Friday, September 06, 2013

Court: Deed restrictions can't ban 'for sale' signs on homes

Court: Deed restrictions can't ban 'for sale' signs on homes
Thanks to Fred Fischer for the link to this story.  So the HOA was so determined to prohibit "for sale" signs that it launched a doomed-from-day-one challenge to the constitutionality of the 2009 state law that protects a homeowner's right to post the signs.  The statute is presumed to be constitutional, and the burden is on the HOA to show that the statute has no "significant or legitimate purpose."  What chance did the HOA of invalidating this statute?  How would you like to be one of the owners who has to pay the HOA's lawyers who lost in the trial court and then took the case up on appeal and lost again?

"PHOENIX — The right of state lawmakers to allow homeowners to post “for sale’’ signs trumps any deed restrictions that ban them, the Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled. In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the judges rebuffed arguments by a planned community that its pre-existing ban on such signs remains valid despite a 2009 law to the contrary. Potentially more significant, the appellate judges rejected the contention that the 2009 law unconstitutionally interfered with the contracts previously signed by all property owners agreeing to the restriction...As to the constitutional claim by the association, Swann said it is up to the group challenging the law to show that it “substantially impairs’’ the contractual arrangement. Even then, the judge said, a challenger must also show there is no “significant or legitimate public purpose” behind the law, or that the impairment is an “unreasonable means’’ of achieving that purpose."

1 comment:

IC_deLight said...

This also illustrates the danger of private fining. HOA boards and vendors don't have to worry about justifying the restrictions they seek to impose on homeowners when they can privately "fine" homeowners.

Based upon the arguments presented by the HOA attorney in this case, the HOA should be allowed to adopt rules permitting it to readily engage in racial and religious discrimination as well. Hey it's just a "rule", right? They "knew it when they moved in", right? "If they don't like it they can move", right? "HOAs preserve property values", right? Wrong!