Before 2011, if a homeowner and a Condominium Homeowners Associations or Planned Community Associations (together known as HOA) was involved in a dispute, the only avenue to resolve the dispute was through the civil court system. In 2011, Arizona lawmakers passed legislation that established alternative proceedings through the Arizona Department of Fire, Building, and Life Safety to help facilitate resolutions without having to proceed through the civil court system.
In an attempt to further decrease the burden on the court system, legislators passed a law that would initially eliminate the court system entirely ( and the Arizona Department of Fire, Building, and Life Safety) by allowing the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) to facilitate disputes between any homeowner and the HOA. Effective July 1, 2016, when a homeowner and an HOA have a dispute that cannot be resolved amicably, the ADRE will facilitate a settlement through mediation or by an Administrative Hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
According the ADRE message center at www.azre.gov, either the property owner or the HOA can file a petition to the ADRE regarding the dispute. However, filing a petition is not free. For a single issue petition, the petitioner is required to pay $500. Each additional issue will cost the petitioner an additional $500. The ADRE will contact the Respondent and request a timely response. The issue will then proceed to mediation and if unsuccessful, will proceed to an administrative law hearing.
Although this process alleviates a substantial burden on the civil courts because it allows the administrative law judge to render decisions, the decision made by the Administrative Law Judge can be appealed to the civil court.
If you have any questions regarding disputes between HOAs and homeowners, feel free to contact us.
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