This article was published in the CAI Orange County Regional Chapter’s OC View Magazine. Click Here to view the published version.
Community 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.
Continue reading “California Regulations Mandate Stricter Maintenance Requirements for Community Association Pools”
While the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) generally doesn’t apply to Homeowners Associations, for those who need it, the Washington Times reported that on March 15, 2012 the DOJ issued 60 day stay on the requirement for public pools to have two “accessible means of entry.
While the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) generally doesn’t apply to Homeowners Associations, for those who need it, the Washington Times reported that on March 15, 2012, the DOJ issued a 60 day stay on the requirement for public pools to have two “accessible means of entry,” at least one of which must be a ramp or wheel chair lift. Public spas must also be accessible under the new rules. The DOJ may also consider a full six month extension to give pool owners additional time to address issues surrounding compliance with these requirements.
Some vendors are pressuring Associations to purchase these lifts, and some Boards are unclear as to whether they are actually required to install lifts at common area pools. Any association which has a question as to whether these rules apply to their pools should consult with counsel to determine if the ADA applies to the Association, and if compliance with these rules is required.
Nevada bill AB 361 may soon provide Homeowners Associations in Nevada the right to maintain the yards of foreclosed homes within their communities without fear of being liable for trespass.
Pending Nevada bill AB 361 may soon provide Homeowners Associations in Nevada the right to maintain the yards of foreclosed homes within their communities without fear of being liable for trespass. The Nevada State Assembly Judiciary Subcommittee heard testimony on the bill this week before referring the bill back to the full committee for consideration at a later date.
As the foreclosure crisis has spread, unoccupied, untended homes have been a growing concern for community associations for reasons of health, safety and property values. But the associations have been unable to do anything because tending to the bank-owned properties would technically be trespassing. The proposed bill would require a lender that forecloses on a residence within a homeowners association to notify the association and provide it with the lender’s contact information. The association would then be able to enter the property for the purpose of maintaining the grounds, the exterior and abating public nuisances. Any expenses the association incurs would be filed as a lien against the property, which would have to be paid when sold.
While this option would allow associations to recover some of the costs they will incur, it also opens up a myriad of issues such as whether the association would face any liability if it knows of squatters, or any dangerous condition on the property. It also would create a special class of property owner.
When a bank takes title to a property through foreclosure, just like any other property owner, it is subject to the CC&Rs, including any maintenance requirements. All other property owners in an association are required to maintain the property themselves, and do not have the option of allowing the association to take up the maintenance. Allowing banks to fail to undertake their maintenance obligation is simply another type of bank bailout. The association will have to front the maintenance expenses and will only recover those costs when the home is sold. Since the association would not have any control over when the property is sold, it could potentially be faced with fronting the cost to maintain a property for months or even years. As a result, the association (and by extension the other property owners) are faced with the expense of maintaining bank owned property, while the bank incurs no expense until the property is sold.
While creating a mechanism to allow HOAs to enter onto the land and maintain a bank owned home may seem like a good idea, it places a burden on the association and other homeowners, and creates a special class of property owner. If an association is going to be allowed to enter onto the unkept property owned by a bank, it should be able to enter onto and maintain all unkept property, not simply foreclosed homes.
Hopefully, the bill will be amended to extend an associations’ ability to maintain any property where the owner is not meeting their maintenance obligations, not simply bank owned property. Further, the association should continue to access the propety owner, and the bill should allow the association to assess a fine which would “encourage” banks and other property owners to undertake their maintenance responsibilities rather than relying on the association to take over those obligations.