PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Christina Manasses is like a lot of Arizona homeowners, a little confused by the new billing statement she received from her Homeowners' Association. "I don't understand what purpose it serves and what problem it solves," said Manasses. "We were doing just fine with coupon books."
Arizona has a new HOA law that took effect January 1. It requires homeowners in most of Arizona's 5,500 HOA communities to receive a paper billing statement before every single due date. It means they won't receive a coupon payment book.
The change was made in an effort to help homeowners avoid falling behind on their monthly dues, but critics of the law claim it's a subtle way of getting homeowners to cough up more cash.
Dave Russell is manager of the Circle Tree Owners Association in Mesa. He said that mailing out statements every month to all 256 of his condo owners will cost their community an extra $8,000 a year. Money that could be spent on something else.
"It's being taken away from roofs and pool projects and landscaping projects," said Russell. "It's a very inappropriate time to get hit with a double whammy, when minimum wage is up and vendors are going up in their fees as well."
A number of HOA's have already passed on the extra costs to their homeowners in the form of higher dues. Korin Parry, with Preferred Communities, is worried that some unscrupulous management companies will start charging HOA's excessive administrative fees to mail out the extra statements.
"Oh yeah, it's an income maker," said Parry. "There's nothing in the statute that says that management companies can't charge the HOA for the statements. There is nothing in there that says we can charge homeowner directly, but we can charge the HOA."
Manasses said there's no reason to pay for something she doesn't need. "From a homeowners point of view, it's unnecessary," said Manasses.
The new HOA law does require monthly statements for HOA communities with less than 50 homes or units.