HOA fees

A judge has ruled that assessments collected by one group of homeowners must only be used for those particular homes and not for common area maintenance in The Pointe South Mountain Community.

Judge Douglas Rayes made the decision after two days of arguments and testimony. The complaint was brought against The Pointe South Mountain Residential Association by a former board member, Penelope Johnson.

Johnson and her attorney, Chris LaVoy, alleged that the Ahwatukee HOA was collecting funds from all homeowners to maintain common areas and was collecting additional funds from Courthome residences that should be used to repair roofs, painting, stucco repairs, and other maintenance on Courthome residences specifically.

Instead, they say those Courthome Exterior Maintenance Funds were being used to subsidize common area expenses, leaving not enough money to cover Courthome residences.

Johnson claimed the Courthome residences are paying more than their fair share to maintain common areas while regular assessments are being used to pay for cable for all residences.

Rayes agreed in part. His ruling, which only applies moving forward, said that Courthome Exterior Maintenance Funds should not be used for common area maintenance, including driveways that serve more than one Courthome.

The judge did, however, rule that cable was set up in the community by the original developer to be treated like a utility and using regular assessments to pay for cable for each resident should be allowed.

The HOA’s lawyers argued during trial that if Courthome Exterior Maintenance Funds were not used to maintain some common areas, as they always have been, they feared assessments for other homeowners in the community would have to go up. It’s unclear what the HOA board will decide to do moving forward.

Several Courthome homeowners showed up for the two-day trial and cheered quietly when the judge announced his decision.

They say for years the HOA has not kept up maintenance on their residences because they’ve been using their assessments for the wrong areas of the community.

The Pointe South Mountain has 841 homeowners. There are 436 homeowners in single-family and garden-attached homes while 405 are in Courthome residences.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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