Can HOAs Ban Sex Offenders from Living in their Community?
Question: The Board of Directors of our HOA in Chandler wants to amend our CC&Rs to prohibit registered sex offenders (“RSOs”) from owning or occupying homes in our community. Our understanding is that HOAs in Maricopa County from the Verrado community in Buckeye to the Desert Mountain community in North Scottsdale have already amended their CC&Rs to prohibit RSOs. Can HOAs prohibit RSOs from living in their community?
Answer: Yes. In 2014 the Arizona Legislature specifically authorized HOAs to have CC&Rs prohibiting registered sex offenders in their community. A.R.S. §§ 33-1260.01(H) and 33-1806.01(H).
There are 14,500 RSOs in Arizona and 700,000 RSOs in the United States. Under Arizona law, an RSO’s failure to file a current home address is a felony. After relocation, an Arizona resident RSO has 72 hours to file a current home address with the county sheriff’s department, while a newly convicted RSO or an out-of-state RSO has 10 days. Unfortunately, many RSOs still don’t file current home addresses, which can be especially true if living in a community that prohibits RSOs.
Note: Arizona Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) provides access to the database of RSOs in Arizona and updates the database on this website daily. The DPS database only provides information on Level 2 and Level 3 RSOs. Identification of Level 1 RSOs (the lowest risk classification) is available to government agencies through the issuance of a special driver’s license that must be renewed every year. Level 1 RSOs may not be prohibited from a community in the event an enforcing HOA discovers a resident’s Level 1 status through other means (e.g., identifying that the resident’s driver’s license expires one year after issue).