Two important new California updates:
Civil Code §4515 (updated, effective January 1, 2018) provides protection to Homeowners from overreaching HOAs and management companies.
The Law Office of Paul DeSantis has provided services both to Associations forced to defend their HOA against frivolous Homeowner complaints, and to Homeowners forced to defend themselves against overreaching HOAs and management companies.
We have represented both sides in various disputes over the years. Sometimes a disgruntled Homeowner becomes a “bad apple,” unfairly attacking an HOA and trying to spread animus to other owners. However, sometimes the dispute is rooted in a Board majority with an improper agenda or a personal animus against a particular Homeowner. In a few situations, Boards have weaponized “House Rules” to suppress a whistle-blowing Homeowner, using management companies to further the Board’s agenda.
To correct blatant abuses, the legislature introduced “common sense” reforms to prevent HOA Boards from attempting to chill Homeowners’ free speech and other rights. Here is a link to the text with the legislative summary: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB407
Assembly Bill No. 634, “Go Solar” (effective January 1, 2018) clears significant legal hurdles to allow Homeowners Associations to Go Solar by installing rooftop solar PV electric systems.
HOAs act within a complex legal and political structure which requires careful compliance with the Davis-Stirling Act and the new AB 634 provisions. The goal is to promote the use of solar energy systems in condominium projects by protecting both the solar installer and the HOA from litigation, enabling the ability for HOA financing, and obtaining title company insurance endorsements, if needed. It is important to obtain legal advice before beginning a HOA solar energy project. Here is a link to the text with the legislative summary: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB634