Cases & Laws

New Common Interest Development Laws for 2008

The California Legislature started off the 2007 Legislative Session geared up to make numerous amendments to California law applicable to common interest developments. Among the top contenders were Assembly Bill 567 (establishing the Common Interest Development Bureau in the Department of Consumer Affairs), Assembly Bill 952 (prohibition on imposing certain assessments on low to moderate [...]

By | January 7th, 2008|Cases & Laws, CID News, Meetings|0 Comments

Hiring Unlicensed Contractors May Cost you More than you think!

In Heiman v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, a California Court of Appeal the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board’s ruling that an injured employee of an unlicensed and uninsured contractor was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This part of the decision is straightforward. The interesting twist applicable to common interest developments/homeowner associations is the characterization of the [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|Cases & Laws, Liability|0 Comments

Audit v. Financial Review

California’s statutes do not require homeowner associations to perform a yearly audit.  An association’s governing documents may, however, require an “audit.”  Otherwise, only the preparation of a yearly review of the financial statements of the association is required. Civil Code Section 1365 requires the Association to prepare and distribute the following documents, unless the governing [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|Cases & Laws, Liability|0 Comments

The Greener Side: Issues Involving Trees

By: Laurie F. Masotto, Esq. (originally published in Fall 1999) The issues that arise pertaining to a tree are often as numerous as its branches.  Trees also tend to evoke strong emotions and feelings that transcend logic and reason.  While trees may enhance the value of and add to the beauty of a community, they [...]

Tips for Special Meetings

By: Laurie F. Masotto, Esq. (originally published Summer 1998) At a board meeting, a “happy homeowner” who routinely violates the CC&Rs delivers a petition signed by six out of 100 homeowners, stating they want to call  a special meeting of the members for the purpose of  recalling the Board.  Questions frequently asked are: (1) do [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|Cases & Laws, Meetings|0 Comments

Potential Liability for Crimes on Premises

By: Laure F. Masotto, Esq. (originally published Fall 2000) The issue of liability for criminal acts occurring on both residential and commercial premises has been visited by the courts on numerous occasions in recent years.  Homeowners associations overseeing private residential communities have, in the past, been analogized to landlords, which under California law have been [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|Cases & Laws, Liability|0 Comments

The Privilege of Legal Bills

By: Laurie F. Masotto, Esq. (originally published in 2000) Readers may recall a prior article in our newsletter which outlined those records to which members are entitled to inspect, which are very limited, such as board or annual meeting minutes, financial statements, and the like, as compared to the directors’ nearly unfettered right to review [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|Cases & Laws, CID News, Enforcement|0 Comments

Lions at the Gate: an ARC Reviews an Application under new California code requirements

by: Johanna R. Deleissegues, Esq. (originally published Fall 2006) The Utopia Homeowners Association has over 1000 homes and is located in California.  The Utopia Architectural Review Committee (“ARC”) is a separate committee from the Association’s Board of Directors.  The Board and the ARC strive to maintain the highest aesthetic standards for the young community.  The [...]

Attorney’s Fees Authorized Against Association That Fails to Produce Minutes and Records

(originally published in Winter 2002) Moran v. Oso Valley Greenbelt Association (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 1029. The California Court of Appeal recently ruled on the issue of whether attorneys fees should be awarded where the prevailing homeowner did not incur any attorneys fees and where the homeowners association satisfied the claim before the lawsuit proceeded to [...]

By | May 25th, 2007|Cases & Laws, CID News, Enforcement|0 Comments

Individual Insurance Coverage Requirements May be Implied by Governing Documents

(originally published in Winter 2005) Palacin v. Allstate Insurance Company (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 855. California case law generally provides that because individual owners pay for association insurance through their assessments, they are entitled to whatever insurance coverage is available under the association’s master policy subject to the policy’s deductible. The master policy is considered primary, [...]

By | May 25th, 2007|Cases & Laws, Enforcement, Liability|0 Comments

Association Not Obligated to Enforce its Documents for “Suspected” Violations

(originally published in Winter 2005) Titus v. Barton Protective Services, Inc. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 906. In Titus v. Barton Protective Services, Inc. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 906, the Court of Appeal held that although an association’s Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) give the association the authority to make arrests and detain individuals for violating the governing [...]

Marital Status is Not Protected Class Under Unruh Act *

(originally published in Winter 2005) Koebke v. Bernardo Heights Country Club – Superseded by grant of review – not citable (2004) 116 Cal. App. 4th 791. *Please note that this case has been granted review by the California Supreme Court, and cannot be cited as good case law. Please watch our quarterly newsletter for updates [...]

Case Must be One to “Enforce” The Governing Documents for Attorney’s Fee Award

(originally published in Winter 2005) Salawy v. Ocean Towers Housing Corporation (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 664. It is well established that in an action to enforce the governing documents of a common interest development, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorneys fees pursuant to California Civil Code section 1354(f) [now 1354(c)]. In Salawy v. Ocean [...]

By | May 25th, 2007|Cases & Laws, CID News, Enforcement|0 Comments

Standard for Review of Unrecorded Guidelines is Whether they are Reasonable when Applied to the Project as a Whole

(originally published in Winter 2005) Rancho Santa Fe Association v. Dolan-King (Dolan-King II) (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 28. When disputes arise regarding an individual owner’s architectural improvement application to make modifications to his/her residence, quite often the primary issue of the dispute involves the application of the association’s architectural guidelines to that individual owner. For the [...]

By | May 25th, 2007|Cases & Laws, CID News, Enforcement|0 Comments

New Laws Affecting Associations

(originally published in Winter 2005) The California legislature has enacted several new laws and amended many existing laws relating to common interest developments. Associations are now required to follow a new informal dispute resolution procedure before they may resort to the existing Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) process identified in Civil Code section 1354 (Moved to [...]

By | May 25th, 2007|Architectural, Cases & Laws|0 Comments