Thursday, June 15, 2017

Recent California Cases in Community Association Law


"Published" court decisions are law, and binding, while "unpublished" court decisions are not law. Although not law, unpublished decisions are extremely valuable as they illustrate how courts address various issues commonly faced by common interest developments.

Lingenbrink v. Del Rayo Estates Homeowners Association, No. D070194 (Cal.


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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Making Decisions to Protect the Association, Board and Volunteers: The Business Judgement Rule


By Christy Gargalis, Esq.

Board members face decisions every day in performing their duties on the Board of their association. These decisions range from maintenance decisions, such as hiring contractors to perform work, to enforcing governing documents. As we all know, every decision can be second-guessed by someone and can lead to litigation and potential exposure to personal liability. It is important for board members to know what steps they need to take to make sure their decisions are not second-guessed by another member of the association (or by the court if the decision is challenged in litigation).
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Friday, May 26, 2017

October 20 CAI Legal Forum


BGT Senior Partner Jeffrey A. Beaumont has been selected to speak at the 2017 CAI Legal Forum on October 20th in Universal City, CA. He will co-present with Robert Nordlund, Founder and CEO of Reserve Study, a program titled "Being Sued for Not Deciding or Doing!" For more information and to register, visit: Read more . . .


Friday, May 26, 2017

August 15 CAI-Orange County Chapter Luncheon


BGT Senior Partner Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq. will be speaking at the August 15 Orange County Chapter Luncheon on “How to Prepare for Small Claims Court.” For more information and to register, visit Read more . . .


Friday, May 26, 2017

June 15 and August 3 CAI-Channel Islands Chapter Programs


BGT Senior Partner Jeffrey A. Beaumont, Esq. will be co-speaking with Dennis Brooks of Design Build Associates for the CAI-Channel Islands Chapter Pismo Program on June 15th and Thousand Oaks Dinner on August 3rd. Their topic is on “Maintenance, Contracts & Contractors: Beyond the Basics.” For more information and to register, visit Read more . . .


Thursday, May 25, 2017

June 29 CAI Orange County Chapter Symposium and Expo


BGT Associate Attorney Brittany A. Ketchum has been selected to speak at the CAI-Orange County Chapter's Symposium and Expo on June 29th. She will speak on “Handling Marijuana Issues in HOAs.” BGT will also exhibit at the expo. For more information and to register, visit: Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

June 1 CAI-Greater Los Angeles Chapter Marketplace


BGT Partner Lisa A. Tashjian will be speaking at the CAI-Greater Los Angeles Chapter's San Fernando Valley HOA Marketplace on June 1st in Woodland Hills. She will present on "...
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Client Alert: Governor Lifts Drought Emergency in Most of California

On April 7, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown declared an end to California’s historic drought, and lifted the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne via Executive Order B-40-17. Consequently, unless a local government has declared a local emergency due to drought, an association is no longer prevented from imposing a fine against an owner for reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns. (Civil Code Section 4735 (c)(1)-(2).) Associations are encouraged to confirm with the local water purveyor/agency to determine the scope of local emergency drought regulations before taking enforcement action.

Note, Executive Order B-40-17 builds on actions taken in Executive Order B-37-16, which remains in effect, to continue making water conservation a way of life in California. The State Water Resources Control Board will continue to maintain urban water usage reporting requirements and interdictions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.

Although the Governor’s emergency order has been lifted, with exceptions, associations cannot adopt or enforce governing documents that prohibit, or effectively prohibit, owners from using low water-using plants or artificial turf in landscaping design. (Civil Code §4735.) Given the complexities surrounding this issue, many of our clients have enlisted our help to prepare guidelines on low water using plants and artificial turf, including rules and regulations regarding same. Please feel free to contact us to further discuss how we can help your association effectively address these issues.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Step-by-Step Approach to Amending and Restating Governing Documents

By Brittany A. Ketchum, Esq.  

It seems as though the laws change as frequently as the tides. Some years see more legal changes than others – changes that greatly affect the way boards manage the association’s affairs. The laws governing community associations have experienced so much change within the past three to four years alone that it may make your community’s governing documents unreliable, especially as they relate to homeowner rights and the functions of the board, officers, and management. It only makes sense to have governing documents that are updated and reflect modern law. Moreover, relying on outdated, antiquated governing documents may expose associations, board members, and even management to liability.

Step #1: Evaluate the Existing Governing Documents

The first step in amending or restating governing documents, whether the CC&Rs or Bylaws, is to review and evaluate the documents to determine whether any provisions are inconsistent with laws. To the extent there is any conflict or inconsistency between the law and the CC&Rs, the law will prevail. To the extent there is any conflict or inconsistency between the CC&Rs and Bylaws, the CC&Rs will prevail. This became California law on January 1, 2014 when Civil Code Section 4205 was adopted to establish a hierarchy amongst governing documents. Reliance on a provision of the CC&Rs or Bylaws that is inconsistent with the law exposes the association to liability.


Read more . . .


Monday, January 2, 2017

“Much Ado” About Recent Disclosure and Notice Requirements

By Tracy R. Neal, Esq.
Published in The Law Journal by CACM, Winter 2016

“Much ado” implies a lot of fuss over something relatively insignificant. While they may not be the most exciting aspect of association operation and management, disclosure and notice requirements are certainly not insignificant. Routinely changing disclosure requirements has become the new normal for community associations, and associations need to ensure that they keep current with mandated annual disclosure requirements.

The annual disclosure checklist for associations got a bit longer this year for condominium projects. In addition to disclosure requirements pursuant to California Civil Code §§ 5300 and 5310, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disclosures are now required as part of a condominium association’s Annual Budget Report. In 2015, AB 596 was signed into law, which requires that a condominium association disclose whether it has FHA certification and VA certification using specific language. These FHA and VA disclosure requirements are codified as California Civil Code §§ 5300(b)(10) and (11), respectively.


Read more . . .


Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016/2017 LEGAL UPDATE

The following is a summary of legislation enacted and court decisions from this past year, and news and current events, which impact common interest developments.

ENACTED STATE LEGISLATION

AB 968 (Gordon) Exclusive Use Common Area
Civil Code §4775

Section 4775 of the Civil Code currently holds associations responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing common areas while owners are responsible for maintaining their separate interest (e.g., condominium unit or lot) and any attached exclusive use common areas, unless the community's governing documents state otherwise. However, the current law fails to delineate whether associations or owners are responsible for the repairs and replacements of exclusive use common areas if the community's governing documents do not clearly establish same. In trying to clarify the current code's language, the legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 968 to amend Section 4775.

Effective January 1, 2017, associations will be responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing the common areas and repairing and replacing the exclusive use common areas while the owners of each unit are responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing their units and merely maintaining the exclusive use common areas, unless the community's CC&Rs provide otherwise.

This new bill may affect your community's obligations pertaining to exclusive use common areas. Reviewing your community's governing documents with legal counsel is strongly recommended to ensure that the new Civil Code language does not change how your association assigns maintenance duties. As many community's governing documents do not clearly establish responsibilities for the repair and replacement of exclusive use common areas, associations may now be responsible for them, which could significantly impact your community’s budget.



Read more . . .


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