Electronic Spying, Satellite Surveillance & Drones

By Stephen M. Kirkland, Esq. Originally Published March, 2015 Science fiction! Actually not. Over the last several years, technology available to the homeowners association has exponentially grown.  Drones have become the proverbial “Soup de Jour.”  An increasing numbers of homeowners associations use drones to inspect common areas, architectural improvements, combustibles on balconies in high rises, etc. Is this [...]


A nuisance is much like any other alleged violation of an association’s Governing Documents in that there must be a power source for the association to take enforcement action. While it is easy to allege that someone is “creating a nuisance,” it is often more difficult to prove that a nuisance is actually taking place. [...]

New Law – No Fines on Members During Drought – Effective Immediately!

Effective Monday, July 21, 2014, a homeowners association is no longer allowed to impose fines against members who reduce watering their lawns during a declared state of emergency due to drought, despite any provision in the association's governing documents to the contrary. Record low rainfall has prompted Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of [...]

Man’s Best Friend: Requests for Exemption From Pet Rules Under the ADA and FHA

Associations are sometimes faced with a request by a resident for an exemption from a rule limiting or restricting animals to accommodate the resident's disability.  The use of an animal to assist a person with a disability may involve issues under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), and state [...]

By | August 13th, 2013|Cases & Laws, CID News, Enforcement, Liability|0 Comments

Harassment of Managers – There are Limits!

On March 5, 2009, on behalf of a homeowners association (who requested not to be named in this article), the Law Firm of Peters & Freedman, L.L.P., took a homeowner to trial for Contempt for violating a Civil Restraining Order the Association had previously obtained on behalf of its manager.  Contempt trials are quasi criminal [...]

By | March 10th, 2009|Cases & Laws, CID News, Liability|0 Comments

Grants for Pool Repairs?

There has been an abundance of discussion in the past few months regarding the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.  This Federal law obligated every pool within a Common Interest Development to come into compliance regarding their pool drains and pumps by December 19, 2008.  While the method of compliance differs for every [...]

By | January 28th, 2009|Cases & Laws, CID News, Liability, Maintenance|0 Comments

The Scope of a Property Manager’s Authority

By: David M. Peters, Esq. It is often said, that the sole duty of a Board of Directors is to protect, maintain and enhance the value of the project. The vast majority of the Homeowners Associations contract and delegate authority to a management company. The Board of Directors typically meet monthly, bimonthly or sometimes even [...]

By | May 8th, 2008|CID News, Liability|0 Comments

Sexual Harassment

Many of our associations have staff members. Sexual harassment therefore may affect many of our clients. The article below emphasizes the proactive stance of Peters & Freedman, L.L.P., in preventing possible claims for associations. If your association has employees and would like assistance in drafting an appropriate sexual harassment prevention policy, please feel free to [...]

By | March 12th, 2008|Cases & Laws, Liability|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

Association Websites: The Do’s and Don’ts

By: Laurie F. Masotto, Esq. (originally published in Summer 2006) Association websites have become more popular, allowing members to conveniently access information from the comfort of their home, office or laptop without having to make a request to the manager or Board member, and without waiting for “snail mail” to arrive.  While these sites have [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|CID News, 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 [...]

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

Foul Play: Avoiding Basketball Disputes

By: Laurie F. Masotto, Esq. (originally published in Spring 1999) Basketball hoops often evoke strong emotions and heated battles within a common interest development, between two teams: those who want to play roundball at home, and those who do not want their community  to become an obstacle course of hoops and players.   The Association, as [...]

By | June 6th, 2007|Enforcement, Liability, Violations|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 [...]