Ball: Multi-family units in Sun City are not condos


In response to a recent opinion piece in the Sun City Independent, I would like to take issue with the reference to Sun City multi-family units as condominiums.

Referring to these properties as “condos” is wrong. This label only confuses owners, buyers, appraisers, mortgage and title companies when selling. If anyone questions this, they should consult their individual deed, which will specify ownership of a lot, the structure upon it and an undivided interest in the common area beyond the lot boundaries. This is defined in the Arizona Department of Revenue, Property Tax Division, Land Manual, Chapter 5, Condominiums and Townhouse Subdivisions.

This is a direct quote from the Manual: “In townhouse (PUD) projects, the owner of the unit individually owns the land under each unit. In some cases, the owner of the townhouse (PUD) unit will own a small area directly in front, to the rear, or to the side(s) of the unit. The balance of the land area in the PUD project will normally be commonly owned by a homeowner’s association that is owned and controlled by the individual unit owners. In limited cases, the balance of the land in the PUD project is also owned by the individual unit owners, as an undivided interest in the land vested in each unit, similar to a condominium unit.” 

It is long overdue that residents and local organizations in Sun City should stop calling these properties “condos” and condominiums. The Heritage and El Dorado are true “condo” ownerships in Sun City. A Condominium legal description, as in all of Arizona, will have the term Horizontal Property Regime or the Declaration of Condominium wording in their declaration.  All other Sun City HOAs are Planned Unit Developments, or PUDs.

Just because an association labels itself as a condominium, does not mean it is legally! In these HOAs, all owners agree to follow their individual CC&Rs, bylaws and rules and regulations. In some instances, the board or an individual owner may request the Sun City Home Owners Association to intervene to assist in a problem. The governing documents, and if incorporated, Arizona Title 10, determine the association’s structure.

If you live in a Sun City community association, ask yourself, if you have a plumbing leak under your slab, who is responsible to fix it?

Jim Ball

Sun City