Refers to the process of declaring the victors in an uncontested election (as when there are no more candidates than available positions.) The propriety of declaring prevailing candidates by acclamation is uncertain under the Davis-Stirling Act because the Act requires the counting and tabulation of votes by an inspector of elections. See Civ. Code §5120(a).


Articles of Incorporation

Articles of Incorporation (“Articles”) are the formation document for incorporated corporations and are a part of an association’s governing documents. Articles are filed with the Secretary of State. Articles spell out the name, basic corporate purposes and powers, and character of the corporation (i.e., common interest developments are nonprofit mutual benefit corporations). Articles can be amended in accordance with the requirements in the Articles and the Corporations Code.


Associations will have several different types of accounts that serve a variety of functions. Generally, associations will have an operating account and at least one reserve account. These accounts function just as normal bank accounts, but their deposits and debits must be tracked very carefully and only certain board members may sign checks out of these accounts. Some associations may have litigation accounts or other accounts designated for special purposes.


An association must provide notice to owners and non-owner residents of the project of the presence of asbestos. See California Health & Safety Code Sections 25915 et seq. There is some ambiguity regarding the applicability of the statutes. Sections 25915 through 25919.7 are part of Chapter 10.4 of the Health & Safety Code. Section 25919.2 states in part that “‘Building,’ as used in this chapter, means all or part of any ‘public and commercial building,’ … except that ‘building’ shall not mean residential dwellings.” However, Section 25915.2(d), also part of this chapter, states in part that other subparagraphs in Section 25915.2 “shall not be construed to require owners of a building or part of a building within a residential common interest development to mail written notification to other owners of a building or part of a building within the residential common interest development,” if certain conditions are met. The implication is that these requirements do apply in residential developments if the conditions are not met, or that a community association must meet the conditions when there is asbestos in a common interest development. Although there may be an ambiguity, we believe associations are better protected by following the requirements of Section 25915.2.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the federal laws pertaining to accommodations for the disabled. See 42 USC 12101 et seq. Community associations are generally not subject to the ADA, except when some or all of the common areas are open to the public at large. However, community associations are subject to the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 USC 3601 et seq.) which does provide protections for the disabled, as well as various state and local laws pertaining to the disabled. See also, “Fair Housing Laws.”


Every member of an association is obligated to pay a share of common expenses through payment of assessments. As an association is funded and operates using assessment income, collection of assessments is one of the most important functions a board can undertake. When assessments go unpaid, associations can suffer from deferred maintenance and other problems that can ultimately affect the value of property in the community.


Board members should generally not abstain except where they have a conflict of interest. Corporations Code section 7231 calls for directors “to act in the best interest of the corporation…,” not to abstain because they don’t know what to do or to avoid offending one side or another. The Robert’s Rules admonition to abstain except to make or break a tie applies to larger assemblies in which the president’s vote may influence the assembly’s votes, not to a small board or committee. See Robert’s Rules, Newly Revised, 11th Edition, §4, p. 50, Lines 18-23. Typically, presidents and other officers (secretaries, treasurers, etc.) don’t have a vote; board members do, and board members are supposed to act.

Age Restrictions

The generic term for restrictions based on age which are part of several recognized types of senior housing/housing for older persons (e.g., “55+” or “all-62” housing), as defined in state and federal law. To impose restrictions or rules based on age in communities not otherwise qualified as senior housing may result in a violation of various fair housing laws.

Assignment of Rent

CC&Rs may provide that if a member becomes delinquent in assessments, that member is deemed to have assigned rental income from their association property to the association. (Civ. Code §2938) In the absence of such a provision, if the association has a judgment against a member, it may seek a court order for an assignment of rents to be paid toward satisfaction of that judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. §708.510 et seq.)


Common interest developments in California are, at their roots, nonprofit corporations. Many associations may have revenue in the hundreds of thousands and assets in the millions. In order to ensure owners are protected, associations must provide thorough, transparent accounting reports utilizing the accrual method of accounting.