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California Regulations Mandate Stricter Maintenance Requirements for Community Association Pools

HOA PoolCommunity pools provide welcome relief from summer heat. They also impose certain obligations on operators of those pools, including community associations. Recent regulations adopted by the California Department of Health define “public pools” to include pools maintained by community associations. The most dramatic changes are set forth in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (the “Regulations”) which were amended effective January of 2015. Others are contained in the California Building Code contained in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, which also were amended, effective January 2014. Associations should know that local health agencies are starting the process of enforcing these new standards. Because some of these changes significantly impact the way associations must service, monitor, and track activity at community pools, associations would be well-advised to note the requirements and implement any necessary changes to ensure compliance now and down the road.

Specifically, there are several amendments to the Regulations that affect association management of community pools, including (1) new parameters for water characteristics; (2) strict daily monitoring of public pool facilities and requirements for written records; (3) enforcement of specific safety and first aid equipment; (4) requirements that a public pool have at least one keyless exit and self-closing latches; and (5) imposition of health restrictions for employees or pool users.

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Posted in News.

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California Appellate Court Affirms Association’s Right to Impose Restrictions on Hardwood Flooring

FlooringOne of the consistent issues plaguing condominium associations is that of unapproved hardwood floors, often installed in an attempt not only to improve or beautify the unit, but also help alleviate dust allergies. However, when installed over a lower floor unit, they can lead to conflict over increased noise. In the case of  Ryland Mews Homeowners Association v. Munoz (2015), 234 Cal. App. 4th 705, the appellate court affirms an association’s right to require prior community association approval before installation of hardwood floors.

The Ryland Mews court found that, even in the case of hardwood floors installed to combat dust allergies, the increased noise resulting from the removal of carpeting and installation of hardwood floors constituted a nuisance to the residents of the lower floors, justifying the granting of a preliminary injunction which required the installing owner to place throw rugs over much of the flooring. Continued…

Posted in Governance, News, Operations.


URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT – Governor Brown Signs Emergency Executive Order Banning HOAs.

California Governor Jerry Brown today signed an emergency executive order banning homeowners associations in California. The order, which took effect at noon on 4/1/2015, declares all CC&Rs to be void, and all associations immediately dissolved. “I am taking this action to address all the homeowners whose property values are artificially inflated because they have an association taking care to maintain the common area in nice, neat and attractive conditions and forcing people to keep their homes neatly painted and maintained. It’s not fair to people who don’t have the advantages of those living in an HOA, so I’m eliminating them,” Brown said as he signed the order.

Immediately after signing the order Brown tore it up, exclaiming “April fools!”

Posted in News.


2014 Legislative and Case Law Update for California Community Associations

legislative-update_original_cropLegislative Update

 One could say that 2014 was a “dry” year for legislation affecting community associations because some of the most important legislation this year affecting associations addressed an association’s ability to enforce governing documents in times of government-declared drought. However, the year also brought new legislation clarifying who is responsible for repair and replacement of exclusive use common area, new rules regarding Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR), and solar energy installations by owners.

1.      AB 968 – Repair and Replacement of Exclusive Use Common Area

What started out as a bill designed to relieve small associations from the expensive burden of dual envelope, secret ballot elections, was amended this year to instead address an ambiguity in the Davis-Stirling Act with respect to maintenance responsibility of exclusive use common area.

Common area is area within an association that is generally owned by the association. Examples of common area include a community pool, roofs in a condominium project, or a community clubhouse. This is as opposed to the separate interest owned by the members, such as the interior of an owner’s unit where the members live in a condominium project. There are, however, some areas that are owned by the association, but which are designated for the exclusive use of a particular unit. These areas typically include balconies or patios. These areas may be defined in the association’s governing documents as “exclusive use common area” because they are owned by the association (and, thus, common area), but are used exclusively by the residents of a particular unit.

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Posted in Governance, News, Pending legislation.

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There is a New Day Care Home in the Association. What can the Board Do?

Day careAssociations cannot prevent the running of a day care at a residence in the Association. As a matter of public policy, under Health and Safety code section 1597.40(a), children in a day care home are to be provided the same environment as is provided in a traditional home setting. As a result, the California legislature has declared day care centers in residential single-family homes cannot be prohibited, and determined than any restrictions that directly or indirectly limit the acquisition, use, or occupancy of property for a family day care home for children are invalid and unenforceable. H&S §1597.40(c). A “day care home” is defined as one that regularly provides care, protection, and supervision for 14 or fewer children for periods of less than 24 hours per day.” H&S §1596.78(a).

While they cannot be prohibited, Day Care homes are subject to reasonable regulations. Such regulations can include the following:

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Posted in Governance.