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SB 814: Discouraging Excessive Water Use (CA)

California is experiencing the worst drought in over a century. While recent rains bring good news for our water supply, the California Legislature has enacted a number of laws aimed at water conservation that still stand. Existing law requires the

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Tips to Handle Drones in Your Community

Drone sales are on the rise. According to Business Insider, consumer drone shipments will quadruple in the next five years, as drones get easier to operate by beginners and competition causes prices to drop. In addition, big businesses like Amazon

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How to Avoid Being Responsible for Your Renters HOA Rules Violations

How many times have you been at an HOA board meeting and heard, “it’s the renters who don’t follow the HOA rules” or “our homeowner’s association assessments are increasing because the renters don’t care about our building and following the

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When to Turn to Your CC&R’s

As a community association management company, we often receive inquiries about the differences between governing documents and where to look for specific guidelines regarding particular issues.  We have detailed the differences between each type of governing document in an article

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7 Reasons to Hire an HOA Manager This Year

How is your homeowner’s association doing? Is everything running easily and smoothly? Do you have interested members at each HOA board meeting? Is your reserve fund fully funded? What would you do if you were faced with a lawsuit or

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New Year – New Board

Welcome to 2017! Do you have new board members at your association? According to ECHO, this is a great time to stress the importance of a Board’s duties, responsibilities and ethics. Ethics are the moral compass that guides the performance

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Recent Preliminary Injunction re: HOA and Free Speech (CA)

On December 23, 2016, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard B. Ulmer, Jr. issued a preliminary injunction barring Gramercy Towers Condominium Association (“GTCA”) from enforcing a “Rule Regarding Communications with the Board of Directors, Residents and Contractors” (the “Rule”) on

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HOA Homefront: How can you tell if an association is well-run?

Common interest developments, or homeowner associations, house about one third of Californians, and most new housing stock is established in HOAs. Can buyers determine whether an association residence is a good investment, or if the HOA is healthy? Is it

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Foreclosures – Enforcement of Judgments – Equitable Redemption (CA)

In 1982, the California Legislature enacted the Enforcement of Judgments Law (“EJL”), Code of Civil Procedure section 680.10 et seq., setting forth the standards for enforcing judgments by writ of execution. The EJL made sales pursuant to foreclosure judgments absolute,

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5 Ways an HOA Board Can Encourage Member Involvement in the New Year

Since a new year is about to begin, this may be a good time for the HOA board to communicate with the Association members about several ways they can help make the community an even better place to live in

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New Year Brings New Laws that will Impact California Community Associations

Community association managers, board members and residents living in the nearly 50,000 community associations throughout California will be directly impacted by several new laws when they wake up January 1, 2017.    Read the article………….

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4 Tips fora Successful HOA Board Meeting

HOA Board meetings are the backbone of a homeowners association. They are the mechanism by which the Board discusses important topics, collects input from homeowners and makes decisions that will ultimately affect everyone who lives in the community. At their

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Secret Ballots and Quorums in California

HOAs are run much like a democracy. The people within the community or board members vote on issues that affect the community, such as new rules. However, even people heavily involved with the HOA can find all the rules and

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What’s Covered by Your HOA and What Isn’t

Many homeowners who live in HOA’s come to us seeking clarity about who is responsible for what in terms of their homes, yards, and amenities. We hear all sorts of questions, including things like: Am I responsible for trimming the

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California legislators want solar panels far more than they want houses

Actions speak louder than words. Politicians pontificate on many issues, and they pander to their constituents to gain reelection. However, the laws they pass reflect what they really mean and value. Based on that criteria, California politicians clearly want solar

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Ways to Help Make Your Homeowners Association Community Better

Your homeowners association has a lot going on, and that includes a range of upcoming social events as well several important ongoing projects.  The HOA board may also find that the website needs updating, there’s always room for another article

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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in HOAs – What Must Be Allowed? (CA)

According to many sources on the internet, the production of Electric Vehicles will show a surge of 67% this year, and one can only imagine where this is going over time into the future. C’mon, you (as an HOA) don’t

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HOA directors’ votes on contentious HOA projects were protected activity under anti-SLAPP statute (CA)

Homeowners association directors’ votes on contentious HOA projects were protected activity under anti-SLAPP statute.  This action was brought by three members of the board of directors (board) of the Friars Village Homeowners Association (FVHOA) against six other board members and

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4 Tips to Read Before You Deck the Halls in the Homeowners Association

During the holiday season many homeowners association members plan festivities with friends and loved ones. With all of the merriment that’s sure to ensue, it’s important that the HOA board reminds residents who are hosting celebrations to not only be

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Making Condos Last

A 3-part article from Craiker Associates in California.  “If you own a condo in a community that has a homeowners’ association and a Board of Directors, approach them with a shopping list of visual issues that need to be addressed.

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Construction company claims insurance provider failed to protect it (CA)

A trial date has been set for the end of January in an insurance coverage case to determine who is responsible for water and mold damage sustained in a condominium.  Saarman Construction Ltd. was hired by a homeowners association to

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The Importance of Democracy in Your Homeowners Association Community

Homeowners within in a homeowners association possess a right to participate in deciding what will be done about community issues that affect all residents. By casting their vote—either in person, or by proxy, or absentee ballot—they can help make important

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Tips if You’re Planning HOA Board Elections at Your Annual Meeting

Is your HOA board ready for the association’s annual meeting? Typically, most homeowner’s association hold their annual meetings at the end or beginning of the year. Not only is it a great way to keep members informed, but it’s also

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AB 2362 – Why You Should Use a Licensed Pest Control Operator (CA)

Beginning January 1, 2017, a common interest development association or its authorized agent must provide notice to an owner and any tenant if a pesticide is to be applied to a separate interest or common area without using a licensed

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What are Your Property Management Priorities?

Successful community management requires juggling many challenges, large and small. If not managed correctly, issues can pile up and cause gridlock. We see many Boards struggle to make progress on necessary projects simply because they have reached an impasse about

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How to Resolve Disputes Over Common Areas in an HOA Community

When homeowners live in close proximity, as in a gated community, condo complex or other HOA-managed community, disputes over common areas are bound to arise. Tempers can flare, leading to unnecessary conflict and problems between residents and Board members. In

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SB 918 – You Want Notice Where?

One of the more interesting bills that came out of a relatively quiet year from a legislative standpoint for California’s community associations is SB 918. This law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, does two main things:  One,

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8 Things to Be Thankful for in Your Homeowners Association

As Thanksgiving approaches many of us have many things to be grateful for. Volunteering as an HOA board member of your homeowners association is sometimes a thankless job — but there are a few things you can be grateful for.

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Clubhouse Music Fees and Director’s Failure to Investigate

QUESTION: We play music in our clubhouse and have a movie night each week. One of our members said we have to pay a license fee because everything is copyrighted. Is that true? ALSO: The business judgment rule protects directors from

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Millennium Tower Residents Issue New Plea to Halt Property Taxes (CA)

A couple living in the sinking and tilting Millennium tower has now written a new letter calling on San Francisco’s tax assessor to stop issuing tax bills on the property until the building is repaired.  In her letter this week

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Defendants Homeowners/ HOAs Fee Recovery As Prevailing Party Affirmed On Appeal (CA)

Homeowner/landowner cases seem to bring a lot of angst and emotions, maybe not as much as the recent presidential election, but still on the top level on a range scale from 1 to 10—we would say most disputes are in

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The Basics of Living in a Community Association

Though many Southern Californians live in neighborhoods that are governed by a community association, we find that lots of residents are unclear about the rights and responsibilities they have as members of the association. As a result, homeowners and condo

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Change to the FHA “10% to Reserves” Rule?

FHA approval is a status condo associations can attain, allowing unit owners/buyers to receive FHA insurance on their loans which make those loan more attractive to lenders. Depending on your location, as much as 30% – 40% of all residential

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Beware CC&Rs — They Can Bite

In teaching Real Estate Transactions and Litigation to advanced Law and Business students at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Law, I find that one of the most difficult concepts to explain is the impact of property use restrictions in the form

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5 Actions an HOA Board Should Take to Clarify Maintenance & Insurance

One common subject that often causes confusion in a homeowners association is grasping the difference between the maintenance responsibilities of an association and the items that are covered by the association’s insurance policy. Often owners and even HOA board members

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HOAs: How to make community service fair

It is a basic truth that the risk in any venture should match the reward. High risk investments should bring high yields, while low returns may be acceptable for very secure investments.  The same principle should be applied to volunteer

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What Your HOA Board Needs to Know About Maintaining Playgrounds

Some associations have extra space for various amenities. Some have parks, tennis courts, or even lakes and water features. One amenity that’s a feature in some associations is playgrounds for children. There are many different types of playgrounds and play

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How to make sure volunteer work does not bring risk

It is a basic truth that the risk in any venture should match the reward. High risk investments should bring high yields, while low returns may be acceptable for very secure investments.  The same principle should be applied to volunteer

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Demystifying Homeowner Associations

Townhomes, condominiums, homes in planned developments, co-op style housing — most of these types of residences are sold along with a homeowner association (HOA) agreement.  Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO), a San Jose-based nonprofit that assists homeowner associations with everything

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How HOAs Can Solve Short-Term Rental Challenges

With the growing popularity of peer-to-peer short-term rental services like Airbnb and VRBO.com, HOA boards face a number of new, rental-related challenges. On one side are homeowners who want to generate income through their property. On the other side are

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Tips from an HOA Board for a Safe Halloween in Your Association

Halloween is a kid’s delight. It’s a blast to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties and most of all, eat a lot of candy. At the same time, Halloween can be scary for parents. Costumes can be dangerous,

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For the People, By the Homeowners: HOA Board Governance in a Nutshell

Community associations have a lot in common with municipal governments. As members of a governing body — and typically also members of the homeowner’s association — HOA board members should meet regularly to discuss and vote on important community issues,

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Help for HOA Boards Sorting Out Secret Ballots, Quorums and Elections (CA)

As a volunteer HOA board member or homeowner within an association, elections, quorums, secret ballots and things related can be very confusing. They can even be confusing to those trained to work in this industry. If nothing else, you should

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Messing With The HOA Can Be Expensive

Most homeowners in a common interest development probably understand that it can be a real hassle to get into a dispute with the Homeowner Association (HOA). Not so many, though, may know that it can become pretty expensive as well.

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Why the ‘Business Judgment Rule’ is not a free pass

Association directors are unpaid, serving their neighbors as volunteers – is it fair that they can be sued for the decisions they make?  The Business Judgment Rule (“BJR” for brevity) is the first thing all directors should learn, but well-meaning

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What an HOA Board Should Do About Bullying in a Homeowners Association

There’s a lot of talk, along with articles and commentary these days about online bullying. This can take place on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. It can take the form of inappropriate pictures that someone secretly takes of

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Is a Reserve Study Required Annually in California?

California Civil Code 5550 requires a Reserve Study based on a “diligent visual site inspection” at least every third year, but requires the Board review that Reserve Study annually and “consider and implement necessary adjustments”. That’s called an annual Reserve

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Who’s the Bully in your HOA? Could it Be You?

October is National Anti- Bullying Month, officially. It doesn’t just apply to bullying in the schools or in relationships between family members or friends. It applies to what happens in the boardroom, and in meetings in a homeowners association. It

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HOAs: The Business Judgment Rule protects boards but is not a free pass

Courts normally defer to HOA boards as long as the Business Judgment Rule is followed. The State Supreme Court said so in 1999, while deciding Lambden v. La Jolla Shores. In the Lambden case, a homeowner contended the board should

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Protection for volunteers: Remember the business judgment rule

Association directors are unpaid, serving their neighbors as volunteers – is it fair that they can be sued for the decisions they make? The Business Judgment Rule (“BJR” for brevity) is the first thing all directors should learn, but well-meaning

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