HOMEOWNER MUST PAY $27K ATTORNEY FEE TO CHANDLER HOA AFTER DOG LEASH SUIT

The HOA sued for an injunction ordering the homeowner to keep his dog on a leash while walking in the common areas. The trial court found that the homeowner violated the established HOA rules for over two years and issued the injunction. Because Arizona law allows an award of attorney fees in cases based on contracts, and the HOA covenants are contracts, the trial court awarded $27,497.71 in attorneys’ fees and costs. The homeowner appealed, but the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, affirmed the award in a memorandum (non-precedential) decision.

There is a cautionary tale here for the HOA and its attorneys as well. The Court of Appeals declined to award additional attorney fees on the appeal, noting that the fee request did not recite the statutory basis as required by the rules.

Bottom line: play by the rules or it might cost you.

Commanche v. Pollard (April 21, 2016)