Condominium Plan

The condominium plan is the underlying document creating condominiums. It is often recorded even before the CC&Rs. The condominium plan should define the various components of an association including unit, common area, exclusive common area, balcony, yard, etc. These documents are often very illuminating when seeking to understand where the association’s maintenance responsibility ends and the owners’ begins. See Article, Condominium Plan: Understanding This Often Overlooked Document.

County Tax Assessor

Most associations have streets and common area parcels/lots that were deeded to them by the developer. In most cases, the mailing address for tax bills (if any) would go to the association c/o its management company. In some cases, the last known mailing address for those streets and common area parcels/lots is that of the developer. Unfortunately, the easiest way to verify the ownership and mailing address for each of the Association’s streets and common area parcels/lots is through a title company or through the law firm that has title plant access.

CC&Rs

A recorded document (generically referred to as the “declaration” of “conditions, covenants and restrictions” or “CC&Rs”) setting forth use restrictions governing the common interest development, making membership in the association, and payment of assessments, mandatory. “CC&Rs” may also refer to recorded amendments of the original CC&Rs. For CC&Rs first recorded after January 1, 1996, the declaration has to contain a legal description of the development, a statement identifying the development as one of four types of common interest developments, the name of the association, the use restrictions, and (occasionally) other statutorily-mandated items. Civ. Code §§4250, 4255.

Commercial Developments

“A ‘commercial or industrial common interest development’ means a common interest development that is limited to industrial or commercial uses by law or by a declaration of covenants conditions and restrictions that has been recorded….” “[C]ommercial use” includes, but is not limited to, the operation of a business that provides facilities for the overnight stay of its customers, employees, or agents.” Civ. Code §6531. Effective January 1, 2013, such developments are governed by the Commercial and Industrial Common Interest Development Act (Civ. Code §§ 6500-6875) rather than the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act.

Condominium Project

A condominium project is one of the four types of CIDs that are considered common interest developments in Civil Code section 4100. A condominium project consists of “condominiums.” A condominium is a form of land and property ownership in which the owner holds legal title to a three-dimensional space that may be filled with air, earth, water, construction materials or virtually any other material. The three dimensional spaces are described on a recorded document known as a condominium plan. A condominium also includes an ownership in the common area that is shared with other condominium owners. The ownership maybe expressed as a fraction or a percentage of the common area parcel or parcels. See Civil Code section 4125.

Covenants

In the context of community associations, a “covenant” refers to a provision within the CC&Rs, usually a restriction on the use of land or a requirement to belong to the association, and to pay assessments for the support of the association. These conditions are construed as promises by both the association and its members to abide by the CC&Rs. Traditionally enforcement of covenants was subject to diverse requirements in order to bind both parties to the covenant; accordingly, the Davis-Stirling Act says that the restrictions in CC&Rs are “equitable servitudes,” which are easier to enforce.

Ceiling

California Civil Code section 4775(a) provides that an owner is generally responsible for maintaining and repairing the components within his/her separate interest unless the CC&Rs provide for a different allocation of responsibility. Before any work is performed on a ceiling within a building constructed before 1979, that ceiling should be inspected by a licensed expert for asbestos-containing materials. If such materials are found, certain remediation and notification requirements may be triggered.

Commercial Use

In the context of common interest developments, the term refers to a use not consistent with single-family residential use, such as operation of a business involving onsite customer traffic or storage of goods fpr sale, or the renting of portions of a home. See Colony Hill v. Ghamaty (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1156.

Conference Calls

Board meetings may be held by conference call provided all attendees are able to simultaneously hear and be heard by all other attendees. Pursuant to Civil Code section 4925, if an open session meeting is held via telephone conference, at least one director or designated association representative must be present at a designated location so members can attend the meeting at that location.