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HOA Losing Tree Trimming CC&R Properly Hit With $200,000 In Fees And $20,621.15 In Costs

We have explained that HOA – homeowner disputes can be costly. Especially where one party prevails, in this case the homeowner. In Lingenbrink v. Del Rayo Estates Homeowners Assn., Case No. D070966 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Mar. 22, 2017) (unpublished),

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How Homeowners Associations Are Referred to Around the World

Common-interest communities are becoming a popular way of living. They are housing developments made up of individually owned units and share facilities or common areas (such as roads, clubhouse, pool, etc.). “Community association” is a generic term that encompasses many

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A Step-by-Step Approach to Amending and Restating Governing Documents (CA)

It seems as though the laws change as frequently as the tides. Some years see more legal changes than others – changes that greatly affect the way boards manage the association’s affairs. The laws governing community associations have experienced so

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Tips to Stay Safe When Lightning Strikes Your Homeowners Association

Winter and Spring weather usually means staying in and snuggling by the fire, but it can also bring severe weather. Threatening thunderstorms often loom large in Northern California so it’s important to be prepared for downpours and accompanying lightning, which

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HOA Homefront: Exclusive use common areas – what you might not know

Many condominium buyers do not understand what they bought until long after becoming an owner.  Condominiums consist of two elements: A separate interest, called the unit, and an undivided equal share in everything else, called common area. However, there are

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What NOT to Do When Collecting HOA Fees

If just a few homeowners aren’t paying their HOA fees it can be felt very quickly in an association’s budget. It can also cause a ripple effect. If too many homeowners fail to pay their HOA fees, lenders might start

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Economic Damages and the Right to Repair Act: You Can’t Have it Both Ways (CA)

In 2002, the California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 800 also known as the Right to Repair Act (Civil Code Sections 895 et seq.) in an effort to stem a then rising tide in residential construction defect litigation.  SB 800,

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EQ Retrofitting in Los Angeles, 2017 (CA)

Homeowners and Association Managers need to be aware that the City of Los Angeles has passed Ordinances 183893 and 184081, city laws that require the earthquake retrofitting of buildings that fall below current safety standards. The ordinance is intended to

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Fairfield Reverses Crime and Neglect in Parkway Gardens (CA)

The quality of life for residents of Parkway Gardens, a private 240-unit condominium community, and the neighboring area declined significantly over several years prior to 2013. Residents didn’t feel safe. The complex had deteriorated, and serious crime reached a disproportionate

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Attorney’s Fees In Homeowners Association Disputes (CA)

Civil Code Section 5975(c) states: “In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.” There are a few things to note about this statute. First, this only applies to an

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Does The SLAPP Statute Apply To Homeowners Associations? (CA)

(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute is Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16. When the SLAPP statute was first enacted in 1992, twenty four years ago, some people, believed that it would not apply to homeowners associations because the SLAPP

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What the HOA Board Should Know About Making Association Rules

When thinking of rules within a California Homeowners Association, what comes to mind are the few but chronic rule breakers that somehow find their way into some associations, and how nice it might be to have a spell to bring

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Plaintiffs in $4.7 million construction defect case mum after ruling

Plaintiffs in a major construction lawsuit that ended with a San Diego law firm recovering nearly $5 million have decided to stay silent after the ruling was in their favor.  The law firm, which represented Laurel Bay Community Association, won

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When Should You Update Your HOA Governing Documents?

Many governing documents are established immediately after the community’s developer completes construction. Therefore, these documents follow a standard set of guidelines that are intended to protect the community–even though the houses are still empty. As the neighborhood or condo complex

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When your homeowner association needs intensive care

Q. Long story short, the members have all been reluctant to get involved on our board for many years. They are all fine with someone else doing it. Our vice president resigned and then appointed herself “manager.” She paid herself

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The Accidental Employee

Many homeowner associations employ hired help to perform various functions for the association (e.g., management, maintenance, landscaping, bookkeeping, etc.). Associations may also need outside expertise when undertaking special projects or construction work. This help may take the form “contractors” or

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Construction Defect – Application of the Right to Repair Statute to Material Suppliers (CA)

Civil Code § 8951 et seq. (the “Act”) establishes a set of building standards pertaining to new residential construction and provides homeowners with a cause of action against, among others, material suppliers, for a violation of the standards(§§ 896, 936).

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Boards Have a New Obligation to Stop Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination. HOAs are “housing providers” under the Act – they may not discriminate against certain classes of people. Associations who do discriminate risk lawsuits and large fines.  Few associations discriminate on purpose, but

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Can HOA Fees Be Claimed on Your Taxes?

Tax season is here and we all want to deduct every last penny we can find. If you’re a member of a homeowners association, have you ever considered whether or not the HOA fees you pay are tax deductible? Every

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Electronic Spying, Satellite Surveillance & Drones

Science fiction! Actually not. Over the last several years, technology available to the homeowners association has exponentially grown. Drones have become the proverbial “Soup de Jour.” An increasing numbers of homeowners associations use drones to inspect common areas, architectural improvements,

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6 Ways to Use Your Budget as a Catalyst for Change

In today’s chaotic world, we are all searching for more meaning – whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, or both. Relevancy is important, and our impact is the measurement of that relevancy.  While I could give you plenty

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May an HOA Board Waive HOA Assessments?

Is it legal for our HOA to waive assessments for board members?  Most Bylaws and/or CC&Rs in California provide that board members serve as volunteers. That is the California HOA model. Waiving assessments is no different than accepting compensation except

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Large Fee Recovery To Prevailing Defendants In CID Parking Space Dispute With Other Homeowners Reversed

In Hussein v. Driver, Case Nos. A144786/A145655 (1st Dist., Div. 4 Jan. 27, 2017) (unpublished), plaintiffs and defendants, homeowners in a common interest development as well as the parents of defendants, were drawn into a parking space dispute where slander

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When Can an HOA Board Call an Executive Session?

As a member of an HOA board you have many responsibilities. One of the most important and least understood by many Board members is the Executive Session. A good understanding of this matter may save headaches in the long run

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Buying Into an HOA, Part 3

The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily-mandated set of additional disclosures regarding the HOA (Civil Code Sections 1365 – 1368 and

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6 Common HOA Nuisances and How to Handle Them

Nuisances complaints are a major cause of legal action in HOAs, both by and against homeowners. For those who might be unfamiliar with what exactly a nuisance is, a nuisance typically consists of one or more of the following issues:

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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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