Assembly Bill 502 (“AB 502”), which provides for election by acclamation for all California residential community associations, was signed by the Governor and chaptered on October 5, 2021. AB 502 amends Civil Code section 5100 and adds a new section 5103 to the Civil Code.
You might recall that new legislation last year gave associations of over 6,000 units the right to elect directors by acclamation if, as of the close of nominations, the number of director nominees was not more than the number of director positions to fill at the upcoming election. This right will be now extended to all California residential community associations as of January 1, 2022, subject to certain notice requirements. The requirements include providing an initial notice to the members at least 90 days before the deadline for submitting candidate nominations. This notice must contain the following information: the number of board positions to be filled at the upcoming election, the manner in which nominations can be submitted, the deadline for submitting nominations, and a statement informing the members about the possible election by acclamation. A reminder notice between seven (7) and thirty (30) days before the deadline for submitting nominations is also required. Other requirements include acknowledging receipt of any nominations within seven (7) business days of receipt, advising the nominee if they qualify as a candidate, or the reason a nominee is not qualified to be a candidate and how the nominee may appeal the disqualification. To qualify to conduct an election by acclamation, the association must have held a regular election in the last three years, i.e., a director election utilizing the secret balloting process.
Also, AB 502 provides that “an association may disqualify a nominee if the person has served the maximum number of terms or sequential terms allowed by the association.” This allows for term limits. However, AB 502 also provides that if an association disqualifies a nominee because that person is termed out, then the association’s election rules shall also require a director to comply with the same requirement.
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