New 2018 Updates

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:

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:



Important Legal News for Santa Monica Condominium Owners

The City of Santa Monica has enacted ordinances, which limit smoking, including smoking marijuana, and the use of online marketplace and hospitality services for people to lease or rent short-term lodging, such as Airbnb and VRBP.  The Santa Monica ordinances apply to all Santa Monica condominiums.  Why should our HOA update it’s Operating Rules (“House Rules”) and CC&Rs to address these issues?

If a resident violates a Santa Monica ordinance, it is possible to report the violation and request the City to enforce the ordinance.  Another remedy is available if the HOA includes similar provisions in its CC&Rs and House Rules.  This can provide additional HOA enforcement options, including fines, especially for repeat offenders.

When updating the HOA’s CC&Rs, the Board should review the current applicable City ordinances.  Next the Board should review the HOA options for its Master Management Documents to enhance HOA House Rules.

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