of the panels from neighboring properties.
HB 2629 (KS)
A new bill under consideration would officially designate owners of property in an association-governed common interest community as consumers.
A common interest community fund would be created in the Attorney General’s office, and a consumer protection division would be required to accept and investigate consumer complaints made by owners against their association board (developer or owner controlled) and the property manager, with regard to enforcement of the Kansas Uniform common interest owners bill of rights act, K.S.A. 58-4601.
The bill also requires all association-governed common interest communities to register with the Kansas Attorney General, and prohibits the board of directors from unilaterally terminating the association or amending its bylaws.
HB 2831 (WA)
Homebuilder lobbies are behind this legislation. The bill is a clone of compromise construction defect legislation enacted last year in Colorado.
The current version of the bill requires a condominium association to provide notice of its consideration to sue the developer or contractors with regard to construction defects covered under warranty. It outlines full disclosure of the nature of complaints to owners and contractors at an open meeting, and specifies that the association must provide a cost-benefit analysis of litigation.
Among the facts to be disclosed to owners: lenders tend to shy away from approving or refinancing mortgages when the association is involved in litigation; sellers must disclose defects to potential buyers; litigation costs or repairs that must be made immediately are likely to require additional funding by special assessment; and the association may not recover 100% of its costs and damages.
Before the association could proceed with litigation, a majority of “non-developer” homeowners would have to vote in favor of proceeding.
SSB 6175 (WA)
A Uniform Act written by industry stakeholders. Typical of the Uniform Acts, the bill provides additional powers to association boards, including the power to fine unit owners and foreclose on their property without actual due process, and very limited legal recourse for homeowners. The balance of power is slanted decidedly in favor of Associations rather than homeowners or residents.
A previous IAC post includes video testimony on SB6175. The viewer can clearly see that the bill was written with input from HOA attorneys aligned with trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI), members of local home builders’ associations, and banking and finance stakeholders, but with absolutely no input from housing consumers.
Two homeowners testified against the bill. Homebuilders are neutral. CAI and bankers are in favor. The bill has passed in the Senate and is now under consideration in the House.
HB 2790 (WA)
This is a consumer-focused bill intended to provide a cost-effective method for resolution of condo and homeonwers’ association disputes. It would establish a pilot program administered by the Washington Attorney General.
According to the bill digest:
Requires the attorney general to establish a pilot program for the resolution of condominium and homeowners’ association disputes in Clark, King, and Spokane counties to provide owners and associations with a cost-effective and time-efficient process to resolve disputes regarding alleged violations of the horizontal property regimes act (condominiums), the condominium act, and the laws of homeowners’ associations.
Requires the chief administrative law judge, when requested by the attorney general, to assign an administrative law judge to conduct proceedings under this act.
The bill received support during a February 1st public hearing, and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee in the House.
See the latest summary here.
The bill is endorsed by the Homeowners Alliance for Accountability, Reform, Responsibility & Transparency (HAARRT.net). HAARRT opposes SB 6175, summarized above.
Click here more information.