Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 19, 2024
Arizona Clamps Down on Predatory Real Estate Practices with New Homeowner Protection LawSource: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a move hailed by championing homeowner rights, Arizona has laid down the law against real estate sharks. On April 2, Attorney General Kris Mayes brought to fruition a monumental piece of legislation aimed at protecting the pockets and properties of Arizona's residents. With the backing of Governor Hobbs, SB 1218 was signed into law, targeting those predatory real estate listing agreements that have long ensnared unsuspecting homeowners.

These predatory practices, which previously committed property owners to extended and often exploitative listing agreements with brokers and agents, have finally met their match with SB 1218, the legislation that now makes these contracts void if they're past a 12-month duration, attempt to bind future property owners outside of certain conditions or were recorded in county records essentially handcuffing homeowners to terms that they perhaps did not fully understand or consent to under the deceptive guises employed by some within the industry. According to Attorney General Mayes, celebrating this new protective measure, "This legislation will help Arizonans protect their largest financial investment—their homes—and will create a more transparent and accountable real estate industry," as reported by the Arizona Attorney General's Office website.

The law asserts its authority by rendering unenforceable any exclusive property agreement that dares stretch beyond a year, attaches itself inordinately to the land, dares to be recorded within the unknowing walls of the county recorder's office, imposes a lien or purports to secure interest over the unwitting homeowner's property, or arrogantly assumes the right to assign itself without the clear and express consent of its titular. Moreover, translating these prohibitions into action, the Arizona Department of Real Estate is required to record documents declaring the invalidity of these offending contracts, as per the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

Alyse Meislik and Amanda Salvione, stepping forward from their roles as Senior Litigation Counsel and Assistant Attorney General respectively, made significant contributions in crafting this legislation, a copy of which made available to the public and any people who believe they have fallen prey to such deceptive practices, the new law also sets provisions for victims to seek reparation for the distress such contracts may have caused ensuring those behind such schemes are held accountable. The Attorney General's Office has made it expressly clear that victims of consumer fraud can file complaints visiting, or reaching out via phone to the office's Phoenix, Tucson, or statewide numbers as needed.