California appellate court upholds ruling on debt collection practices

Recently, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District upheld a ruling against a defendant and its related entities. Plaintiff had filed a class action lawsuit against the defendants, alleging that they had violated the FDCPA and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) in their debt collection practices related to homeowners’ association (HOA) assessments.    […]

10 Things Community Association Boards Are Doing Right

Community associations play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life within residential communities. In California, where community associations are prevalent, boards are implementing innovative and effective strategies to ensure their neighborhoods thrive. Here are the top ten things community association boards are doing right:  Read the article…………………………….

Maintaining Community Standards: Dos and Don’ts for HOA Board Members

As an HOA board member, you play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and appeal of your community. Upholding community standards is not just about enforcing rules; it’s about fostering a sense of pride, safety, and cohesion among residents. Balancing fairness and flexibility while addressing violations requires a thoughtful approach and effective communication. Let’s […]

HOA Homefront: 14 things I wish all HOA attorneys knew

This is the final installment in a five-part series on HOA roles.  Today’s column is about HOA attorneys.  1. Being an HOA attorney is not simply a job. Being trusted to guide communities is an honor and a sacred obligation.   Read the article…………………………….

I’d Like to Submit a Complaint. . .

One of the most important roles of a community association board is enforcement of its association’s governing documents, including CC&Rs, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations. One way a board may become aware of alleged violations of the governing documents is through owner-submitted complaints. In some communities, reviewing owner-submitted complaints can be a full-time job and […]

Insuring Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on HOA Grounds (CA)

QUESTION. Are homeowners who install an EV charging station required to carry insurance and name the association as an additional insured? –Andrew S.   ANSWER. Yes, owners are required to carry insurance. Unfortunately, the Legislature created some confusion over the additional insured requirement.     Read the Q&A………………………………..

The Increasingly Complex Board Election Process (CA)

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (California Civil Code (“CC”) §§5100-5145) mandates the following board election process for incorporated and unincorporated associations. Failing to comply with this process can lead to owner challenges of the election results and litigation, which in turn can lead to the election being voided, the association paying the challenging owner’s […]

Navigating the Transition Process with New HOA Board Members (CA)

Congratulations on your new role as an HOA board member! Your dedication to serving your community is commendable, and your commitment to ensuring the smooth operation of your homeowner’s association is vital. As you embark on this journey, it’s essential to understand the transition process and how to effectively integrate new board members into their […]

HOA Homefront: 18 things I wish all HOA members knew (CA)

This is the second in a five-part series on HOA need-to-know items. 1. HOA living involves a tradeoff of independence in exchange for the benefits the HOA provides. Someone unwilling to trust others to make decisions and who must personally make all decisions is probably not cut out for HOA living. The board makes decisions […]

Understanding Roles: The Board vs. Management Company in HOAs

Homeowners’ Associations play a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of residential communities. Ideally, at the heart of every HOA’s operations are two essential entities: the Board of Directors and the Management Company. While both entities work towards the common goal of enhancing community living, their roles and responsibilities are distinct.   Read the […]

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Community Associations

DEI is a term you might be hearing and reading about in the news lately. DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion. DEI is tied to civil rights laws and preventing discrimination in employment and housing based on someone’s characteristics. In California, the characteristics protected by law include:  Race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, immigration […]

Civil Code §4926. Meetings Entirely by Teleconference (CA)

(a) Notwithstanding any other law or the association’s governing documents, a board meeting or meeting of the members may be conducted entirely by teleconference, without any physical location being held open for the attendance of any director or member, if all of the following conditions are satisfied:   Read the article…………………………….

Reduced Quorum for Elections (CA)

QUESTION. If our 50% quorum is not achieved, is there a requirement that another vote take place but with a 20% quorum requirement? If so, how quickly does this need to take place?   Read the Q&A………………………………..

HOA Board Governance: Roles, Responsibilities, and Ethics

Homeowners’ Associations play a pivotal role in shaping the communities they oversee. At the heart of every HOA is its board of directors, a group of individuals entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions that affect the entire community. However, being an HOA board member is not merely a title; it comes with a set […]

Accusing Neighbor of Racism Is Not of Public Interest (CA)

Div. Eight of this district’s Court of Appeal held Friday that repeated accusations by owners of a condominium in a six-unit complex of racism and malfeasance on the part of another owner in emails to the homeowners association, an insurance company, neighbors and others, implicates too small and specific of an audience to qualify as […]

Do E-mail Exchanges Constitute A Meeting Of The Board? (CA)

In LNSU#1, LLC v. Alta Del Mar Coastal Collection Community Association,94 Cal. App. 5th 1050, 312 Cal. Rptr. 3d 707 (2023), two homeowners in a common interest development argued that their homeowners’ association violated state law governing open meetings when certain directors discussed items of association business by e-mails without giving all association members notice […]

Virtual Board and Member Meetings (CA)

Good news for directors and managers who hold virtual meetings but hate the hassles that come with hybrid meetings: you can legally hold solely virtual meetings! Read on for details.  Associations have been using virtual video communications platforms like Zoom, GoTo Meetings, and Microsoft Teams for the last few years to hold board and member […]

Harnessing Sustainability: HOA Community Composting and Rainwater Harvesting Programs (CA)

In the global pursuit of sustainability, homeowners associations (HOAs) are taking the lead by adopting innovative practices to make their communities greener. Two key initiatives, community composting, and rainwater harvesting programs, are gaining traction worldwide. These eco-friendly practices not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among […]

Managing Delinquent Board Members: Strategies for HOA Leadership (CA)

In the complex world of managing a homeowners association, one of the most challenging issues that board members may face is dealing with delinquent board members. These individuals can disrupt the functioning of the HOA, cause financial strain, and create tension within the community. Addressing this issue requires a delicate balance of assertiveness, diplomacy, and […]

HOA Homefront: Myths mold consultants use to scare residents, homeowners (pt 2) (CA)

Although mold trade organizations have created their own credentials and extensive and expensive cleanup protocols, the EPA recommendation to clean up a moldy area of up to 10 square feet is to wipe it with a cloth dampened with a diluted bleach solution.  Misleading and self-serving statements by the “toxic mold” industry continue to grab […]

HOA boards unintended victims of federal law aimed at terrorism

A federal law aimed at curtailing money laundering to benefit terrorists is catching the more than 120 homeowners associations in Ventura County and elsewhere in its net with new beneficial ownership filing requirements. In effect, individuals who are elected by their fellow homeowners to represent their communities could be asked to register with the federal […]

Overcoming the Challenge: Ensuring Renters Adhere to Community Guidelines (CA)

In the vibrant tapestry of community living, harmony and order are often maintained through carefully crafted rules and regulations. These are commonly referred to as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). These guidelines serve as the backbone of residential communities, ensuring that each member contributes to the neighborhood’s overall aesthetic and functional harmony.   Read the article…………………………….

HOA Homefront: Why ‘toxic mold’ myths continue to panic residents (CA)

In 2000, a new panic swept the country — “toxic mold.”  Twenty-four years of lawsuits and untold billions of dollars later, major mold myths continue to frighten residents and cause exaggerated repairs and unnecessary conflict. On one side of the debate is the mold industry: testers, consultants and mold clean-up contractors. On the other side […]

Homeowner Associations: $156,476.33 Is The Fees/Costs Award Against An In Pro Per Plaintiff Who Lost A Demurrer To The HOA And A Subsequent Appeal (CA)

We have posted many times on how attorney’s fees and costs are the “tail that wags the dog in litigation” in homeowner-HOA disputes, resulting in hefty awards for the prevailing party or resulting in a large expenditure fees even though no one is deemed to have prevailed. Harter v. Rancho Rios Homeowners Assn., Case No. […]

Navigating the Shadows: HOA Fraud and Community Safety (CA)

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a pivotal role in maintaining harmony and order in the fabric of community living. However, this structured environment is not immune to fraud and misconduct risks. HOA fraud casts a shadow over community trust and safety, raising concerns and demanding vigilance. This blog explores the intricacies of HOA fraud, offering insights […]

Say What? Court Says Boards Can E-mail (CA)

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District recently handed down a landmark decision impacting HOA governance. In LNSU #1 v. Alta Del Mar Coastal Collection Community Association, the court delves into the issue of e-mail communications between board members. For better or worse, the court essentially eviscerates the transparency component of the Open […]

Mastering the Architectural Review Process

Reviewing architectural applications is typically part of a community association manager’s bread and butter. However, the architectural review process can be fraught with stumbling blocks, and architectural disputes with homeowners can be drawn-out, expensive affairs. A few practice tips for processing architectural applications are listed below to help master the architectural review process:   Read the […]

Bridging the Gap: SB428 Expands Available Protections in the “HOA Workplace” (CA)

By now, most individuals in the industry are aware of the newly adopted AB648 (virtual meetings) and AB1458 (lowered quorum). However, SB428 is another bill that managed to fly under the radar and will ultimately have a significant impact by providing associations with a more expansive tool to protect those who serve community associations, including […]

Rules and Expectations of Managers and HOA Boards of Directors (CA)

If you have never owned a home that has a governing homeowners association (HOA), it can be difficult to sort out who does what. While collaboration among everyone involved is what helps to drive a community forward, it’s helpful to clarify responsibilities and align goals.   Read the article…………………………….

The Road Ahead: Embracing EV Charging in Homeowners Associations (CA)

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) represents a pivotal shift in our approach to transportation, marking a step towards sustainability and environmental responsibility. However, for many living in communities managed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs), the adoption of EVs brings forth the challenge of setting up convenient charging infrastructure. This blog delves into how HOAs can […]

What Happens to Owner Equity? (CA)

In past installments, we discussed why condominium projects are especially prone to a shortened service life. We analyzed why the condominium “business model” allows inadequate maintenance, leading to early deterioration. Finally, we listed the signs of failure—some obvious, some hidden—that will lead to a project’s obsolescence. In this installment, we will review what can be […]

CA FAIR Plan

Many boards of directors have been asking about the California FAIR Plan (CFP) and wanting quotes. For communities that are experiencing difficulties in obtaining property insurance, it may sound like the perfect solution, but only because details important to community associations are often left out when the media and the CA Department of Insurance talk […]

When has a Condominium Building Reached the End of its Service Life? (CA)

If you read the earlier installments of this series, you know that the service lives of condominium buildings are shortened by inspection, maintenance, and funding failures. Recognizing when a building may begin to reach the end of its service life may be easy or hard, depending on the type of failure. A catastrophic failure by […]

HOA Emergency Preparedness: How to Create an Emergency Evacuation Plan for Your Community

When it comes to HOA (Homeowners Association) emergency preparedness, having a well-thought-out evacuation plan is crucial. Disasters and emergencies can strike at any time, from natural disasters like earthquakes and wildfires to unexpected events like gas leaks or fires within the community. To ensure the safety and well-being of your community members, it’s essential to […]

New Legislation (CA)

AB 572. Assessment Limitation. Beginning January 1, 2025, new associations with affordable housing are limited to assessment increases for affordable housing to 5% plus cost of living, not to exceed 10% greater than the preceding regular assessment. This does not apply to associations with 20 units or less. “Affordable housing” means a unit occupied by […]

HOA Homefront: Understanding fair housing laws to help those who need it (CA)

California and federal law provide important protections for disabled persons. Morally and legally, doing what we reasonably can to help the disabled live as normally as reasonably possible is the right thing to do.  However, requesting residents and responding HOAs don’t always fully understand the legal requirements. HOAs are “housing accommodations” under the Fair Housing […]

Important Tax Deadlines for California HOAs

While understanding tax deadlines and requirements is crucial for any HOA board, navigating through these can be complex and overwhelming. The intricacies of tax filings often require professional guidance to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. In California, HOAs are subject to various tax reporting and filing deadlines, each with its own set of requirements and […]

Mum’s the Word When Disclosure Leads to Breach of Fiduciary Duty

It is common knowledge that a director has a fiduciary duty to his or her association and its members. To be a fiduciary means that the director has accepted the highest duty imposed by the law…….This duty also obligates the director to place the interests of the association and its members as a whole over […]

Understanding the Interplay Between an Individual Unit Owners’ Policy and Their HOA Policy is Crucial for Submitting Condominium and Townhome Claims in California

Of the 39 million potential insureds making up California’s population, over 14 million – or over 35% – live in homeowners association communities. Therefore, understanding whether their property damage claims fall under their individual or association insurance policies is essential to properly recovering insurance benefits. Equally essential is understanding which policy takes priority when property […]

How to Get Homeowners Excited About Your Community for the New Year!

Membership enthusiasm plays a key role in the success of every community. When homeowners are engaged and excited, the whole community can feel it. It makes the HOA a vibrant, bustling place to live. Not only does an engaged membership support high property values, but close-knit homeowners are integral to creating a true sense of […]

When Time Runs Out…Part II (CA)

The Typical Condominium “Business Model” will Not Sustain the Buildings: Condominium buildings are like rental apartments in their aesthetics and construction, with one significant difference—condominiums are mapped and built to be sold to individual unit owners. The ownership of rental apartments remains with one owner. Apartments are rented for a fixed period. Read the article…………………………….