2019 Bills Proposing New HOA Laws Are A Mixed Bag

2019 Bills Proposing New HOA Laws Are A Mixed Bag

This year Sacramento presents another spring season full of ideas for HOAs – some bad, some good, and some well-intentioned but needing revision. SB 323 Senate Bill 323 is a recycle of last year’s SB 1265, a bill vetoed by Governor Brown in September 2018. SB 323 would add burdensome new elements to the HOA election process and dictate to HOAs who could or could not serve as directors. The bill is as bad an idea this year as it was last year. As Governor Brown wrote while vetoing its predecessor, SB 323 “takes a once-size-fits-all(sic) approach, but not all homeowner associations are alike. If changes to an election process are needed, they should be resolved by the members of that specific community.” Associations should set their board eligibility standards, not Sacramento. SB 652 SB 652 addresses the conflict between architectural conformity and religious observance. Does a Jewish Mezuzah or Christian cross violate rules banning alteration of doorways? SB 652 would add a new Civil Code 4706, prohibiting associations from limiting or prohibiting display of religious items on entry doors of a member’s residence. There is no limitation on size, number, or appearance of doorway decorations, so long as they are religious. Perhaps some reasonable limit could be stated. Coauthored by sixteen legislators, it awaits committee assignment. SB 434 SB 434, authored by Senator Archuleta of Southeastern L.A. County, proposes to add a new Civil Code 5382. The proposed statute would require managing agents to produce the association’s records and property (manuals, transponders and keys, for example) within a certain time after termination and/or association request. Managers could not...
Bills That Made It in Sacramento and Some Which Didn’t

Bills That Made It in Sacramento and Some Which Didn’t

September 30 was the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature in 2018. Many bills affecting HOAs were signed, and two were vetoed. SB 261 This bill, signed by the Governor on September 27, amends Civil Code 4040 to allow homeowners to use email to request the HOA send communications via email to the homeowner, and amends Civil 4360 to require 28 days (instead of the current 30) notice to homeowners for proposed rule changes. SB 721 HOAs exempted. SB 721 requires multilevel residential properties to conduct inspections of balconies and other elevated elements every six years. Signed into law by the Governor on September 17, the final version of the bill exempts HOAs from its requirements. SB 1016 Time of Usage (“TOU”) Meters. SB 1016, signed by the Governor on September 13, adds a new Section 4745.1 to the Civil Code, protecting the installation of TOU meters for electric vehicle charging stations. HOAs may impose reasonable requirements on the requesting owner. AB 2912 New Association Financial Requirements. AB 2912 requires boards to review the HOA financials monthly instead of the current quarterly requirement. The new law, approved by the Governor on September 14, requires all HOAs to have fidelity (dishonesty) insurance in place. It also requires documentation of board authority for expenditures over $10,000 or 5% of the HOA’s budget, whichever is lower. SB 1128 and 1265 Vetoed. Two of the most troubling bills for California HOAs this year were Senate Bills 1128 and 1265. SB 1265 would have made it much harder for common interest development associations to preserve elections...
Client Alert: SB 1265 is Bad Legislation for Communities

Client Alert: SB 1265 is Bad Legislation for Communities

STOP SB 1265 (Wieckowski) Contact Governor Jerry Brown to veto SB 1265    August 30, 2018 SB 1265 (Wieckowski) if enacted into law will harm California community associations. If passed, the bill will increase the cost and complexity of HOA elections, jeopardize homeowner privacy, and significantly damage the sanctity of the secret ballot. The bill also prevents associations from imposing reasonable eligibility standards on board candidacy – such as a member who has unresolved architectural or disciplinary issues, or is actively suing the association. Many associations require a board member to live in the community, and this also would be outlawed by SB 1265. SB 1265 passed off the Assembly floor yesterday and the Senate today. It is now headed to the Governor’s office.Please urge Governor Brown to veto this bill. It’s bad for California HOAs. You can also CALL THE GOVERNOR at 916-445-2841, choose option #6 to speak to a person, and then ask the staffer who picks up for a VETO on Senate Bill 1265. They will ask for your zip code. That’s it. The whole process takes just a few minutes For the most recent updates on all pending legislation that may impact your community, please contact us at 877-446-2529. To view the original email message, click...
We Don’t Like Non-Resident Directors, or Pot Farms, in Our HOA

We Don’t Like Non-Resident Directors, or Pot Farms, in Our HOA

Dear Kelly, Are board members required have to own and live on site to become a board member? I am not finding any information on this in my CC&Rs or rules and regulations, and was wondering if you could shed some light on this question for me. Thank you in advance, K.Y., Downey Dear K.Y., Board eligibility standards under the Corporations Code are minimal – a director cannot be a felon and cannot be declared legally incompetent by a court. HOA eligibility standards are usually found in bylaws but can also be found sometimes in the election rules. The Friars Village v. Hansing case from 2013 confirmed that eligibility standards can be placed in election rules, so long as they do not conflict with the bylaws or CC&Rs. Some associations amend their bylaws or rules to bar directors from running for the board or serving as director if they are non-residents, have missed several meetings, are suing the HOA, or have a spouse or co-owner already serving on the board, to give some examples. However, a bill pending in Sacramento may change all that. Senate Bill 1265, authored by Senator Wieckowski, would overturn the Friars Village v. Hansing decision. If SB 1265 becomes law, the only disqualifications for board service will be if the person is not a member, has committed a felony involving financial dishonesty, or is confirmed delinquent after an internal dispute resolution process. If the bill becomes law, all other bylaw provisions regarding board eligibility will be voided, basically amending all bylaws. SB 1265 passed the Senate on May 30 by 25 to 12, and is...