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Homeowners associations follow dispute process

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Homeowners Association Law |

Homeowners may land up in disputes with their condominium and planned community associations. In addition to other requirements for condominiums and cooperatives, Arizona law sets forth a process for these disputes.

Alternative procedures

In 2011, the state passed a law establishing a dispute resolution venue for homeowners, condominiums, and planned community associations. Administrative procedures are used instead of the civil court system, but parties still keep their legal rights to continue to pursue their claims.

The Homeowners Association Dispute Process was moved to the Arizona Department of Real Este under legislation enacted in 2016. The Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings handles cases referred by the ADRE and schedule hearings before administrative law judges.

Petition submission

Before submitting a petition, parties should attempt settling their dispute. Settlement procedures include mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Petitions must be submitted on an ADRE approved form. Hearings are available only for an owner or association.

An owner’s petition, also known as a complaint, must address a dispute between the owner and an association. Complaints may not be filed against Board members or other individuals. Association petitions must deal with a dispute between the owner and the association.

The department will not accept complaints file by or against renters, non-owners, directors, representatives, homeowners, or community management companies. It will not process inaccurate or incomplete petitions and will return these documents to the petitioner.

The department charges a $500 single issue complaint fee. It imposes an additional $500 charge for each complaint that cover up to four issues. These fees are not refundable unless a petitioner requests the dismissal of their complaint, or the parties enter a stipulation dismissing the hearing before it is scheduled.

An attorney can assist parties to these disputes. Lawyers may also represent parties and protect their rights.