Directors are elected by the members to the board of an association. An association’s bylaws generally dictate the number of required directors, whether directors must be members of the association and other director qualifications. Directors vote on association matters and can only be removed by a recall election or by specified reasons in the governing documents or Corporations Code.


A physical and/or mental condition which interferes with a life function. The definition of disability differs slightly under state and federal law. A person suffering from a disability may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation (or the right to make a modification at the applicant’s cost) under state and/or federal law, generally by reference to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov. Code 12900 et seq.) or the federal Fair Housing Act (42 USC 3601 et seq.)

Discipline of Member

Discipline of a member is largely controlled by Civil Code section 5855. The most basic requirements follow the 10/15 rule. Members must be notified of a hearing at least 10 days prior to the meeting and notified of the outcome within 15 days following the meeting (governing documents may require a longer notice period). If your association does not have a fine policy, the association should draft and adopt one pursuant to Civil Code section 4360. Ensure that all disciplinary measures are well documented with hard copy letters and consistent application of the association’s fine policy.

Disclosures for Owners & Purchasers

California Civil Code section 4525 provides that the owner of a separate interest, other than an owner subject to the requirements of section 11018.6 of the California Business and Professions Code, shall, as soon as practicable before transfer of title to the separate interest or execution of a real property sales contract therefor, as described in Business and Professions Code section 2985, provide the following to a prospective purchaser. See Section 4525 for the list of documents.

D&O Insurance

This stands for Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. D&O insurance is intended to defend and indemnify the directors and officers of an association and often the association itself, usually against claims made by other persons arising out of alleged losses or damage other than bodily injury or property damage and possibly other personal (non-bodily) injury losses, such as libel or slander, that are covered under the typical commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy. For directors and officers to obtain the limitations against liability offered by Civil Code section 5800, associations must have D&O insurance in the amounts specified in the statute. See the Article, Insurance for Community Associations, for more information.


The unlawful denial of rights or privileges of membership or occupancy, usually based on “suspect classification” (i.e., on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, or genetic information).

Davis-Stirling Act

The Davis-Stirling Act was originally passed into law in 1985 with the purpose of creating, governing and guiding homeowners associations. After 28 years of amendments and revisions, the entire Act was re-codified on January 1, 2014. The Act serves as one of the set of laws governing the day-to-day activities of associations. In addition to the Act, the Corporations Code, Civil Code and other miscellaneous statutes provide the framework within which these associations operate.

Distributing Assets to Members

A member receiving cash or other distribution of assets from the association generally receives an adjustment in the member’s basis in the separate interest rather than taxable income. As association is not permitted to distribute its assets to its members when the association is dissolved – in this instance, an association must distribute its assets to another non-profit organization formed for religious, charitable or other public purpose.

Daycare Homes

Public policy strongly favors allowing home operated child daycare centers. Daycare facilities operated in compliance with the California Health and Safety Code cannot be prohibited on the basis that they violate residential use restrictions or commercial use prohibitions contained in the governing documents.