Arizona HOA Board Members

What Templates Can Every Arizona HOA Utilize To Be More Effective?

Being a board member of an Arizona HOA involves lots of work. Plus it’s an unpaid volunteer position! Effectiveness is proactively addressing issues before they become problems and finding simple and methodical procedures that use existing assets and valuable templates to get the job done right.  There is always plenty of work for the Association to handle with sending out violation letters, planning agendas, distributing meeting minutes, vendor management, and community walk-throughs. The Association need not delegate duplicative work tasks to the Directors. Maintaining consistency and reducing project time is one of the main advantages of using HOA templates. While each community has to review their specific needs, there are a few templates every Arizona HOA should make sure they can utilize to make their job easier.

Add Efficiency and Clarity with an Arizona HOA Agenda and Arizona HOA Meeting Minutes Template

Clear communication with all members is one of the best ways to improve HOA operations and make your life easier as an HOA board member.  Get the most from your meetings by having a detailed HOA agenda template and an Arizona HOA meeting minutes template. Having these templates ready and pre-populated whenever possible will yield tremendous efficiency and significant time savings. Both the agenda and meeting minutes should follow a similar format. This will help ensure clear communication with your HOA members.

By doing a little bit of preplanning and properly developing a template for your Arizona HOA agenda, your association will be perceived as organized, informed, and genuinely in touch with the community’s needs. Additionally, it will let all members know where the meeting will take place and detail the key discussion points at that upcoming meeting.  A solid template makes it easier to update for all future meetings as early as possible, which naturally leads to better engagement from the community as a whole. The templates can eliminate the natural temptation to procrastinate because most of the details will be completed and set up for your association. Good meeting minutes start with a detailed agenda.

Here are some simple guidelines to ensure you get the most from an Arizona HOA meeting minute template:

Keep Records of Board Actions, Not All Conversations

  • Conversations such as “he said, she said” should be omitted from minutes.
  • The minutes must contain any votes (decisions) of the board.
  • Homeowners need to know that all meetings are structured and there will be an appropriate time for each topic.

Generally Keep Things Simple

  • Minutes are the official record of the HOA
  • During a lawsuit, minutes are discoverable.
  • Minutes should not include individual opinions.
  • A board meeting’s minutes should typically be less than two pages if done correctly.
  • Executive meeting minutes should be kept separately from open meeting minutes.

Arizona HOA Violation Letter Templates and Common Uses

All HOAs have unique expectations, but there are some common violations where an Arizona HOA violation letter template can be used effectively. Upon a breach, a manager or board member should have an Arizona HOA violation notice template prepared.  This makes it easy to send an HOA violation notice requesting the owner rectify the violation. Any Arizona HOA violation notice should contain the owner’s name, lot number, when the offense was noticed, who witnessed the offense, a deadline for compliance, the provision of the governing documents that was violated, and any additional details explaining the right to appear before the board. Contact information for the managers, board members, or association representatives should be included as well.

In most cases, if the violation has not been resolved by the compliance deadline, the next step will be to send a formal HOA violation letter explaining the fines that will be assessed to the owner. This letter must also provide an opportunity to be heard.

Here are some of the most common violations that could utilize an Arizona HOA violation letter template:

Guidelines for HOA Landscaping

Most associations will have clear rules about lawn maintenance, weeding, and unkempt exteriors to improve curb appeal throughout the community.  There are also many common reasons that homeowners might fall behind on their landscaping upkeep.  A simple violation notice template for landscaping issues to serve as a reminder of the rules and fines the member faces if the issues are not addressed is usually all that is needed to get the homeowner to correct the issue.

Vehicle Parking

Most Arizona HOAs have rules and regulations to limit the number and type of vehicles parked on the property, such as RVs, boats, and commercial vehicles.  It is also common for individual homeowners to simply forget about these rules.  This is a perfect example of a useful template violation letter that can be quickly prepared and sent out to any member in violation.

Trash Codes Not Followed

An HOA may prohibit certain items from being disposed of in community dumpsters or placing trash cans out before garbage collection.  This is a common violation and can be addressed effectively in most cases with a straightforward violation letter template.

Structures & Storage for the Exterior

HOAs can often limit or completely deny equipment or storage structures on community properties to maintain a neighborhood’s appearance. While there are a variety of ways that individual members might violate the rules around unapproved structures or storage, many of these issues can be properly addressed with a template violation letter detailing the violation and the deadline for compliance.


Arizona HOAs can establish rules on the types of pets, breeds and number of pets allowed on individual properties.  They must be aware of certain support animals that must be allowed by Arizona HOAs, but all other pet violations can be addressed in a template letter that references the specific bylaws on pet limitations.

Leasing and Subleasing

HOAs typically have guidelines about renting a home.  With the growing popularity of short term rentals in Arizona, HOA board members will want to understand the evolving laws in this particular area.  We posted a previous article on what Arizona HOAs need to know about short term rentals.  This area of violations likely requires a review of your community bylaws and state laws with an experienced Arizona HOA law firm, but you can prepare some notices so the whole community is aware of your rules and regulations.

From the start, most new board members quickly learn that a community association board demands their attention and effort. To make sure those efforts are productive and beneficial, you want to work with an Arizona law firm specializing in association representation that can help you develop HOA violation letter templates and understand when to use them. HOAs can also create templates for board meeting agendas and meeting minutes that will make it easier to communicate with the whole community and document the process.  The Brown Law Group only represents Arizona associations and planned communities. We can handle HOA general counsel needs, covenants enforcement, assessment collections, and any litigation that might arise. Contact us today at 602-952-6925 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page.

Arizona HOA Laws

Bomb or a Balm? Navigating New Technologies for Associations with Aplomb

Virtual Meetings and Electronic Voting for Arizona HOA Boards

Our Associations have taken notice of the efficiencies and cost savings offered by new virtual methods of public. They are simply too good to be ignored. But their dangers are not always obvious.

While our advice may be cutting edge, the legal landscape we live and work in is still digitally lacking. Our statutes and community documents still require notice be sent postage paid. Exceptions carved out in the law for remote meetings were intended to address the advent of Telephone Conferencing, not computers. We expect the legislature may hear something about electronic mail in the next decade or so. Until then, we have no guidance beyond the statutes… and our wits. How is an Association to know if a technology solution is a balm or a bomb?

Well, it requires a case-by-case assessment by a qualified attorney! But before we get to our shameless plug, let’s take a look at the two most popular and impactful technologies we get questions about all the time: virtual meetings and electronic mail!

Virtual Meetings – Balm for a Tortured Board?

Virtual meeting technology synergizes well with Arizona open meetings laws! The archaic telephone conferencing laws we mentioned are very helpful here. Virtual meetings are not a solution for every problem, but these following pointers will help you identify the pitfalls and powers presented by taking your meetings into virtuality:

  1. Check with counsel before adopting virtual, digital, or electronic technologies. Your Association may have terms in the CC&Rs, Bylaws, or Articles of Incorporation that pose a unique obstacle to your Association’s adoption of a new technology for operating purposes. Let counsel identify these issues first, lest an unsavory Member do so after the next annual meeting.

  2. Don’t assume your Members are tech savvy! Provide your Members clear instructions for attending virtual meetings. Include directions on downloading and using the virtual meeting client, with clear instructions for each attendance option offered. Don’t be surprised if some of your Members still have issues!

  3. Use a service that provides a direct dial-in option. It is nearly guaranteed that someone in your Association will be unable to access the meeting virtually. Always provide a dial-in option.

  4. Use a service that has tools that let you control the meeting, instead of allowing the meeting to control you! Look for options that allow you to: (1) control who accesses the meeting; (2) add and remove folks from the meeting quickly and easily; (3) mute meeting attendants; (4) easily record and share recordings of meetings; (5) control and moderate the in-meeting text chat.

  5. Assign someone to be Meeting Manager. The Meeting Manager is responsible for muting, un-muting, managing waiting rooms, moderating in-meeting chat, and any other tasks that are necessary to run the virtual meeting. Thanks Meeting Manager!

  6. Configure your service so that attendees join the meeting muted. When it is time for attendee participation, any attendee wishing to speak can inform the Meeting Manager via in-meeting chat.

  7. Have a clear, noticed virtual meeting procedure that includes a way for Members to have an opportunity to speak reasonably on issues during the meeting.

Electronic Mail for Associations – Avoiding a Ticking Time Bomb?

Your email procedure must be very precise to meet Arizona open meeting requirements. In Arizona, the Attorney General has opined that deliberations and voting conducted via email violate the open meeting law statutes.  The Arizona Legislature has made clear that is policy is to strive for as much transparency as possible.  When a quorum of the Board is discussing association business via email, that Board may be violating the open meeting laws.  Even if discussing an executive matter, the Members have a right to know that the meeting is taking place, and 48 hours’ notice is required.

We advise approaching email with caution. Email is problematic because it is not easily controlled. A member can include, exclude, forward, copy, blind copy, or spam anyone that they wish with little to no recourse.  We advise only deliberating and voting via email in the event of an emergency.  The Arizona Planned Community and Condominium Acts provide that an emergency meeting may be held if the matter cannot wait the 48 hours required for notice.   In that case, the emails can serve as the minutes of the meeting. 

A Board Member keeps leaving Sally off the thread? The Board is meeting by email to discuss topics that are not technically privy to executive session? The Association is not maintaining complete records of emails subject to open meeting requirements? A Member doesn’t have email or email access? These and many other scenarios could lead to an open meeting violation by your Association. And they are no fun. Trust us.

However, your Association may have an interesting or useful role for email in your community. In that situation, if you wish to proceed with incorporating email or any other technology into your Association’s process responsibly, we strongly advise that you obtain…

An Experienced Arizona HOA Attorney

The Brown Law Group specializes in HOA representation in Arizona.  Our firm only represents homeowners associations and condominium communities in the state.  We routinely work with associations to make sure their board meetings are adhering to open meeting laws in Arizona.  We can also review any changes your association has made during the past year to use technology in your voting process.  It is understandable to want to use technology wherever possible to make meeting and voting decisions easier, but these choices can cause more problems down the road for an association if they are not done the right way.  Contact the Brown Law Group today at 602-952-6925 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment with our attorneys on our contact us page.

The Brown Law Group shares this article for informational purposes only and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Arizona HOA Board Members

HOA Board Meeting Boot-Camp: What Every HOA Board Member in Arizona Needs to Know

The nominations tendered. The ballots cast and tallied. Suddenly you are on the Board. What was once whim gone as reality settles in and the first Board Meeting closes in on you… What’s your job again?

Getting on the Board is easier than you might think! Serving is something else. As a volunteer, you are required to serve and protect the fiduciary interests of the Association for no pay! Did they even train you for this? Probably not!

Never fear! We are here to help with these just-in-time emergency boot-camp pointers for handling and managing your meetings with professional precision. We address the most popular question at the end, but don’t skip ahead!

1.The Association is required to have an annual meeting of the membership every year. You can have more than this. But you need at least one. Also, all your meetings need to be held in Arizona. Don’t worry, you can still attend remotely, or even virtually! We dig into the advent of virtual meetings, virtual attendance and e-voting in our article <name>. Read more there to find out!

2. Notice of meetings must be provided to all members at least 48 hours before the meeting. Notice may be provided by any reasonable form of communication, including the Association newsletter, a clear and visible posting in the community, or email.

3. Emergency meetings do not require 48-hours’ notice. An emergency is any business or action that cannot be delayed for the 48-hour notice period. Not sure if it’s an emergency? Check with Association counsel!

At an emergency meeting, you must state the reason requiring the emergency meeting in your minutes. You also must read and approve those minutes at the next regular meeting of the Board.

4. Special meetings may be called by: (A) the president, (B) a majority of the Board, (C) by a vote of 25% of the members or any lower percentage provided in the Bylaws. If your Bylaws require more than 25% of the members to call a special meeting, it is unenforceable.

5. The agenda must be available to all attending members. It can be provided to the Members at, or before, the meeting.

6. All Association business must be done at meetings open to the Members, unless the business is subject to a statutory exemption.

This is called a sunshine law. It is a common fixture of public governance.

Under Arizona’s sunshine law, all member meeting, board meetings, or regularly scheduled committee meetings must be open to the Members or the Member’s written representative unless it is a topic that may be discussed in a closed session meeting pursuant to A.R.S. § 33-1804(A) or A.R.S. § 33-1248(A).

7. Each Member is entitled to speak to the Board and community on agenda issues. The Board may adopt time limits on a Member’s right to speak per issue as long as the restriction is reasonable and applied equally to all Members.

How do we determine what is reasonable? It depends!

The Association is installing a new ‘Children at Play’ sign near the clubhouse? The Board might reasonably limit each Member that wishes to speak to 3 minutes.

The Association discovered oil and is converting the Association monument into an oil derrick? We are gonna need more time for that one…

What? They brought cameras?

8. Members are permitted by law to audiotape and videotape open meetings of the Association. The Association may adopt reasonable rules governing recording of open meetings but may not preclude recording unless the Association records the meeting and makes the unedited recordings available to members on request without restrictions on its use.

This isn’t everything, but it’s a start! When you reach a question you have no answer for, and it will happen, remember you have an entire industry of professionals to help you learn, develop and grow as a Director of your Association!

When in doubt, reach out! Don’t forget we are…

Experienced Arizona HOA Attorneys

The Brown Law Group specializes in HOA representation in Arizona.  Our firm only represents homeowners’ associations and condominium communities in the state.  We routinely work with associations to make sure their board meetings are adhering to open meeting laws in Arizona.  We can also review any changes your association has made during the past year to use technology in your voting process.  It is understandable to want to use technology wherever possible to make meeting and voting decisions easier, but these choices can cause more problems down the road for an association if they are not done the right way.  Contact the Brown Law Group today at 602-952-6925 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment with our attorneys on our contact us page.