HOA Homefront: Reader wants to know, ‘Is my dog allowed?’ (CA)

Q: I am hoping you could help me with my HOA that’s trying to remove my daughter’s support dog because of its weight and breed. They are threatening to come and have her removed because she got too big. Can they do this? It would devastate my daughter if they took her dog  Read the Q&A………………………………..

HOA Homefront – Reader Questions – Do Our Balconies Require Inspection? (CA)

Kelly, I am on the board for our HOA, which is comprised of single family residences. Does the new balcony law pertain to our situation? Quite a few of our homes have decks on the rear for a better view, all going through an architectural application to the architectural committee. Read the Q&A………………………………..

Coastal Commission weighs $4.7M fine for Rio Del Mar homeowners (CA)

The homeowners association governing most of those townhomes believes the path is private, and a Santa Cruz County judge agreed last year. The California Coastal Commission, the über-powerful agency that oversees land use along the state’s coast, has long argued that the path is public. Now, the commission is threatening penalties unprecedented in Santa Cruz […]

Santa Cruz County homeowners face $4.7 million in fines for blocking public access to beach walkway (CA)

Citing violations as far back as 1982, the commission will weigh a staff recommendation to fine the Rio Del Mar Beach Island Homeowners Association – and its estimated 27-home membership, most of which are vacation rentals – more than $4.7 million. Allegations include blocking the public’s access to a 37-foot-wide, almost quarter-mile long stretch of […]

HOA Homefront: A dozen long-term HOA challenges (CA)

Dear Readers, this marks the 700th “HOA Homefront” column since it debuted in 2005. At this milestone, I would like to share with you 12 significant challenges for HOAs.   Read the Q&A………………………

HOA Homefront: Q&A on elections and board shenanigans (CA)

Boards should not be playing tactical games to preserve their power. It’s a volunteer position, and if the community would prefer different leadership, egos need to be set aside in favor of the HOA’s democratic process   Read the Q&A………………………………

Rancho Santa Fe homeowners group illegally collected $1.5M in COVID-19 relief (CA)

The Rancho Santa Fe Association, the nonprofit homeowners group that runs a historic golf course and other amenities in the exclusive covenant near Del Mar, has acknowledged it applied for and collected $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds it was not eligible to receive.    Read the article………………………………

Hancock Park condo residents sue over ‘life-threatening’ flooding (CA)

When it rains, it really, really pours at The Rossmore. During one heavy storm last winter, 29 cars were flooded in the condominium complex’s underground parking garage at 585 N. Rossmore Ave.  “Every car was a total loss,” said Caroline Debbané, president of The Rossmore Owners Association (the condo residents’ HOA).   Read the article…………………………….

Canyon fire re-ignites community action (CA)

In the aftermath of the three-alarm fire that suddenly broke out in Canyon last month, awakening residents – most of whom evacuated immediately to Pinehurst Road and beyond – the community is now coming together to hone battle plans for what may come.   Read the article………………………………

Residents of East Garrison are coming to grips with taxes and fees that weren’t part of the sales pitch (CA)

Residents were concerned about a recent property tax bill that showed an approximate 40-percent increase in charges related to the CSD, which pays for ongoing services, in perpetuity, for things within the district like park maintenance. (One homeowner who shared their bills from fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24 showed a jump from $1,586 to $2,218 […]

HOA Homefront: Do we have to Zoom? (CA)

Q: I’m still confused about holding board meetings. We use Zoom for our meetings as we have no convenient place to meet in person. Is it a hard and fast rule that we must hold an occasional in-person meeting somewhere? If so, what if I offered to meet with any homeowners at the pool to […]

HOA Homefront: Do We HAVE to Zoom, readers ask? (CA)

Q: I’m still confused about holding board meetings. We use Zoom for our meetings as we have no convenient place to meet in person. Is it a hard and fast rule that we must hold an occasional in-person meeting somewhere? If so, what if I offered to meet with any homeowners at the pool to […]

Reader Questions: Who’s the Boss – Manager or Board? (CA)

Q:  I am president of an HOA with management whose performance has been lackluster. Lackluster is characterized by little to no communications unless initiated by the board, not following through with board instructions, and inability to manage our violations process in a steady and predictable manner.   Read the Q&A……………………………..

Los Robles Estates Homeowners Association has become a nationally recognized Firewise USA community. “What that means” (CA)

Residents of a Thousand Oaks neighborhood have come together to lower their wildfire risk. In so doing, the Los Robles Estates Homeowners Association has become a nationally recognized Firewise USA community. “What that means is that we have now received national recognition for having a framework for this community to be able to lower their […]

Sinkhole forces La Jolla residents out of condo (CA)

Residents of The La Jolla Terrace Condominium Complex are living in a hotel courtesy of the City of San Diego after a massive sink hole developed up against the property along Gilman Drive.     Read the article………………………………….

HOA Homefront — Appellate ruling OKs board email discussions (CA)

There is a transparency law within the Davis-Stirling Act called the “Open Meeting Act,” containing requirements regarding governance transparency. For years, many HOA lawyers have discouraged their clients’ boards from deliberating in email regarding HOA issues, because it seemed to violate the Open Meeting Act.    Read the article………………………..

Thousand Oaks condo fire kills 3 animals, displaces 4 people (CA)

A Friday morning fire killed two cats and a dog and displaced four people from a Thousand Oaks condominium complex.  One resident escaped the blaze by climbing out of their second-story window onto a carport, said Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Brian McGrath.    Read the article………………………..

HOA Homefront: Can our CC&Rs grow stale?

Q: Our Association has one board member who I’ll call “Rick.” “Rick” keeps repeating the same mantras: “Our CC&Rs are so old they aren’t enforceable.” (Our CC&Rs were written over 50 years ago but don’t have an expiration date.) “I know the law, and I have decided that some of the CC&Rs are arbitrary and […]

HOA Homefront: Avoid these HOA myths

There are HOA myths that are harmful. Here are some of the most common ones. Governing documents are boilerplate. Most HOA homebuyers read their purchase contract but ignore the CC&Rs, bylaws, and rules. Those documents are binding whether or not they are reviewed, so avoid surprises and read them.   Read the article………………………..

La Habra condo owners see a gaping chasm where their greenbelt used to be (CA)

The chasm runs the full length of the condominium complex, from the shuttered tennis courts to the shuttered pool. Measuring more than 500 feet long and 20 feet wide, the gash divides the complex in two, its weed-choked perimeter cordoned off with chain-link fencing. A grimy trickle of water oozes along the chasm’s concrete floor […]

HOA Homefront — Can entities charge transfer fees? (CA)

Q. Someone who just moved told me that there is an HOA transfer fee of over $800, however it was reduced to just over $500 when he questioned the price. Even the escrow person questioned the $800+. We were involved with two HOAs in Washington State before we moved here and no transfer fee with […]