Updated Guidance on All Tier Restrictions Issued by State

Today, we are providing you with another update which truly highlights the fluid nature of living during this coronavirus pandemic, as well as the ever-changing guidelines established by public health officials in an effort to keep the public safe.

Some of the information provided to our Riverside County contacts in the email update earlier this week has already become outdated based on changes made late Tuesday afternoon by the State’s Department of Public Health.

As a reminder, the tiers are:

  • Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • Tier 2 – Substantial (red)
  • Tier 3 – Moderate (orange)
  • Tier 4 – Minimal (yellow)

The tier your county has currently been assigned will determine what reopening restrictions are imposed on various businesses and activities. Please be aware that no matter the tier, all applicable industry guidance issued by the State, your local county and city officials, and the CDC must continue to be followed.

As of October 20, 2020, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties*:

  • San Diego County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)
  • Riverside County: Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • San Bernardino County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Los Angeles County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Orange County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)

Riverside County has been reassigned from the red tier to the purple tier and affected businesses must change operations by Friday, October 23. For information regarding the tier assigned to your county visit the California COVID-19 Safer-Economy webpage.

The State has updated its guidelines on the various sectors as follows:

POOLS

Widespread (purple):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Substantial (red):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Moderate (orange):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Indoor saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
Minimal (yellow):
  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open.
  • Outdoor hot tubs may remain open only for use by one household group at a time or in cases where six feet of distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor pools, saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms may open when physical distancing can be maintained for non-household groups.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools / Aquatic Venues” found in the State’s Industry Guidance for Gyms and Fitness Facilities.
GYMS & FITNESS CENTERS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

LIBRARIES

 Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

OUTDOOT RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

In all Tiers:

RESTAURANTS

Widespread (purple):
Substantial (red):
  • Restaurants may open indoor with modifications. Capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
  • Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Dine-In Restaurants.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.
Moderate (orange):
Minimal (yellow):

HAIR SALONS

In all Tiers:

OUTDOOR GATHERINGS

In all Tiers:
Some outdoor private gatherings are permitted. Read more details in the State’s Private Gatherings Guidance. Such gatherings must meet the following conditions:
  • Attendees must be from no more than 3 separate households, including hosts and guests.
  • Host should collect names of all attendees and contact information
  • Duration should be 2 hours or less.
  • Wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands frequently
  • Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms .
  • Do not attend if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (seniors, those with certain medical conditions).

Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19

Riverside County Purple Tier Restrictions

As you may be aware the State’s Department of Public Health assesses indicators weekly (including each county’s rate of new cases and positivity) on Mondays and releases updated tier assignments on Tuesdays for each of its counties, as part of its “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.”

As of October 20, 2020, the State has assigned these tiers to the following counties*:

  • San Diego County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)
  • Riverside County: Tier 1 – Widespread (purple)
  • San Bernardino County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Los Angeles County (no change): Tier 1, Widespread (purple)
  • Orange County (no change): Tier 2, Substantial (red)

Riverside County has been reassigned from the red tier to the purple tier and affected businesses must change operations by Friday, October 23.

  • How does this reassignment to the purple tier affect community associations located in Riverside County with respect to amenities that must now be closed?
  • What can remain open?

Riverside County
Community Associations are subject to the following guidance while in the purple-tier:

GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS

RESTAURANTS

  • Restaurants may serve patrons outdoors only.
  • If associations have reopened indoor dining within restaurants with limited occupancy, they must now be closed. Associations must follow all applicable provisions of the State’s Industry Guidance for Restaurants providing outdoor dining, takeout, drive-through and delivery.
  • Bars where no meals are provided must remain closed.

LIBRARIES

HAIR SALONS

OUTDOOR POOLS

  • Outdoor pool operations may remain open. Outdoor spas/hot tubs must remain closed.
  • Associations must follow all applicable “Additional Considerations for Swimming Pools/Aquatic Venues” found in State’s Industry Guidance for Fitness Facilities.

OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

*There are four (4) tiers which include Widespread (the most restrictive), Substantial, Moderate and Minimal (the least restrictive). For information regarding the tier assigned to your county please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

AB 3182 Q&A

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On September 28, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 3182 (“AB 3182”). AB 3182, among other things, amends Civil Code section 4740 and adds new Civil Code section 4741. AB 3182 may substantially change the way in which community associations address rentals. These changes take effect on January 1, 2021.

The ultimate effects of AB 3182 are currently unknown and the community association legal community is grappling with how to interpret this new law and its impacts.

Our firm, however, endeavors to provide timely information on such important legal matters impacting community associations so we are sending this update now although the full implications of this new law are presently unknown.

As such, we have prepared the below Q&A as an educational tool only. Please note:

  • Nothing below should be construed as legal advice.
  • Discussions surrounding AB 3182 are ongoing and as our understanding of this new law evolves the answers below are subject to change.
  • Contact your community association’s legal counsel for further information.

Q1.  If my community association has a minimum rental period of 30 days or less in its governing documents, what must we do in light of the new law?

A. Nothing. A minimum rental period of 30 days or less does not violate the new law. Section 4741(c) specifically states, “This section does not prohibit a common interest development from adopting and enforcing a provision in a governing document that prohibits transient or short-term rental of a separate property interest for a period of 30 days or less.”

Q2. If my community association has a minimum rental period of more than 30 days in its governing documents, does the new law require us to amend our governing documents?

A. Section 4741(c) is ambiguous on this point. The community association legal community is currently split as to how to interpret this provision. The most conservative reading of subsection (c) is that minimum rental periods longer than thirty (30) days are unenforceable. If your community association’s governing documents contain a provision which has a minimal rental period longer than 30 days, please contact your legal counsel for additional guidance.

Q3. What if my community association has a rental cap of less than 25% of the separate interests?

A. If your community association’s governing documents place a limit on the total number of separate interests that may be rented at one time, and the limit is less than 25% of all separate interests, then that governing document must be amended to comply with the new law. If the document is not amended, the rental cap would be completely unenforceable.

Q4. What if my community association has a rental cap of 25% or more of the separate interests?

A. If your community association’s governing documents place a limit on the total number of separate interests that may be rented at one time, and the limit is 25% or more of all separate interests, then that governing document complies with the new law and no amendment is necessary.

Q5. If my community association has a percentage rental cap, does a rented ADU or JADU count towards the rental cap?

A. No. The rental cap refers to “separate interests” which section 4741(d) makes clear does not include ADUs or JADUs. This means that if an owner resides in either the primary residence, ADU, or JADU none of these may be counted as rented or leased for purposes of the community association’s rental cap (Civil Code section 4741(e)).

Q6. If my community association’s CC&Rs do not comply with the new law, do we have to amend the CC&Rs?

A. Amending the CC&Rs is the most conservative approach. However, there is a split in the legal community as to whether adopting a rule to comply with the new law would suffice (see question 9 below for further discussion on this point). Please contact your legal counsel for additional guidance.

Q7. If my community association must amend its CC&Rs in light of the new law, does that amendment require a membership vote, or can our board record a CC&R amendment without the consent of the members?

A. If our firm prepared your community association’s restated CC&Rs, it is possible those documents already include language that permit a board to record CC&R amendments to comply with the new law without the consent of members. However, in the absence of such language in your CC&Rs giving the board the power to make amendments, we believe the members would have to vote to approve the CC&R amendments.

Q8. If a membership vote is held to approve CC&R amendments, what happens if the members and/or lenders (if required) reject amendments to the CC&Rs to conform with the new law?

A. Under certain circumstances a community association may seek court approval of those proposed amendments through Civil Code section 4275 or Corporations Code section 7515 based on the actual outcome of the vote (although, seeking court approval might not be necessary). Civil Code section 4741(g) states, “A common interest development that willfully violates this section shall be liable to the applicant or other party for actual damages, and shall pay a civil penalty to the applicant or other party in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).” If a community association puts the matter up for a vote of the members and the members do not approve it, arguably the association will not have willfully violated the law. If a community association does not seek judicial approval of the amendment, see #9 below for a possible option.

Q9. Could my community association simply adopt rules that comply with the new law instead of amending the CC&Rs?

A. It’s unclear. It would appear that existing rental provisions which violate the new law would become unenforceable under the new law. There is an argument that the board could simply enact a rule to clean up the existing provisions to regulate rentals in compliance with the new law, however, section 4741(g) states that an amendment is required. We believe boards should attempt a membership vote to approve any required CC&R amendments. Then, if that fails, boards could enact rules that comply with the new law. Whether a rule is sufficient to comply with the law is questionable. There is a body of law that suggests that members must vote on the issue of rental restrictions, so a rule might not be sufficient (and the association could not enact new rental restrictions without member consent). Further, existing law (Civil Code section 4740(a)) might make those new rental restrictions inapplicable to existing members.

Q10.  If members approve amendments to conform with the law, which members are bound by the amended provisions?

A. It’s unclear. The answer to this question may depend upon whether language in the current document “prohibits” or “unreasonably restricts” rentals in violation of either Civil Code section 4740 or 4741. If an existing rental provision (e.g., a cap of 25% or less) is construed as either a prohibition or an unreasonable restriction, it would be unenforceable and an amendment would be necessary to conform to the new law. In that case, it is possible the amendment may only apply to new purchasers after adoption of the amendment. Hopefully, the Legislature will adopt clean-up legislation next year to address this issue. In the meantime, please contact your legal counsel for additional guidance.

AB 3182 (Rental Restrictions) Chaptered!

By Dea C. Franck, Esq.

Today Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 3182 (“AB 3182”) which will become effective January 1, 2021.

Among other things, AB 3182 amends Civil Code section 4740 and adds a new section 4741 to the Civil Code. The new section 4741 provides that an owner of a separate interest in a common interest development (“CID”) will not be subject to a governing document provision that prohibits, has the effect of prohibiting, or unreasonably restricts the renting or leasing of a separate interest, accessory dwelling units (“ADU”), or junior accessory dwelling unit (“JADUs”) to a renter, tenant or lessee. section 4741 will allow CIDs to adopt or enforce governing document provisions which prohibit transient occupancy or short term rentals of separate interests for 30 days or less. However, section 4741 will prohibit CIDs from:

  • Adopting or enforcing a governing document provision that restricts the rental or lease of separate interests in the community to less than 25% of the separate interests regardless of when the provision was adopted (adopting or enforcing governing document provisions authorizing a higher percentage of separate interests to be rented or leased are allowed).
  • Treating ADUs and JADUs as separate interests.
  • Counting a residence as being occupied by a tenant, if the separate interest, ADU or JADU is also occupied by the owner.

Section 4741 will require CIDs to comply with the new law on and after January 1, 2021, regardless of what their governing documents provide. However, CIDs are required to amend their governing documents to conform to the requirements of this new law no later than December 31, 2021. This new law does not provide an exception to the membership approval requirements for any CC&R amendments necessary to comply with this new law. Section 4741 also states that a CID which “willfully violates” this law, including the governing document amendment requirements, shall be liable to the applicant or other party for actual damages and shall pay a civil penalty to the applicant or other party in an amount not to exceed $1,000.

In addition to the above, AB 3182 also requires local agencies to magisterially approve an application for a building permit within a residential or mixed use zone to create one ADU and one JADU per lot so long as certain building requirements are met. Moreover, AB 3182 provides that if a local agency has not acted upon a completed application for the creation of an ADU and/or a JADU within sixty (60) days, the application is deemed approved.

AB 3182 may cause sweeping changes to your community. Please consult with your community’s legal counsel for additional guidance regarding how AB 3182 may affect your community and what your community needs to do to comply.

 

Keywords: ADU, JADU

Lab. Code §2776. Independent Contractors

California Labor Code  >   Lab. Code §2776. Independent Contractors

Section 2775 and the holding in Dynamex do not apply to a bona fide business-to-business contracting relationship, as defined below, under the following conditions:

(a) If an individual acting as a sole proprietor, or a business entity formed as a partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or corporation (“business service provider”) contracts to provide services to another such business or to a public agency or quasi-public corporation (“contracting business”), the determination of employee or independent contractor status of the business services provider shall be governed by Borello, if the contracting business demonstrates that all of the following criteria are satisfied:

(1) The business service provider is free from the control and direction of the contracting business entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact.

(2) The business service provider is providing services directly to the contracting business rather than to customers of the contracting business. This subparagraph does not apply if the business service provider’s employees are solely performing the services under the contract under the name of the business service provider and the business service provider regularly contracts with other businesses.

(3) The contract with the business service provider is in writing and specifies the payment amount, including any applicable rate of pay, for services to be performed, as well as the due date of payment for such services.

(4) If the work is performed in a jurisdiction that requires the business service provider to have a business license or business tax registration, the business service provider has the required business license or business tax registration.

(5) The business service provider maintains a business location, which may include the business service provider’s residence, that is separate from the business or work location of the contracting business.

(6) The business service provider is customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

(7) The business service provider can [versus actually in AB 5] contract with other businesses to provide the same or similar services and maintain a clientele without restrictions from the hiring entity.

(8) The business service provider advertises and holds itself out to the public as available to provide the same or similar services.

(9) Consistent with the nature of the work, the business service provider provides its own tools, vehicles, and equipment to perform the services, not including any proprietary materials that may be necessary to perform the services under the contract.

(10) The business service provider can negotiate its own rates.

(11) Consistent with the nature of the work, the business service provider can set its own hours and location of work.

(12) The business service provider is not performing the type of work for which a license from the Contractors’ State License Board is required, pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

(b) When two bona fide businesses are contracting with one another under the conditions set forth in subdivision (a), the determination of whether an individual worker who is not acting as a sole proprietor or formed as a business entity, is an employee or independent contractor of the business service provider or contracting business is governed by Section 2775.

(c) This section does not alter or supersede any existing rights under Section 2810.3. [2020]

Reminder to Review Association Finances During Coronavirus Pandemic

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By Emily A. Long, Esq.

We have been immersed in the Novel Coronavirus pandemic in California for what is now approaching six months and, at this point, there is no foreseeable end in sight.  Like all of us individually, well-functioning community associations are learning how to approach this time in history with greater flexibility and awareness of their various obligations and duties.

Despite the uncertainty of our current situation, community associations are well-advised to continue to perform their statutory duties, particularly those involving review of association finances.  As you are aware, since January 1, 2019 and pursuant to Civil Code section 5500, an association board is responsible to perform an at least monthly review of financial documents and statements, including:

  • current reconciliations of both the association’s operating accounts and reserve accounts;
  • current year’s actual operating revenues and expenses compared to the current year’s budget;
  • latest account statements prepared by the financial institutions where the association has its operating and reserve accounts;
  • income and expense statement for the association’s operating and reserves accounts;
  • check register;
  • monthly general ledger; and
  • delinquent assessment receivable reports.

Under Civil Code section 5501, this review requirement may be met when (1) every member of the board (or a subcommittee of the board including the treasurer and at least one other board member) reviews these documents and statements independent of a board meeting, (2) the review is ratified at the board meeting subsequent to the review, and (3) the ratification is reflected in the minutes of that meeting.  The board may use a resolution to ratify the review of the above-described financial documents; such resolution should be used at every monthly meeting and attached to the corresponding meeting minutes.

Keep in mind that the 2018 revisions to Civil Code sections 5500 and 5501 requiring monthly review of association finances rather than quarterly review, were made with the purpose of preventing fraud and embezzlement of association funds.  In support of this purpose, boards (or board subcommittees) must continue to perform a thorough review and investigation of association financial records on a monthly basis.

The attorneys at Epsten, APC strive everyday to not only assist, but educate our clients.  Please feel free to reach out to us for more information regarding this or any other community association legal issue.

San Diego County Increases Compliance Efforts

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

San Diego County recently increased its Health Order Compliance team and launched a 24/7 call center for the community to submit complaints of businesses and organizations not complying with the Health Order. According to the County, the compliance team’s primary focus is “egregious violations” and businesses not permitted to be open (e.g., bars, indoor gyms, etc.). However, if a complaint regarding your association is submitted a member of the compliance team may contact the association.

According to the County, the compliance team will first contact the association to discuss the complaint and learn about your association’s operations to determine if there is a violation of the health order. If necessary, the compliance team may conduct a site visit. The County states the main purpose of the compliance team is to bring awareness and seek voluntary compliance, but notes it will have the authority to determine whether additional enforcement measures are necessary such as fines ($1,000 per instance) and/or cease and desist notices or closures, etc. Local cities may also have additional enforcement efforts in place.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

Association Employee is Diagnosed with COVID-19… Now What?

By Jacquelyn E. Quinn, Esq.

If your association has employees, it may have certain responsibilities if one of them is suspected of having or diagnosed with COVID-19.

The State of California’s COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening provides guidance on what to do if there is a case of COVID-19 in the workplace and actions employers may consider when reporting cases to local health departments and communicating with employees and vendors.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing also published guidance to assist employers and employees with frequently asked questions about how to address employees diagnosed with COVID-19 while upholding an employee’s rights. The State’s FAQ can be found here.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued a FAQ for businesses when suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 occur in the workplace.

Your local county or city may have also issued further guidance that your association should be familiar with. San Diego, for instance, in accordance with paragraph 16 of the San Diego County public health order, requires that employers notify the County Department of Public Health when an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 and cooperate to identify and provide contact information for any person exposed by the employee at the workplace. San Diego County also recently instructed that employees are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing before being permitted to go back to work, as found here.

If an association employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact your legal counsel to discuss appropriate next steps.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus

Issues for Inspectors of Election to Consider

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  1. Front of envelope – not signed in upper left corner

         Accept            Reject

  1. Front of envelope – signed but other identifying information not filled in

         Accept            Reject

  1. Front of envelope -ballot voted by proxy, but envelope not signed by proxy holder (owner’s signature or no signature)

         Accept            Reject

  1. Front of envelope – no identifying information or signature

         Accept            Reject

  1. Front of envelope – name is different than the name on Association’s owners list

         Accept            Reject           Female and first name is the same
(possible change in marital status)

         Accept            Reject           Unit owned by corporation

         Accept            Reject           Unit owned by trust (trustee)

         Accept            Reject           Alleged Power of Attorney

         Accept            Reject           None of the above – name just does not match

  1. Outer envelope has been opened

         Accept            Reject           Apparently opened after receipt by
management/Inspectors of Election

         Accept            Reject           Apparently just not sealed by voting owner

  1. Outer envelope sealed, but inner envelope not sealed

         Accept            Reject

  1. Some form of ballot other than Official Ballot put into double envelopes (e.g., directions to proxy holder, handwritten ballot, other) [1]

         Accept            Reject

  1. Ballots received not in double envelope system – only in one envelope

         Accept            Reject           Placed only in outer envelope

         Accept            Reject           Placed only in inner envelope

  1. Validity of ballot if placed in ballot box but not in envelope(s)
    1.   Accept            Reject           Signed (or identity of voter can be determined)
    2.   Accept            Reject           Unsigned (identity of voter cannot be determined)
  1. Ballot delivered to other than the meeting or the officially designated location on envelope

         Accept            Reject

  1. Two ballots received from same unit

         Accept            Reject           Earliest dated / First received

         Accept            Reject           Owner vote over proxy holder vote

  1. Ballots received after official close of the polls

         Accept            Reject

  1. Validity of ballot if faxed

         Accept            Reject

  1. If owner wants to revoke original ballot and re-vote, can they revoke ballot already cast?[2]

         Accept            Reject           Allow Revocation and re-vote

         Accept            Reject           Disallow revocation and re-vote

If allowed to re-vote, what is the latest point in time when this can occur?

                                                                                                                     

  1. When will polls officially close? (If not previously determined)                                

PROXY ISSUES (IF USED)

  1. Front of envelope – ballot voted by proxy, but not signed by proxy holder (owner’s signature or no signature)

         Accept            Reject

  1. Validity/priority if two proxies received from same unit

         Accept            Reject           Earliest Dated

         Accept            Reject           Latest Dated

 

Date:                                                                                                                           

Inspector of Election

Date:                                                                                                                            

Inspector of Election

Date:                                                                                                                           

Inspector of Election

 

[1] The Association’s election rules may prohibit counting unofficial ballots. Please confirm with Association’s election rules.

[2] The Association’s election rules may prohibit revoking or changing an original ballot. Please confirm with Association’s election rules.

SB800 and Governing Documents Checklist

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[Requirements usually found in the Association’s Bylaws and/or the CC&Rs]

Notice to Members and Informational Meeting

  • Notice to members required at least 30 days before filing a civil action against developer
  • Notice must include:
    • Time and place that a meeting will take place to discuss problems impacting association
    • Potential impacts to community, including potential financial impacts to association and its members. This can include impact of claims on sales; attorney fees, expert and other costs; raising funds through assessments and reserves
    • The options, including civil actions, that are available to address the problems
  • If the association has reason to believe an applicable statute of limitations will expire, it may give notice of this meeting within 30 days after filing of a civil action
  • Some governing documents may suggest a membership vote is required prior to initiating any legal action against a declarant entity. Generally, these provisions are void and unenforceable if drafted by the declarant. Such provisions may be enforceable if adopted by the non-declarant members of the association.

Information Typically Required for Meetings Through Governing Documents

  • Impact of claims on sale
  • Attorney fees, expert and other costs
  • Raising funds through assessments and reserves
  • Potential parties
  • Description of process to pursue claims

Documents to Have Prepared and Ready when Sending Notice to Builder

  • Meeting Minutes
  • Maintenance Manual reports
  • Maintenance Records
  • Budgets, reserve studies for 10 years
  • Communications with members?

Community Association Transition to Owner Control Checklist Construction

  • Manufacturer warranties (HVAC, elevators, windows, lift gates, pool equipment, exterior cladding, key fobs, security)
  • Manufacturer recommended maintenance schedules and instructions
  • Building plans and permits; notices of completion or occupancy
  • Location of key components (water, gas, irrigation valves and shut off) and information concerning all fire safety and other emergency systems
  • Owner and Association Maintenance Manual
  • List of contractors and contact information
  • Inventory of Association real and personal property

Legal Documents

  • Everything recorded (CC&Rs, easements, maps), Bylaws, CC&Rs, Rules
  • Architectural requests, approvals, denials; meeting minutes
  • Insurance policies
  • Release of mechanics liens; lawsuit documents
  • Records from Department of Real Estate (or “BRE”)
  • Assessment and Construction Bonds
  • Leases
  • Senior Housing Compliance documents

General Timeline to Bring Claims

(Each case varies with the applicable facts)

For an association, the time to bring claims can begin to run from a number of different dates, including, the date of substantial completion of the building or building component (as defined by code) or the date the declarant relinquishes control over the decision to initiate a claim (this can have various meanings, including the date a homeowner becomes a director, the date homeowners become the majority on the Board of Directors, or some governing documents define a specific date based on the association’s annual meeting). Do not apply these time periods without consulting with counsel!

1 year          Irrigation systems, drainage, manufactured products, noise (from occupancy of adjacent unit)

2 years        Dryer ducts, landscaping systems, untreated wood posts

4 years        Exterior pathways, driveways, hardscape, sidewalks, patios, (certain) plumbing and sewer system issues, (certain) electrical systems, untreated steel fences

5 years        Paint, stain

10 years      Other components including decks, balconies, tiles, stucco, framing, foundations, (other) plumbing and sewer lines, roofs, soils, structural, windows