Peoria homeowners fight back against HOA

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
George Botea (Source: CBS 5 News) George Botea (Source: CBS 5 News)

If a homeowner leaves a trash can out, or doesn't cut back weeds - most homeowners associations will issue a fine.

But if a renter in a Peoria neighborhood does it, they can be evicted by their HOA.

Landlord George Botea thinks that's downright crazy.

"What they're essentially doing is making it impossible for any homeowner to rent in this neighborhood," said Botea.

Botea is a Valley homeowner/landlord who has refused to sign his HOA's Crime Free Lease Addendum, which would give his HOA the power to evict his tenant if they violate any crime or community rules.

The crime free lease states, "the Association will be the sole judge as to what constitutes criminal activity."

It also requires landlords to run an extensive background check on tenants, then pass the private information to the HOA.

Valley attorney Nat Nickele said the HOA requirements are a clear abuse of power and a violation of the Landlord Tenant Act - so he's filed a formal complaint with the state.

"If I'm in Tempe and I jaywalk and someone from an HOA board sees me, the HOA can evict me as a tenant in Peoria," said Nickele. "It's far overreaching."

CBS 5 News reached out to Preferred Communities, the management company working with HOAs to require the crime free lease addendum in their neighborhoods.

Karin Hatch, vice president of Preferred Properties, sent CBS 5 News this statement:

"Preferred Communities is an HOA Community Management Company that fully supports Crime Free Resolutions and participation in Crime Free Programs by Homeowners Associations.       

"To solve serious criminal activity in a community it requires a community-based solution like a Crime Free Program. These programs are supported  by local law enforcement, and reputable property management companies. The Crime Free programs were successfully developed at the Mesa Police Department in 1992 and have spread to nearly 2,000 cities in the U.S.            

"Preferred Communities has seen firsthand how a Crime Free Resolution, adopted by an HOA Board of Directors, has turned around crime ridden communities. In the past year, one community managed by Preferred Communities adopted a Crime Free resolution, requiring all tenants have more stringent background checks run, and requiring the owners (landlords) to take action when criminal activity occurs in the community. The criminal activity has gone down by 57% in a 6 month period. In July 2013 there were 47 calls for service to the Police Department compared to 20 calls in December 2013.      

"Although the Crime Free Lease Addendum states the Association shall have the right to enforce the agreement, no tenants have been evicted by the Homeowners Associations managed by Preferred Communities. If violations of the agreement or if serious criminal activity occurs on the property, Preferred Communities & the Homeowners Associations Board of Directors works with the individual landlord or property management company to resolve the situations. If eviction is the answer, the Homeowners Association will request that the owner evict."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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