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Publications

Changes At DFEH, And Why It Matters To You

Introduction The acronym “DFEH” is becoming increasingly known to homeowner’s associations, and in a most unhappy way.  The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has broad authority to enforce California’s fair housing laws.  A letter of inquiry or complaint from the Department may herald the beginning of an expensive legal problem for the […]

Making Accommodations for Nonsmokers and Smokers

Introduction It is well understood that homeowners associations should enforce the governing documents of the association in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner so as to avoid a possible defense of discriminatory enforcement, although the association has some good faith discretion concerning when and how to do so. See e.g. Beehan v. Lido Isle Community Association […]

Dissolution of an Association - Can It Be Done?

Why The Members Called for Dissolution The angry and dispirited homeowners at the annual meeting could only agree on one thing. The association should be dissolved. The board members had resigned after endless disputes over the funding of repairs, special assessments, collections and intra-Association litigation. Only a few homeowners cared enough to vote and to […]

Making Accommodations

Introduction It is well understood that homeowners associations should enforce the governing documents of the association in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner so as to avoid a possible defense of discriminatory enforcement, although the association has some good faith discretion concerning when and how to do so. See e.g. Beehan v. Lido Isle Community Association […]

Checklist For Vendor Contracts: A Guide for Community Association Managers

There are essential clauses that should be part of every contract between a homeowners association and its vendors. These key terms give the association substantial legal benefits in the event of a dispute, mediation, arbitration or lawsuit concerning non payment or a failure to properly perform contractual duties. These protections will only be assured by […]

Registered Sex Offenders

Introduction Associations want to know what responsibility they and the board of directors have to disclose the residence within the subdivision of a registered sex offender, as disclosed by the website maintained by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California. They also ask whether the Association should allow residents of the […]

Fair Housing Compliance

Introduction Americans believe in the fundamental principle of equal opportunity for all citizens. The federal and California laws and regulations seeking to implement the goal of equal opportunity in housing are voluminous. These laws sometimes result in unexpected outcomes. It is important that directors of homeowners associations, managers and professional advisors be generally informed of […]

Fiduciary Responsibility of Association Directors: Practical Application of Legal Theory

Introduction The law of fiduciary responsibility can be viewed as having two purposes. The first is moral or educational in nature. The law sets a standard for appropriate conduct of association directors. It is intended to guide proper conduct and avoid inappropriate actions. The other role of the law of fiduciary duty is to act […]

Aberrant Behavior in Associations

Introduction At the monthly board meeting members come forward with the following reports: There is a “peeping tom” living in the community; An exhibitionist is displaying his “charms” in the subdivision; a member may have Alzheimer’s disease and parades unclothed through the subdivision at night; a known mentally disordered sex offender (“MDSO”) moved into the […]

Special Assessments

Introduction: Why Special Assessments? ‘Special Assessments’ – the term conveys a host of meanings. To boards and managers, it is a tool to achieve the funding needs of the homeowners association. To homeowners, special assessments have a much different and negative connotation. They are a threat to financial security, and imply possible mismanagement or wrongdoing […]

Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, 2014 - A Brief Overview

Background Culminating ten years of work, the California Law Revision Commission (CLRC) issued its Statutory Clarification and Simplification of CID law in February 2011 (the Recommendation). The California Legislature adopted the Recommendation as AB 805, effective January 1, 2014, which restates the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (the Act). A companion bill, AB 806, also […]