California Legislature recently adopted Assembly Bill 968 (“AB 968”) which amends Civil Code §4775 of the State’s common interest development law; the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act so as to clarify the allocation of responsibility between the Association and its members for the maintenance, repair and replacement of a community’s components. Unless otherwise provided in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, the Association is responsible for maintaining, repairing, or replacing the common areas, other than the exclusive use common areas, while the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining such separate interest. AB 968, which becomes effective on January 1, 2017, serves to clarify that: (1) Unless otherwise provided in the Declaration, the Association is responsible for maintaining, repairing and replacing the common areas; (2) the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing separate interest; and (3) the owner of the separate interest is responsible for maintaining the exclusive use common areas appurtenant to the separate interest which the association is responsible for repairing and replacing the exclusive use common areas.
In other words, while an owner is responsible for the “maintenance” of the exclusive use common areas, the association is burdened with the repair and replacement of the same. Inevitably, disputes will arise regarding the meaning of “maintenance” in the context of this new statute which will require further clarification from the Courts and/or Legislature
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