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Subject: No HOA, ONLY CC&Rs
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Author Messages
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/16/2011 1:43 PM  
How can individual homeowners enforce CC&Rs if there is no HOA? Yes, anyone can file a lawsuit in court, but if there is no Architectural Control Committee, or Board members, who is the controlling mechanism?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/16/2011 1:57 PM  
Irene,

A Homeowner may enforce deed restrictions by taking alleged violators to court. Other then talking to the violator to see if they will comply on their own, this is the only way a homeowner may enforce deed restrictions.

If there is an Association to oversee the deed restrictions, the Association may have other options (fining, etc.) available or may be the entity that takes the violator to court to enforce compliance.

Do you know for a fact that there is no Association or has the Association just gone dormant due to membership apathy?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


11/16/2011 2:02 PM  
You may want to consult your city's code department. They may assist you as some types of violations may fall under their domain. My ex's neighborhood didn't have an "HOA" but did have some restrictions. One couldn't put a trailor on the lot's. The city/county would have to enforce those restrictions.

What kind of violation are we talking about? This may help in how best to address the issue.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/16/2011 2:05 PM  
Melissa,

If you read Irene's other posting in a different thread she appears to be the alleged violator vs. the one who wants to enforce the covenants.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


11/16/2011 2:20 PM  
Thanks Tim. I didn't see the other posting. Seems if they are the possible violator, they can have the option to counter-sue if they were to be brought to court. This is a much cheaper solution for them. The burden of proof is still there to present that the HOA is defunct and the CC&R's invalid. Which the CC&R's could very well be defunct for a variety of reasons. It could be an expiration thing or the developer turned over to the membership who didn't pick it up. May want to research that history.


Former HOA President
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/16/2011 2:32 PM  
Thanks for the replies. Yes, we are the ones being sued by our neighbors. The Plaintiffs already sent an anonymous letter to the City in 2006. The City doesn't have any problems with our prestine property. You see my husband is a U.S. Marine, he is very meticulous.

From 2000 to 2004 we had three developers. The developers were, in effect, the HOA. But since 2004 there has never been a controlling body. We all have just policed ourselves.

That being said, are the CC&Rs valid if no one has enforced them and there is no controlling body?

Now we have two homeowners who have continually harassed us in one way or another. All documented. We have a Preliminary Injunction hearing the end of November, 2011.

We never imagined that only CC&Rs could cause such problems to a homeowner. Never again will we move into a community with CC&Rs.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/16/2011 2:42 PM  
Posted By IreneP on 11/16/2011 2:32 PM

That being said, are the CC&Rs valid if no one has enforced them and there is no controlling body?




Yes they are valid.

The controlling body would be each party of the contract (i.e. each individual homeowners). Enforcement would be done, as you are finding out, through the courts by someone filing legal action against another.


Posted By IreneP on 11/16/2011 2:32 PM

We never imagined that only CC&Rs could cause such problems to a homeowner. Never again will we move into a community with CC&Rs.




I understand that sentiment. The reality is that HOAs are here to stay and if you want to move into a new development there will most likely be deed restrictions.



If you have requested permission and have something in writing from the developers allowing the things that are alleged violations, this would be your defense.

Is the development still under developer control? If it is, even if the builder isn't doing anything, they would most likely be the Association.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


11/16/2011 2:53 PM  
The developer's create HOA's as "sales tools" for them to sell the property. What better tool than to let people think they can control their enviroment and sales value of their homes by enforcing their own rules? It all sounds good in the sales speech. Which is probably the pill these neighbors swallowed and won't cough back up...

It seems you are no longer developer controlled. I would go to your Records department to get the copy of your CC&R's they have on file. These are considered PUBLIC records. Make sure they have the proper conditions when the developer turns over the HOA to the owners. Our has the caveat that we have to be turned over to a Property Manager if we were to disband and the owner's didn't want control. Find out what your documents state about disbandment of your HOA and what it defines.

Like my other advice in other posts, you may consider a counter-suit if possible. It doesn't have to be for the same thing they are suing you for. You may be having other related costs your experiencing because of this. For example: You may have to hire a contractor to fix the violations or give you an estimate. The cost for that may be part of your counter-suit. I'd consider racking up a few "expenses" if possible showing the court your damages you have incurred because of their actions. It's not just the lawyer costs.

I hope you have a lawyer and they familiar with contractual laws. Not sure if you need a lawyer versed in real estate law. This is more of a contractual situation than real estate even though real estate is involved. Save some costs with limiting contact with the attorney. They will charge you for a phone call so don't leave your name to call back if they are NOT in the office. It's a trick of some lawyers to use this as a basis to charge you. Plus limit emails, as those can be charged too.

This sounds like a winnable case for you. They are barking up the wrong tree. Hopefully, it will all be tossed out. Just be aware that there may be other legal avenues if they don't succeed in court. Protect yourself against those if possible.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/16/2011 2:55 PM  
Irene,

Seek the advice of a local attorney and see if Laches would be a valid defense.

Laches might be used if it has been a long time since your shed (or whatever) has been up before the complaint.



law.com definition of laches



SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


11/16/2011 4:33 PM  

That being said, are the CC&Rs valid if no one has enforced them and there is no controlling body?


Yes, a neighbor can sue you to enforce the your CCR's and deed restrictions. If you loose, you may be forced to comply, and also owe all the money they spent on lawyers to sue you. If you are in violation, seek advice from a lawyer, and see if you can settle before this gets expensive for you.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/16/2011 7:12 PM  
Thank you for everyone's valued comments.

No, we cannot afford an attorney. We are hard working self-employed people who just want to be left alone. We were the first owners in this subdivision, spent over $80K in improvements to our property and we will not be driven out.

There is no HOA and there never was. I haven't found anywhere in the CC&R document where it states anything about turning over control. To start an HOA it requires 70% approval.

The CC&Rs have never been enforced until now, 11 years later. I would like to attach the CC&Rs but this system does not allow large docs.

The type of harassment we've experienced by these sueing homeowners are:
Police calls about BBQ lights, motion lights, boat motors and music prior to 6pm, cars and trailers parked on the "City" street. All with "Unfounded" "No problem" reported by the police dept. Helicopter flyovers from 2009 by one of the Plaintiffs right over our house, after the wife calls him that we are home. Watching us from her kitchen window when we leave for work and when we return. And there's more. We have had mutual Injunctions Against Harassment against both these complaining parties. And this most recent one against one of them in July, 2011 was transferred over to the Superior Court Judge, when the presiding Judge found out there was a lawsuit pending.

We are writing about our ordeal in the hopes that other people out there will gain some insight about having CC&Rs with NO HOA when they encounter problems. We have not found ANY cases in AZ that deal with this issue.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/16/2011 7:15 PM  
Thank you Tim. My husband found the doctrine of laches, but we're finding out, from talking with legal professionals, that this is seldom used. We will defintely throw it their way in Court.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/16/2011 7:18 PM  
Tim, no we are not under developer control or any other control. Just the deed restrictions. And the funny thing is they are ONLY sueing us, even though other homeowners in the dev. have similar alleged violations.

We are going under the pretext of prejudicial enforcement.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


11/16/2011 10:36 PM  
I have owned three houses in Phoenix over the years. Two had CC&R's without associations. The other had no CC&R's at all.

When you have CC&R's without associations the only way to enforce them is through court action. One or more owner has to spend his money to sue one or more other owners. Since Arizona common law holds that CC&R's are a contract between all owners, the prevailing party can recover his costs and attorney fees from the losing party.

Irene, you have three options. First, give in and end the bickering. Second, go to court without an attorney where it is most likely you will lose and have to pay the other party's costs. Third, hire an attorney to advise you whether you have a viable defense and, if so, go to court, win, and let your neighbor foot the bill for your defense.

If your property is located in Maricopa or Yavapai county, the recorded CC&R's are viewable online. You can locate them and post the link or tell us the recorded name of the subdivision and I will find it.
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/17/2011 6:12 AM  
Irene:

can we ask exactly what the issue is they are suing you for? Unfortunately with Deed restrictions it is often times homeowner's try to fight and learn an expensive lesson. Without knowing what the issue is I would advise you to seek a resolution outside of court.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 7:18 AM  
Thanks for the info but, first why would we give in? That's a defeatist attitude. We were the first ones here and we are the ones being harassed. Second, just because we don't have an attorney doesn't mean we won't win if we have all the facts, permits and documentation. And third, you must be an attorney. Not everyone can afford attorney's. We'll take our chances and go at it alone. We are confident WE WILL WIN.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 7:24 AM  
I have addressed that in my previous posts. Yes we will fight because we were here before any of these people moved in and built our property to what it is today. Like the gentleman Larry posted, just give in? Why give in when you are right?
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/17/2011 7:42 AM  
go to the 'registrar of deeds' and get a CERTIFIED copy of the CCRs applicable to your deed

READ SAID DOCUMENT

most have clauses stating that non-enforcement does NOT preclude future enforcement

if you are in violation -> you really should comply with the 'docs'

if you are NOT in violation -> remember what A. Lincoln said: "Man who represents self in court has a fool for a client." ... the plaintiff will pay your costs when they lose

if the issue is in doubt -> you need to weigh the costs of fighting versus the costs of 'complying'

ps. the fact that 'you were there first' has NO BEARING as to the deed restrictions you accepted when you purchased
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


11/17/2011 7:43 AM  
Not everyone can afford attorney's. We'll take our chances and go at it alone. We are confident WE WILL WIN.


The cards are stacked against you. Lawyers know the technicalities that will cause you to loose. If you loose I'm guessing you could end up owing about $5,000 to in legal fees for the other party. If you refuse to pay your wages could be garnished, assets sold, contempt of court, etc.

Spending $200 to talk to a lawyer that may give you some ideas on how to deal with this will be a bargin.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 7:50 AM  
That may be so, John, but my question has been the fact that these CC&Rs have never been enforced for 11 years by anyone. No one seems to be able to answer that question. If it is a contract, in AZ the statute of limitations for written contracts is 6 years.

And yes, I already have read both the 2000 and the 2004 CC&R versions word for word. The 2004 version is applicable to our deed, but we bought in 2003? But the original CC&Rs were recorded in 2000.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 7:53 AM  

ps. the fact that 'you were there first' has NO BEARING as to the deed restrictions you accepted when you purchased




John, The deed restrictions we approved were in DRAFT ONLY in 2003 when we purchased. We were to be provided with the final recorded CC&Rs, but never were.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


11/17/2011 10:03 AM  
Posted By IreneP on 11/17/2011 7:18 AM
Thanks for the info but, first why would we give in? That's a defeatist attitude. We were the first ones here and we are the ones being harassed. Second, just because we don't have an attorney doesn't mean we won't win if we have all the facts, permits and documentation. And third, you must be an attorney. Not everyone can afford attorney's. We'll take our chances and go at it alone. We are confident WE WILL WIN.



Irene:

You said you could not afford to hire an attorney. Going into Superior Court without an attorney is a high-risk situation. Your chances of winning are low. You claim to have all the facts. This forum permits you to state those facts yet to date you have presented only opinions and conclusions. If you cannot make a presentation of facts here, how do you expect to present facts in court where you must do so within the confines of the Arizona Rules of Evidence? You have read those rules, right? And the Rules of Civil Procedure? And the local rules? Have you filed the Disclosure statement required by Rule 26.1? Do you know how to write a Memorandum of Points and Authorities? If the other party were to cite Smith v. Jones, 123 P.3d 456, 78 Ariz. 910, (App.1984), do you know what that is that and how to find it?

If you cannot afford your own attorney then you are foolish to allow yourself to get dragged into court with the risk of paying for the other party to ruin your life. Giving in is just a way to minimize your risks.

Your argument that you were "the first ones here" tells me that you have no clue as to what you are doing. You bought the property subject to the same CC&R's as your neighbors. Whether you were the first buyer or the last buyer is irrelevant to the merits of your case.

No, I am not an attorney. I have, however, represented myself in the courts in Arizona for 35 years and I know the risks involved in doing so.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 10:27 AM  
Larry, thanks for the wisdom. We have all the facts in our case and don't want to go too much into it here. Looked up Smith v. Jones and there is no case like that in AZ.
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/17/2011 10:50 AM  
CCRs can and do change .... if you are developer controlled, you are a screw in the process of being tightened, if you were developer controlled from 2000-2004 and you bought in 2003 ... you are the above mentioned screw

any and all changes in the CCRs will be recorded WITH YOUR DEED

SEE THE REGISTRAR to see what, exactly, is recorded PRESENTLY with your deed

YES, Virginia, changes to the previously recorded CCRs and properly filed with your deed CAN BE RETROACTIVE

YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY ASAP
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


11/17/2011 10:54 AM  
Posted By IreneP on 11/17/2011 10:27 AM
Larry, thanks for the wisdom. We have all the facts in our case and don't want to go too much into it here.




Then why did you post here? You asked a question in your original post ("who is the controlling mechanism?") but you refuse to provide the factual background that would allow anyone to answer the question. Gee, I wonder why you have a problem with your neighbors!
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/17/2011 11:00 AM  
ps. it does not matter what YOU (personally) approved .... it only matters what was 'passed' and filed with/against your property/deed .... WHICH YOU AGREED/CONTRACTED TO/FOR when you purchased the property


CAVEAT EMPTOR


you really sound like the fool referenced by A. Lincoln
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


11/17/2011 11:36 AM  
I don't think you will lose and applaud your effort in keeping on fighting. My words of advice is to protect yourself the best you can if you do lose. Minimize your losses if need be. However, keep going with your fight until your comfortable with your situation. I wish you the best of luck and hope you are able to win.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/17/2011 12:57 PM  
Posted By IreneP on 11/17/2011 7:50 AM

No one seems to be able to answer that question. If it is a contract, in AZ the statute of limitations for written contracts is 6 years.




Irene,

As you know, I am not an attorney and I do not work within the legal profession. I did understand your impression about the statute of limitations for written contracts. As I posted earlier, I even looked up that statute. To me, that statute does not apply in your case. This is because the statute applies to owing debt and states this in it's title: Contract in writing for debt; six year limitation; choice of law. Although CC&Rs are considered a contract, it is not a contract of indebtedness. Additionally, most language within CC&Rs bind them to the land and are automatically removed.

I am concerned that if this is your main defense that you will lose.

Additionally, most CC&Rs have language that requires prior approval before making exterior changes. Therefore, no matter what the change might be, if prior approval was not sought, you would be in violation. I think your best defense would be to show where you received approval from the developer (who was in charge of the Association at the time) or at least requested it.


Irene, we are here to help if we can. Some of the members of this forum have had to defend similar issues and some have been the enforcer. This is why everyone is saying to dig up the money or go to legal aid but you would be better off having an attorney with you when entering a court of law that isn't small claims court.

You stated earlier that you would provide a copy of your CC&Rs if asked. I would be interested in viewing them. My e-mail is [email protected]

Here is a link to AZ 12-548 The law being referred to.







BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/17/2011 1:08 PM  
Irene:

I respect your desire to fight but am afraid you will get not only defeated but socked with laywer bills from the other party. There is nothing wrong in life with taking a step back and reassing your situation. Like Tim I do not believe your statute of limitations defense will hold any water. Futhermore, there is typically a clause in every set of documents that says something to the effect of failure to enforce these rules does not waive the right to enforce them or others in the future. If you were fighting an HOA I woudl say your defense might hold water. However, you are being sued by someone else who does not have the duty to enforce these covenants on everyone. They, for whatever reason, decided they wanted you to follow it and that is there right and there fore your entire defense of statute of limitations and they haven't enforced before holds zero water.

Bottomline, when you bought your home, you agreed to the restrictions. If you are not in compliance and someone is suing you for that in my opinion you have no defense and will lose big.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 2:05 PM  
Larry, I apologize for my statement previously. You are right about posting here if I wanted answers. Everyone who has responded seems genuinely concerned and we appreciate that kindness.

I was having difficulties uploading our documents here because of their size, but found a way.

2000 CC&Rs - https://acrobat.com/#d=Wc-9Nx6mVbkir9FzUctMbw

Letter from us responding to Plaintiffs attorney re: their problems with our property (no HOA)- https://acrobat.com/#d=0eY9*Y3Pvx4Qqt2Oi1ihwA

IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 2:09 PM  
Brad, thank you for your response. If we are being singled out, ONLY US, as the Plaintiffs have stated to others, then that's harassment. Perhaps we should be filing a counter-claim against the Plaintiffs for their violations of the CC&Rs.

*Bottomline, when you bought your home, you agreed to the restrictions. If you are not in compliance and someone is suing you for that in my opinion you have no defense and will lose big.*

Yes, Brad, we understand this now. We never imagined homeowners could be so ruthless. But it's still considered harassment with the facts we have.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 2:22 PM  
Tim, you are right about 12-548, I misread it. Thanks.

You indicate about the approval process. The only entity to go to for approvals is the City. If there is no HOA and no one to go to except the City for approvals, and they have no problem with parking our RV, boat and work trailers and cat fence, dog run within our "building envelope", then why would we be in violation of the CC&Rs?
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 2:30 PM  
Thanks John for your straightforwardness.
We are not fools. That may be your opinion. We are fighting for our property here and will continue to do so the best way we can.

Everyone says "get an attorney". Would you like to conttribute to our fund? We live in rural AZ and work is very slow right now. Attorney's are no cheap. We've already inquired and done the consultation thing. $8500 to start the process. Don't think so.

We have never been involved in CC&Rs and never will be again.
CC&Rs alone are bad enough. WOULD NEVER GET INVOLVED IN AN HOA.

The fact is we have vengeful neighbors who are retired and have nothing better to do and have the arrogance (and money) to harass us.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 2:31 PM  
Thank you Melissa. My husband is a United States Marine and they do not go down with an easy fight. And being a wife of a Marine, I'm there all the way.
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/17/2011 3:20 PM  
i also will never, repeat, never purchase a home with CCRs or a HOA again

right now i am in a senior 55+ HOA community with CCRs

(may the creator give me strength)

your property DOES HAVE CCRs, and, if, repeat if, you are actually in violation, YOU WILL LOSE INCLUDING THE OBLIGATION TO PAY THE PLAINTIFF'S LEGAL FEES

if you don't pay up you will lose your home to their petition for foreclosure

CHECK WITH THE COUNTY FOR AN ACTUAL CERTIFIED COPY OF THE CURRENT CCRs ON FILE

(this will only cost a couple of $ for copying and cert fees)

AFTER, repeat AFTER, you review the CURRENT docs on file, you will need to pick your battles more carefully than our administration does

On the battlefield your marine risks his life for our country (and does not deserve this BS at home) and is covered by insurance and other benefits (well well earned) ..... but ..... at home y'all are subject to a legal system which was forged by the necessity to keep slaves

BEST OF LUCK AND THANK-YOU TO THE MARINE

pick your battles wisely
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/17/2011 3:49 PM  
ps. it the ABSENCE of a HOA which has you 'trapped'

a HOA should/must enforce a CCR violation against all owners equally or face a charge of 'selective enforcement'

however, the absence of a HOA does NOT invalidate the filed CCRs ... which become (selectively) enforceable by any other owner via a court of law

your letter to the atty just gave him adequate ammo to ensure your loss in court

after reading the 2000 CCRs posted at Acrobat ... Ifeel that you may not have the current 2004 version WHICH WILL SUPERCEDE the older version

(whether the new version was properly voted in and recorded MAY be an issue)


IN MY HUMBLE OPINION:

if you did not get or attempt to get arch. committee aproval (even if the committee did not exist) you very likely may lose in the courtroom

GET A COPY OF THE CURRENT DOCS
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/17/2011 4:56 PM  
pps. yes, the rules CAN change by 'democratic' vote, AND become retroactive

[begin rant]
situations like this one are partially what fuel conversion to Islam, or other 'theocracies', since God's rules are 'written in stone' and do NOT change at the whim of the populace
[end rant]

.............. just sayin'


lock-n-load

SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


11/17/2011 4:57 PM  
Everyone says "get an attorney". Would you like to conttribute to our fund? We live in rural AZ and work is very slow right now. Attorney's are no cheap. We've already inquired and done the consultation thing. $8500 to start the process. Don't think so.


So call another attorney. A really cheap, bad attorney will be better than none at all. You should have never written that letter to the other side's lawyer. They will use it as evidence and confirmation that you are violating some of the bylaws. Dont write them any more letters. If they find just 1 thing you are in violation of the judge will award them legal fees.

Try to settle this out of court, or you will learn a hard lesson about how the legal system works in this country.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


11/17/2011 5:05 PM  
If we are being singled out, ONLY US, as the Plaintiffs have stated to others, then that's harassment.


Yes, if you have no HOA, another homeowner can single you out. This is how it works. If you had a HOA, they would have to apply the same rules to everyone and apply fines equally. Individual homeowners do not need to do this.

If you want to enforce the CCR/bylaws on your other neighbors who are also in violation, you will need to take each of them to court.

A court will not see this as harassment.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 5:22 PM  
John, thank you for your comments.

Your comment: (whether the new version was properly voted in and recorded MAY be an issue)

It's interesting you wrote what you did. I had met with the Chief Title Officer at the Title company about our situation and we went through each of the 36 lots in the subdivision and it turned out the 2nd developer only "owned" 53% of the lots. In the 2004 CC&Rs, link is below, and the 2000 CC&Rs it states in paragraph 5C that the CC&Rs can be amended with 70% of the owners. I have gone through the 2004 version, word for word, and there are only three changes. One being the minimum sq. footage of a dwelling from 1500 to 1300 sf.

That being said, then the 2004 CC&Rs are invalid.

So, since we purchased in 2003, we would then be upholden to the 2000 version.
But, the 2004 CC&Rs are the ones that are recorded with our property when I pulled the title report.

2004 CC&Rs link - https://acrobat.com/#d=l1TaMHAEJMsBwE*ZHfWZ3g
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/17/2011 5:53 PM  
Irene,

According to the AZ Corporation Commission Needles Creek Development, LLC still exists, is in good standing and has a registered agent. Unless the developer turned over control of the HOA to the members, this is where you should have sent architectural requests to.

If you have time prior to the court date, you might want to send requests now (don't go into detail about any court case) and see if you can get approval after the fact. If you can, then you can show that you did get Association approval.

I agree with others, parts of your reply could be considered an admission of actually violating the covenants and your response may have caused you more issues than solved them. Of course, that interpretation would be the courts.

Saying others are doing it also doesn't always work. Best example I can give of that is speeding. Lets say you are pulled over for speeding and issued a ticket. While the ticket is being written someone else speeds by you. It doesn't mitigate the fact that you were speeding. All that says is that they are also guilty of speeding.

As I said, if the development isn't complete and/or turned over to the members, send a letter to the registered agent saying you don't know who to contact about seeking Architectural approval and submit applications for what changes you have done. Then see what response you get back.

Tim



SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


11/17/2011 6:15 PM  
That being said, then the 2004 CC&Rs are invalid.


Even if they are, will that matter to your case? It sounds like your also violating the CC&R's from 2000 as well.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


11/17/2011 6:17 PM  
Here is some helpful information for you to save some costs on legal. Legal fees may be tax deductible if the legal costs involve investment property. Something that came in handy when I had to hire a lawyer against my HOA once. It cost me approximately $1500 - $1800 if I recall. That was a retainer fee and some communication fees. Which reducing contact with the lawyer as much as possible can reduce some of that cost.

You may be able to find some legal help in your local yellow pages. There are some "free lawyer advice" sites/places you may be able to call. We have a local TV station which as a legal show every sunday. It's a call in type show and they have a website. You may find a similar resources in your area.

There are some "contigency" type lawyers out there. You pay only if you win. However, it not being exactly a monetary case this may not be the right option for you. The case is more of a "Punitive" nature to enforce you to be in compliance of the law. Which you may be handling it okay without a lawyer. It just doubles your workload a bit. You need to be prepared to lose as well as defend.

There is a city component involved in this case as well. Think many are focused on the CC&R and HOA aspect of what your dealing with. However, if the streets are indeed part of the city control, then your CC&R's are overrided if there are restrictions written in them in regards to street control. We went through something similar. We had to get separate water meters installed. However, in order to do that we had to turn over our streets to the City. Our CC&R's still referenced the HOA being in charge of the streets. We had to upgrade our CC&R's to reflect this change. The copy you have hasn't been updated to reflect this condition. I would contact the city for proof they own those roads and get their code regulations. This is why I say the neighbors are barking up the wrong tree. They should have went to the city instead for the road violations. So be prepared for the city to step in if the court situation doesn't work. I am sure they will try many different angles...

You can win or lose, but you stayed the course!


Former HOA President
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 6:28 PM  
Tim, you've brought up an EXCELLENT opportunity. The link you provided to the AZ Corp Commission revealed that the 2004 CC&Rs are invalid.

The 2004 CC&Rs were signed by the new developer (and managing partner, Greg McIntyre). But the Needles Creek Development, LLC with the AZ Corp Commission has the 2000 developer's information as the managing member still.

This is very interesting.
It might very well be a good idea to contact the registered agent (not mentioning the court case, of course).

Our other, more pressing dilemma, is that they have requested a Preliminary Injunction hearing. Anyone have any experience with that?

Tim, I will keep everyone updated on the progress of this situation. I haven't found any case studies that deal with what we are going through. There are case studies about HOAs, but not strictly CC&Rs.



IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 6:36 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/17/2011 6:17 PM
Here is some helpful information for you to save some costs on legal. Legal fees may be tax deductible if the legal costs involve investment property. Something that came in handy when I had to hire a lawyer against my HOA once. It cost me approximately $1500 - $1800 if I recall. That was a retainer fee and some communication fees. Which reducing contact with the lawyer as much as possible can reduce some of that cost.

You may be able to find some legal help in your local yellow pages. There are some "free lawyer advice" sites/places you may be able to call. We have a local TV station which as a legal show every sunday. It's a call in type show and they have a website. You may find a similar resources in your area.

There are some "contigency" type lawyers out there. You pay only if you win. However, it not being exactly a monetary case this may not be the right option for you. The case is more of a "Punitive" nature to enforce you to be in compliance of the law. Which you may be handling it okay without a lawyer. It just doubles your workload a bit. You need to be prepared to lose as well as defend.

There is a city component involved in this case as well. Think many are focused on the CC&R and HOA aspect of what your dealing with. However, if the streets are indeed part of the city control, then your CC&R's are overrided if there are restrictions written in them in regards to street control. We went through something similar. We had to get separate water meters installed. However, in order to do that we had to turn over our streets to the City. Our CC&R's still referenced the HOA being in charge of the streets. We had to upgrade our CC&R's to reflect this change. The copy you have hasn't been updated to reflect this condition. I would contact the city for proof they own those roads and get their code regulations. This is why I say the neighbors are barking up the wrong tree. They should have went to the city instead for the road violations. So be prepared for the city to step in if the court situation doesn't work. I am sure they will try many different angles...

You can win or lose, but you stayed the course!





Melissa, I had obtained the recorded Final Plat from the Title Co. and it states on there that "all streets and all public rights-of-way of Needles Creek subdivision Unit 1 have been dedicated and conveyed to the City of Show Low." The Plaintiffs have already sent an anonymous letter to the City about our alleged violations in 2006 and the City has done NOTHING. So they are not concerned about our issues. Which is why the Plaintiffs are going through the Courts.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/17/2011 6:42 PM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 11/17/2011 6:15 PM
That being said, then the 2004 CC&Rs are invalid.


Even if they are, will that matter to your case? It sounds like your also violating the CC&R's from 2000 as well.




We closed on the property in 2003. These 2004 CC&Rs were recorded with our title, which may be invalid.

When we closed on the property, we were only provided with a "draft copy" of the CC&Rs. Never provided with the final CC&Rs and didn't know about the 2000 CC&Rs.
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/17/2011 7:46 PM  
Posted By IreneP on 11/17/2011 6:42 PM
Posted By SteveM9 on 11/17/2011 6:15 PM
That being said, then the 2004 CC&Rs are invalid.


Even if they are, will that matter to your case? It sounds like your also violating the CC&R's from 2000 as well.




We closed on the property in 2003. These 2004 CC&Rs were recorded with our title, which may be invalid.

When we closed on the property, we were only provided with a "draft copy" of the CC&Rs. Never provided with the final CC&Rs and didn't know about the 2000 CC&Rs.




Irene...it doesn't really matter what you were provided, you should have done a search on the property to find what was filed with it. You were provided something out of courtesy, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to find the correct ones.
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/17/2011 7:48 PM  
Posted By IreneP on 11/17/2011 2:09 PM
Brad, thank you for your response. If we are being singled out, ONLY US, as the Plaintiffs have stated to others, then that's harassment. Perhaps we should be filing a counter-claim against the Plaintiffs for their violations of the CC&Rs.

*Bottomline, when you bought your home, you agreed to the restrictions. If you are not in compliance and someone is suing you for that in my opinion you have no defense and will lose big.*

Yes, Brad, we understand this now. We never imagined homeowners could be so ruthless. But it's still considered harassment with the facts we have.




I would disagree with harassment, if you had an active HOA and they were suing you then you have a legit beef. However, an individual homeowner has zero obligation to sue his/her neighbors equally as it pertains to this. If they want to just take you to court, that is their right. And if you are in violation you will lose.

I really hope for your sake you can find a loophole as in my opinion your arguments hold zero water. but, I am not a lawyer so there is always hope!
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


11/17/2011 7:55 PM  
Irene,

Since you said that Mr. McIntyre signed the new CC&Rs, this opens up even more information.

Mr. McIntyre did create an Association - the NEEDLES CREEK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, and even incorporated it..
Therefore, you do have an Association. However, the Corporation itself was administratively dissolved, the Association still exists (it's just no longer incorporated).

Per those records
, two people are named to the Board. Ignore my previous advice and send letters to each of these two people (address in the document) requesting approval. My bet is that one or both of them will respond and say no problem. In this way, you will be complying with the section requiring approval.

Worst case, you may have to do some digging, but technically - if the Association wasn't turned over to the membership - these are the people you need to get prior approval from. That's the good news.

The Bad news, Since there is an Association, this also means that you don't need a neighborhood vote to revitalize it. People just need to get together with an attorney and get it out of admin dissolve.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


11/18/2011 3:59 AM  
I think your getting a good amount of devil's advocate and positive direction in the advice being offered to you here. Yes, we all know as you know, that you are probably in violation. That's okay. It is a matter if those violations are enforceable in the eyes of the law. The court will decide that for you and your neighbors. I applaud your efforts in fighting this fight as it is a respectable one. That's saying alot coming from a former HOA president and ACC approver...

Others may say you can't win, I say you can't win if you don't try. Watch some People's court shows. They sometimes offer up some good information there. Avoid the ones with "fake" judges. (Judge Joe Brown isn't a real judge but Judge Judy is...) Those shows focus on the emotion while other ones like People's focus on the real laws.

I've taken some legal courses in college which have helped me over the years. It's just a good idea to find sources to educate yourself on the court system. If you have time, maybe see if you can sit in on a few court cases. Some courts are open courts that will allow you to sit in. Call your courthouse to see if that is possible. That way you may not feel so nervous when going to the court. It will also allow you to see how things operate and proper protocol.

Wish you the best of luck. Think you can do this. Court is ALL about evidence. Just make sure you have it and in abundance. Copies of CC*R's, pictures, police reports, city reports, responses, laws of your city/county pertaining to your situation, and a good positive attitude goes a long ways. Keep us updated and keep fighting the fight!!!

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


11/18/2011 4:14 AM  
We closed on the property in 2003. These 2004 CC&Rs were recorded with our title, which may be invalid.


Its possible, they may be invalid, it will take some digging to prove, but the ones filed in 2000 (which you are likely violating) are valid.

When we closed on the property, we were only provided with a "draft copy" of the CC&Rs. Never provided with the final CC&Rs and didn't know about the 2000 CC&Rs.


Doesn't really matter if you were provided copies or not. Many people who buy in HOA's are never provided copies of the CCR's or have no idea they are buying into a HOA. They still have to follow the rules too.

Perspective........
Does your state give you copies of all the new laws it just passed? No.
Are the police able to enforce the new laws? Yes.
Are you legally obligated to follow the new laws? Yes.
IreneP
(Arizona)

Posts:21


11/18/2011 7:07 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/18/2011 3:59 AM
It is a matter if those violations are enforceable in the eyes of the law. The court will decide that for you and your neighbors. I applaud your efforts in fighting this fight as it is a respectable one. That's saying alot coming from a former HOA president and ACC approver...

You hit it on the head. It's all up to the Court. And yes, we have tons of evidence, pictures, police reports, videos, permits, letters, etc. And I've read the Rules of Procedure for AZ, ARS, and everything else I can research. The Internet has been a saviour.

Others may say you can't win, I say you can't win if you don't try.

You are right on the money with this statement. If you don't try, you're giving up. And that's hardly what we plan on doing.

I've taken some legal courses in college which have helped me over the years. It's just a good idea to find sources to educate yourself on the court system. If you have time, maybe see if you can sit in on a few court cases. Some courts are open courts that will allow you to sit in. Call your courthouse to see if that is possible. That way you may not feel so nervous when going to the court. It will also allow you to see how things operate and proper protocol.

This is not our first BBQ with the court system. We are well versed on what to expect. But we will probably sit in on Superior Court just to get us pumped up.

Wish you the best of luck. Think you can do this. Court is ALL about evidence. Just make sure you have it and in abundance. Copies of CC*R's, pictures, police reports, city reports, responses, laws of your city/county pertaining to your situation, and a good positive attitude goes a long ways. Keep us updated and keep fighting the fight!!!




Thank you Melissa.
JohnB26


Posts:0


11/18/2011 7:56 AM  
here is the bottom line:

2000 or 2004 ccrs .... does not matter

if you are in violation you will have to either:

a) comply

or

b) lose your home

this choice holds true regardless of opinion(s)

best of luck

PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/18/2011 9:23 AM  
Irene...i truly do wish you the best in this endeavor, you have heard from a lot of very smart people on here. I hope it works out in the end for you.
ChevyR
(Oregon)

Posts:3


05/05/2014 8:26 PM  
hello, I have a similar situation where there is no HOA for a 9-lot subdivision, but there is a CC&R attached to the title.

I have asked the Declarant (who is no longer active since he developed the lots over 10 years ago) to exempt our lot from the CC&R and he replied that he doesn't want to get sued by the other 8 homeowners.

What is my recourse in a situation like this?

I want to fence the front part of the lot so I can have a garden courtyard, but the CCR states that fences have to be behind the structure of the building. There are other things in the CCR that is limiting as well.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


05/05/2014 9:38 PM  
Chevy,

Welcome to the forum. It's best to start a new thread rather then reactivating an old one.
RwT
(Florida)

Posts:154


05/06/2014 5:15 AM  
Posted By ChevyR on 05/05/2014 8:26 PM
hello, I have a similar situation where there is no HOA for a 9-lot subdivision, but there is a CC&R attached to the title.

I have asked the Declarant (who is no longer active since he developed the lots over 10 years ago) to exempt our lot from the CC&R and he replied that he doesn't want to get sued by the other 8 homeowners.

What is my recourse in a situation like this?

I want to fence the front part of the lot so I can have a garden courtyard, but the CCR states that fences have to be behind the structure of the building. There are other things in the CCR that is limiting as well.





Chevy,

CC&Rs "run with the land", even absent an HOA.

Each and every owner within the jurisditction of your CC&Rs is bound to that agreement. Thus, one or more may could undertake legal action to stop you from violating the CC&Rs... or NOT!


Let's assume the declarant is passive.

After verifting there is no municipal or county code against your proposal, why not talk to each and every neighbor to see what their feelings are? Maybe they are willing to accept your proposal. From there you could seek legal advice to see if it could be codified.

* Non-Lawyer spokesperson.
ChevyR
(Oregon)

Posts:3


05/06/2014 5:23 AM  
hi Tim,

Yes, I will start a new thread. I'm a newbie to forums.
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