California Condo & HOA News

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Consider rules before buying or renting HOA-governed properties

Many people looking for rental properties are turning to condos and townhomes as a less expensive alternative to renting a single-family home. Many of these communities have some nice amenities to offer such as pools, clubhouses, gyms and community parks

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Leave my tenant alone!

Q. I recently received a letter from our management company, that all owners who rent their units must submit a copy of the agreement to the management company. The letter also says each time a renter moves out and a

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Rio Bravo residents worried about country club closing (CA)

When you buy a house on a golf course, the value of your property increases in proportion to your views of long sloping fairways, picturesque water features and well-manicured greens.  But what happens when the greens turn brown, the pond

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Welcome to Hollywood: residents clash as access to famed sign is blocked

In 1923, the miles of hiking and bridle trails around the sign were described in a promotional document as “beyond comparison”, and the thousands of Angelenos and out-of-town visitors who descend on the area every weekend think that’s still true.

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Serrano HOA hit with a lawsuit (CA)

Serrano resident and former Homeowners Association Director Dean Getz has filed a $15.7 million lawsuit against the Serrano El Dorado Owners Association and Serrano Associates as an individual and on behalf of “all over-assessed past and present” Serrano homeowners.  Getz

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HOA Homefront – Can the association enforce unwritten rules?

Q:  This past year we got a new homeowners association manager, and there has been a huge increase in the number of violation letters. Some are for items like patio chairs on walkways, water hoses not coiled in specific areas,

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Ice Dam Totals Tahoe Condo

The roof of a condo building in Tahoe collapsed last week under the weight of six feet of snow, and it came without warning.    Read the article…………..

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Woman injured in condo fire

A house fire near Calavera Hills Community Park left one woman injured Tuesday.  The blaze in the 2900 block of Ridgefield Avenue in Carlsbad was reported shortly after 3 p.m., authorities said.   Read the article………..

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Ocean Hills community considers water options (CA)

The Ocean Hills housing community is considering more cost effective ways to water its greenbelts. Options on the table are connecting to city recycled water lines or digging a local well.  Residents are also looking at landscape changes to conserve

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HOA Homefront: Whose pipes are those?

Q: What is the definition of internal installations of the unit? Are pipes in the wall considered internal installations of the unit? My take is internal means inside; so inside the unit. Can you please help me understand what internal

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Aliso Creek banks in Lake Forest losing ground after storms (CA)

John Pherrin approached the western bank of Aliso Creek near his home in the Woodside neighborhood and noted the changes.  Trees and pieces of concrete had piled into the creek and slopes on both sides had eroded over the past

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Laundry room showdown reveals ‘frustrating’ problem at condo complex (CA)

A disturbing encounter in this laundry room is exposing a growing homeless problem.  On Friday morning at the Mission Gardens condos, Wendy, who asked us not to show her face, saw two women who appeared to be homeless going under

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HOA Homefront: The board balancing act

The ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang deals with opposite and inseparable forces. Common interest developments, or homeowner associations, have their own “yin and yang” issues, in which four basic and inseparable priorities must be balanced to produce a

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California Court of Appeal Ruling Eliminates Strict Liability Standard for Supplier of Chinese Building Products

On January 26, 2017, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One, issued a 51 page ruling in Acqua Vista Homeowners Association v. MWI, Inc., D068406 (San Diego Superior Court No. 37-2009-00104348-CU-CD-CTL) which eliminated strict liability

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HOA Homefront: Are we STILL dealing with drought? (CA)

Q:  Regarding water cutbacks and dead lawns, can an HOA require homeowners who stopped watering to replace their dead lawns with other types of ground cover such as drought tolerant landscaping, compost, artificial turf, etc? Or are we stuck with

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Trial for an alleged HOA embezzler delayed (CA)

The trial was delayed Friday for a man accused of being a co-conspirator in an embezzlement case involving nearly $2.8 million from a San Mateo homeowners association, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.    Read the article……….

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Saratoga: HOAs can operate neighborhood security cameras (CA)

Neighborhood surveillance cameras operated by bona fide homeowners associations for security purposes can operate in public rights-of-way with an encroachment permit, city attorney Richard Taylor told the city council at a recent meeting.  Cameras, like the two already installed as

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Yes, HOA Can Sell Property for Delinquent Fees (CA)

Howard Rich purchased a single-family residence at an execution sale. The execution sale was conducted to satisfy a judgment against Yung-Shen Steven Lee. Rich was a third-party purchaser. The plaintiff and judgement creditor was Spyglass Hill Community Association, the HOA

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Sinking Millennium Tower’s condo owners hire Trump’s lawyer

Condo owners at San Francisco’s sinking Millennium Tower are raising the stakes in their fight to get the infamous downtown building fixed — hiring a celebrity Los Angeles lawyer in anticipation of suing the developer.  Residents of the 58-story high-rise

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Who will pay for San Francisco’s $750 million tilting tower? (CA)

The 58-story tower’s shine faded on May 10, 2016, when Agabian attended a homeowners association meeting and was informed that the building had sunk 16 inches into the earth and tilted over 15 inches at its tip and 2 inches

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HOA Homefront: Don’t be caught napping; your rights at risk! (CA)

Some well-intentioned ideas can boomerang and hurt those who are intended to be helped. Such is the new Civil Code 4041, created by last year’s SB918.  Section 4041 appears intended to protect homeowners by requiring annual reminders to keep their

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HOA Homefront: Who’s meeting is it (I wasn’t invited)

Q. In the spirit of shedding light on HOA governance, would you please write about the difference between regular open board meetings and the annual homeowners association meeting. I am specifically interested in your view on how the agendas are

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Appellate Court Overturns $24 Million Judgment for HOA in SB800 Case (CA)

The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District just overturned a $24 Million verdict in favor of a San Diego County HOA. Despite the jury verdict in favor of the HOA, the Court of Appeal overturned the verdict, and

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Millennium Tower Residents Complain That Building Not Only Sinks, It Stinks

A new report via a resident at the nicknamed Leaning Tower of San Francisco, a.k.a. Millennium Tower adds further fuel to homeowners’ rage about the developer’s alleged construction shortcuts. Against the advice of the homeowners’ association attorney, 31st floor resident

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HOA Homefront: Unruly meetings or meeting rules (CA)

Other than the overall condition of the common areas, one of the first opportunities for associations to make a positive impression upon new members is at meetings of the board of directors. Where does a new owner learn how board

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Man Whose Daughter Died Sues Landlord and Homeowner’s Association (CA)

A man whose daughter and grandchild died in a 2015 blaze at an Inglewood condominium complex is suing the landlord and the homeowners association, alleging unsafe conditions led to the fire and trapped the woman inside her unit.   Deontae

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Authorities issue evacuation notice for Camarillo Springs (CA)

Authorities will issue a voluntary evacuation notice in Camarillo Springs on Sunday as a storm moves into the area.  An evacuation notice will take effect at 6 a.m. The forecast calls for rainfall rates to reach a half-inch to one

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La Jolla crosswalk horror story (CA)

Aavang is now suing the City of San Diego, the driver, as well as a nearby homeowners’ association for failing to maintain surrounding trees. According to public records obtained by the Reader, residents had complained of the dangerous intersection to

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4 Injured in San Jose Condo Fire (CA)

Four people, including a San Jose firefighter, were injured in a 2-alarm blaze that broke out at a condo complex at Florence Ave. and Nancy Lane on Wednesday.   Two people from the apartment managed to get out and were

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Condo HOA Gets More Than $8 Million for Building Defects

Residents of the Arts District condominium complex the Barker Block have received more than $8 million to settle lawsuits that allege construction defects. Building occupants had long complained of problems including leaks and plumbing shutdowns.    Read the article………….

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Millennium Tower Developer Balks at Publicizing Repair Plan, Documents Show (CA)

Documents obtained Tuesday by NBC Bay Area show that the developer of the Millennium Tower is balking at turning over any plans of a fix for the sinking and leaning structure, claiming such information is secret as part of ongoing

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Tesoro couple fights HOA over tree removal (CA)

When John and Irma Dorrien moved into their Tesoro Del Valle home in Valencia more than 13 years they looked out on sparse open hills and had few neighbors.  They planted some pine trees in their backyard and set about

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Laguna Woods Village directors prevail in suit against GRF (CA)

An Orange County Superior Court judge has awarded nearly $100,000 in attorney fees to one current and one former Golden Rain Foundation director, whose recalls from the board were overturned in July 2016.  Judge Robert J. Moss on Friday awarded

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Why eliminating ‘exclusive use areas’ has issues

Q. Just read your article (on exclusive use common area) and was wondering the implication (pro and cons) and cost of transferring an exclusive common area into a unit. That way, the owner gets full control of the common area

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60 firefighters extinguish two-story condo blaze in Tustin (CA)

Sixty county firefighters extinguished a blaze Monday morning that began in the attic above an unoccupied second floor of an apartment in the 1400 block of Red Hill Avenue within about 25 minutes, fire Capt. Alan Wilkes said.  “The apartment

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Bicycles barred, case closed on battle over Wild Oak path (CA)

After a long, fruitless legal battle over whether or not bicyclists have the right to use a public easement through a private subdivision that borders Oakmont near Trione-Annadel State Park, the City of Santa Rosa has withdrawn it’s latest appeal,

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HOA Homefront: A few minutes about minutes

Q. Our president has delegated our property manager to run our homeowners meetings and he acts like the board works for him and has to agree with everything he proposes. He gets rude and obnoxious when the board does not

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New changes, same division for Oxnard Shores community (CA)

A new chapter in the contentious saga that has grown to define the coastal neighborhood of Oxnard Shores has begun, but it remains to be seen whether the divisiveness will subside.  Central to the neighborhood disagreement is short-term rentals and

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More Millennium Tower residents sue developer, city (CA)

Following November’s lawsuit, 20 tower residents led by Jerry Dodson, a former government litigator who also happens to live in the offending building, launched yet another suit against both the city and building developer Millennium Partners.  The complaint alleges that

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HOA Homefront: What about laundries in units?

Q. Our HOA prohibits washers/dryers in upstairs units. When this rule was adopted, owners who already had washer/dryers were allowed to keep them but no more would be allowed.  When the unit is sold, can the new owner keep the

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Woman rescued from condo fire in San Francisco (CA)

San Francisco firefighters rescued a woman found inside of a burning condominium this morning. The fire was reported by residents of the Forest Knolls neighborhood around 8:00 A.M. Thursday.  Residents say the owner of the condo was at work when

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Both sides of Mandalay shores short-term rental dispute court ruling claim victory (CA)

The battle over whether short-term residential rentals should be permitted is raging all along the California coast and has gotten far worse since on-line rental services have boomed. Investigations into feasibility of banning or severe restrictions by cities such as

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HOA Homefront: Can we eliminate exclusive use areas?

Q. Just read your article (on exclusive use common area) and was wondering the implication (pro and cons) and cost of transferring an exclusive common area into a unit. That way, the owner gets full control of the common area

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City Attorney Targeted in Leaning Tower Suit (CA)

Retired Bay Area IP litigator Gerald “Jerry” Dodson on Friday followed through on a threat to sue the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office—among other defendants—in connection with the sinking and tilting of the Millennium Tower, the luxury high-rise where he

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UPDATE: Woman badly burned in Forest Knolls condo fire (CA)

A woman was badly burned in a two-alarm fire in a condominium in San Francisco’s Forest Knolls neighborhood Thursday morning, according to residents.  The fire was reported at 8:05 a.m. in a three-story, three-bedroom unit at 622 Clarendon Ave., according

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Homeowners, HOA clash over landscape rules (CA)

Richard and Carole DeProspo say they wanted to curb their outdoor water use in light of the drought, not pick a costly fight with their homeowners association.  And yet that’s where they’ve found themselves—headed to court to ask a judge

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Natural gas explosion causes serious damage to National City Condo building (CA)

A natural gas leak in a brand new condominium complex in National City led to an explosion Monday afternoon. The units were within weeks of being ready for occupancy but now at least two of them are going to need

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Grandfather them or ban them: A washout on laundries?

Q. Our HOA prohibits washers/dryers in upstairs units. When this rule was adopted, owners who already had washer/dryers were allowed to keep them but no more would be allowed. When the unit is sold, can the new owner keep the

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Sand Canyon HOA Prepares For Potential Of Mudslides (CA)

The Sand Fire scorched over 40,000 acres near Sand Canyon this summer. And the recent rain puts this area at risk again.  “After a fire, there is a layer of film on the top of the soil,” said Inspector Gustavo

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The drought defense: Homeowners take association to court over landscaping fines (CA)

Richard and Carole DeProspo say they wanted to curb their outdoor water use in light of the drought, not pick a costly fight with their homeowners association.  And yet that’s where they’ve found themselves—headed to court to ask a judge

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