This article originally appeared on the National Association of REALTORS® website and can be found here.

Thanks to a new Arizona law co-sponsored by State Representative Michelle Ugenti and State Senator Gail Griffin—both REALTORS®—condominium and townhouse associations can no longer restrict individual unit owners from renting their units based on a criminal background check.

The new law, which took effect in July 2014, prohibits criminal background checks for condo rentals. It also limits the amount of information the association can legally obtain about renters.

Passed in an omnibus bill signed in April by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the law also provides protections for tenants and allowances for unit investors.

REALTORS® in Arizona supported legislation to limit homeowners associations (HOAs) from requiring renters’ private information like Social Security numbers and credit reports—and charging steep processing fees, up to $250 in some cases.

Before the law, Arizona homeowner associations were allowed to require every owner to sign a “crime-free addendum” and make criminal background checks mandatory. It restricted those with criminal backgrounds from moving into some condo communities.

The new law strips homeowner associations of that power.

Here is a list of some of the new homeowner association statutes:

  • No required disclosure of any information regarding a tenant other than the name and contact information of all adults occupying the unit, term of lease, and the license plate number of the tenant
  • Limits the amount a homeowner’s association can charge to no more than $25 for administrative fees for each new tenant
  • Allows non-occupant owners to serve on the board of directors
  • Prohibits associations from requiring a copy of the tenant’s credit report, rental application, lease agreement, rental contract or any other personal information about the tenant
  • Directs a unit owner to abate criminal activity
  • Allows email and fax votes to count towards a quorum for non-present owners
  • Allows unit owners to display political signs on their property
  • Allows unit owners to use a crime-free addendum as part of their lease

The new law does allow homeowner associations to restrict occupancy in the case of a convicted sex offender, however.

Homeowners—and renters—in Arizona can thank REALTORS® for their efforts in securing privacy rights.

Chrystal Caruthers contributed to this article.

Update March 12, 2015

After noting reports from REALTORS® that it was becoming increasingly common for parties to be surprised at close of escrow by previously undisclosed HOA fees, AAR introduced a new form that promotes a greater level of disclosure of the various fees that are payable upon close of escrow. The new HOA Addendum to the Residential Purchase Contract requires full disclosure of all fees which would be charged by the homeowners association at close of escrow.  By introducing this new form, AAR increases transparency for fees and encourages greater fairness for both buyers and sellers.

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Need help bringing in new clients? Tired of asking the same five people if they know of anyone looking to buy or sell a home? You need a referral network, here’s how you build one:

1. Give more referrals.

Yep. If you want to get, you need to give. Work on giving three referrals a week by connecting friends, family and clients with other businesses. For example, when you hear a friend say they are tired of dealing with their malfunctioning dishwasher, put them in touch with your favorite handyman. Send a simple introductory email connecting the two or give the handyman a call with your friends contact information (or vice versa.) You’ll be surprised how much easier it is for people to send referrals to you when they’ve had several referrals FROM you!

2. Join a club.

You’re already a member of the largest trade organization in Arizona – congrats! You’ll meet lots of real estate pros through AAR and your local association – but join another group as well. It can be a business referral group, a charity event board or a community organization. Try to find something that aligns with your passions and hobbies! Meeting people outside your social circle will open you up to new referrals, plus they’ll know you on a personal and professional level, making it easier for them to send their loved ones to you.

3. Share your knowledge.

Be generous with sharing your knowledge and expertise with others. Does your neighborhood have a newsletter? Volunteer to write an article. Does your chamber of commerce host events? Offer to give a presentation. Reach out to other businesses and see if they’d be interested in hosting a lunch and learn for their employees about buying a first home, searching for a rental property or how to choose a REALTOR®.

4. Make technology your friend.

Stay in touch and put technology to work for you! From email marketing to social media, a little automation can go a long way in helping you stay top of mind with clients (critical for getting referrals!) For example, make it habit that the day after a closing, you add into your calendar to reach out in 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.  Map out that at the 3 month mark you ask if they’ve tried (insert restaurant) in their new neighborhood. At 6 months, ask how they’re liking the house and if they’ve done any painting/decorating. Then at 12 months send them a little hous-iversary gift to congratulate them on a year in their new home! Find a way and message that fits you and your brand and run with it!  By simply adding an event to your calendar you’ll help keep yourself on track and top of mind with clients.

5. Do good work for your clients.

Ultimately, it all comes down to one question – did you do a great job? The best way to encourage clients to refer others to you is to serve them well. Be helpful, knowledgeable, responsive and kind. Be patient with anxious buyers and understanding of nervous sellers. By streamlining and giving a wonderful, consistent client experience, you’ll improve your chances at turning the client into a future referral source.

 

What do you think? What have you done in your business to garner more referrals?

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AAR eSign Archive has Arrived!

March 20, 2015

Aging eSign Sessions, based on their transaction status, will now auto archive to a new eSign Archive page.  The Archive page is accessible at any time to retrieve aging documents. The Archive page can be accessed through a new icon in the top navigation menu. The Archive button will replace the Sign Out button, which […]

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How the South Mountain Freeway May Impact Buyers and Sellers in South Phoenix

March 16, 2015

Arizona courts have held that where a seller of real property knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property that are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, that the seller is under a duty to disclose those facts. On occasion, facts of this nature can include the construction of […]

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Anti-Deficiency Update + AAR’s Efforts to Protect Your Rights

March 13, 2015

Throughout the years, Arizona’s anti-deficiency statute has been litigated to determine under what circumstances the statute is applicable. Of particular interest has been the phrase “utilized for a . . . dwelling.” The statute, A.R.S. §33-814, states: If trust property of two and one-half acres or less which is limited to and utilized for either […]

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The State of Commercial Real Estate: Phoenix Multifamily

March 10, 2015

Earlier this year we were a sponsor the IREM CCIM Economic Forecast which explored where Arizona commercial real estate is heading in the next year. We were inspired by this conference to reach out to some local experts and get their insight on the state of commercial real estate. In the first installment of the […]

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