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Common Interest Community Law


  • Once again the State of California is taking the lead toward cleaner, renewable and, hopefully less expensive, energy sources with the passage of Assembly Bill (“AB”) 2188 (which amends Civil Code §714). The purpose of this Bill is to expedite the process for approval of solar energy systems within California’s common interest communities by further limiting associations’ ability to restrict or ban the installation of such systems. Civil Code §714 had permitted associations to impose reasonable restrictions which do not significantly increase the cost or significantly decrease the efficiency of solar energy systems. The law will now prohibit restrictions which […]

  • Internal Dispute Resolution (“IDR”) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) procedures were adopted by the California Legislature in an effort to minimize the cost and to increase the efficiency of resolving disputes between associations and their members. Recently, the California Legislature adopted Assembly Bill 1738 which undermines this purpose by allowing either party to participate in the IDR process with the assistance of an attorney or other representative. I suspect that the outcome of this change will be to increase both the cost and effectiveness of IDR, and foreseeably, will increase the frequency of litigation. For more information contact: Matthew L. […]

  • 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 […]

  • A California Appellate Court has recently ruled that common interest communities must accept partial payments of delinquent assessments from their members pursuant to Civil Code Section 5655(a). The Court in Huntington Continental Townhouse Association v. Joseph A. Miner also confirmed that such obligation continues after a lien has been recorded against an owner’s separate interest for collection of delinquent assessments. The Court noted that if the association had accepted payment from the delinquent owner, the total amount of unpaid assessments would have been less than $1,800.00, which would have protected the owner from foreclosure under California law. Permitting an association to reject […]

  • Buying HOA Foreclosures in Nevada and believe you will take it free from any recorded first deeds? Not so fast! While the Nevada Supreme Court’s September 18, 2014 decision in SFR Investments Pool 1 v. U.S. Bank, 2014 WL 4656471 (Nev. Sept. 18, 2014) held that a lender’s first trust deed might be eliminated upon the foreclosure of a homeowner association’s assessment lien in light of it’s super priority status, a number of grounds exist which could prevent this from happening. This quick note will address one such basis. On Sept. 25, 2014, the United Stated District Court issued an […]

  • The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled, after much delay, that the non judicial foreclosure of a delinquent assessment lien by a common interest community extinguished the lien of the lender’s first trust deed. As noted by the Court “With limited exceptions, this lien is ‘prior to all — other liens and encumbrances’ on the homeowner’s property, even a first deed of trust recorded before the dues became delinquent,” To read this very important decision, download here.  For more information contact: Matthew L. Grode Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP 1880 Century Park East, 12th Floor Los Angeles, California 90067 […]

  • ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS AND THEIR IMPACT ON COMMON INTEREST The California legislature recently enacted Senate Bill No. 209 (codified as Civil Code Section 1353.9) which expressly mandates that those provisions of governing documents that prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station (“EVCS”) is void and unenforceable. CHARGING AHEAD…… If an owner intends to place a charging station within the common area or an exclusive use common area, he or she must first obtain Association approval prior to such installation. An Association must, however, approve such application if the owner agrees, in writing, […]

  • SAVING FOR A RAINY DAY – RESERVE OR ELSE . . . There has been much confusion concerning Associations’ legal duty to set aside funds for future repairs and/or for the replacement of major components. Hopefully, this Article will provide some clarity relative to this issue. By law, Associations with common areas are required to prepare a Reserve Study at least once every three (3) years. An exception to this requirement exists where the replacement value of all major components is less than one half of an Association’s gross budget. Generally, this exception only applies to Association’s with extremely limited […]

  • OUT WITH THE OLD (…WELL YOU KNOW THE REST)  Unquestionably, service on the Board of Directors for common interest community is a thankless position. Verbal abuse, threats of physical violence, long unpaid hours and telephone calls regarding members often insignificant problems in the middle night are the primary benefits received for such efforts. Occasionally, disgruntled owners seek to vent their frustration or further their personal agendas by targeting one or more members of the Board of Directors for removal. Of course, there are bad board members who occasionally deserve to be removed (and in some cases, imprisoned!). Nevada has established […]