A HOMEOWNER’S”Bill of Rights”
A Homeowner’s “Bill of Rights”(of sorts) exists in California. Under California law, Community Association’s Boards of Directors and Managers (as applicable per their contracts) of Common Interest Developments are required to:
- Provide an annual budget each year, by mail, to each owner, in a timely fashion (CC 1365(a))
- Identify major components and adopt a funding plan, and report on reserves needed to fulfill the plan vs reserves provided (money already collected) (CC 1365(u))
- Provide an annual financial report (CC 1365(b,c))
- Avoid comingling of funds (except in limited circumstances) with funds of other associations or the management company (CC 1363.2)
- Give not less than 30 nor more than 60 day notice of regular and special assessments before the date they become due (CC1366(c))
- Provide annual notice (summary) of Alternative Dispute Resolution rights (CC 1354(i))
- Provide annual notice of the policy on how liens and collections are handled (CC 1365(d))
- Provide annual notice relating to association insurance coverage (CC 1365(c))
- Provide annual notice relating to right of owner to review and obtain minutes of meetings (CC 1365.05(d))
- Provide schedule of fines and penalties (if any are to be imposed on owners) (CC 1363(g))
- Allow owners to attend Board meetings except for executive session (CC 1363.05(b))
- Allow owners a reasonable time to speak at Board and annual meetings (CC 1365.05(i))
- Provide fair and reasonable nomination and election procedures (CORP 7520, 7521)
- Respond to a petition to call a special meeting of members with 5% homeowner support, within enumerated timelines (CORP 7510(e))
- Adhere to a statutory scheme that provides a mechanism for owners to remove (recall) a director without stating cause (CORP 7222)
- Provide a reasonable hearing process when considering discipline of a member (CORP 7341)
- Provide rights to owners or their appointed agents to examine and copy records, and for owners to receive a membership list (within guidelines and with some limitations) (CORP 8330-8338)
- Post notice of Board meetings at least 4 days before the meeting or give alternative notice to the owners (CC 1363.05(g))
- Avoid appearances of impropriety, illegal borrowing, and illegal distributions, and to disclose conflicts of interest (CORP 7233, 7236)
[Note: CC = Civil Code and CORP = Corporations Code] Most of these rights are also enumerated in the National Community Associations Institute (CAI) Bill of Rights. See the Resource page and publications for more information.
By Beth A. Grimm, a community association attorney in California, East Bay Resource Panel Chairperson and author of various publications and books about condominium living and the law, and a frequent contributor to THE ECHO JOURNAL.
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