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Being a leader of an HOA is a big legal responsibility

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Homeowners Association Law |

A person who agrees to be on the board of a homeowners’ association, or HOA, needs to understand that the opportunity comes with a lot of responsibilities.

  • Individual board members, as well as the board itself, must make sure they follow the HOA’s founding and other governing documents. These documents spell out in legal detail the rights and responsibilities of the board, its members and the residents the HOA serves.
  • On a related point, the board is responsible for preparing and enforcing the HOA’s covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs. CC&Rs are important for the success of HOAs since they ensure the board can regulate how residents maintain and use their property.
  • CC&R enforcement can be contentious, especially if a resident objects to the CC&R, denies violating the CC&R, or raises other defenses. There are also many practical questions that decide how a board should enforce its CC&Rs.
  • The board also is responsible for dealing with third parties on behalf of the HOA. From hiring someone to mow the common areas up to contracting for a major construction remodel or expansion, the board is responsible for acting in the best interest of the residents. This could mean the board will need to understand complex real estate transactions as well as business contracts.
  • When things go south with an HOA’s business affiliates, the board may have to pursue litigation. For example, if a contractor does not handle a remodeling job correctly, the board may be able to pursue a construction defect claim against the contractor.
  • The board also is responsible for defending the HOA from lawsuits, whether those suits come from disgruntled residents, business affiliates or even visitors injured while within the HOAs boundaries.
  • Handling legal claims and business issues may also require the board to work with the HOAs insurance carriers.

HOA board members need to make sure they understand their legal options

Just about any significant decision an HOA board in makes can have legal consequences under Arizona law. Boards should be careful to understand their options and alternatives at every step to be certain that their actions will ultimately lead to a better HOA community.