As a condition to granting a home loan for a property within an association, most mortgagors will require the CC&Rs to contain mortgagor protections, such as a statement that a lien on a first mortgage has priority over assessment liens and the mortgagor’s right to notice and approval of certain matters, including the termination or abandonment of the association.

Mechanics’ Liens

Mechanics liens are involuntary security interests in real estate that a licensed contractor can record with a county recorder and then file a lawsuit to foreclose upon to get paid. These liens are an extremely powerful remedy that contractors use to obtain payment for materials they supply or work they perform on a private work of improvement. Therefore, it is extremely important that associations not pay contractors without first obtaining necessary releases of mechanics lien rights.


The parliamentary procedural means by which the board of directors takes action at a meeting. Once a member proposes a motion, it must be seconded and approved by a majority of members present in order to become effective. Approved motions should always be noted in the meeting minutes. See Parliamentary Procedure.


The most commonly utilized form of alternative dispute resolution, mediation can be effective in resolving association/homeowner disputes without litigation. The mediator, a trained, neutral third party, facilitates negotiations between the parties. The mediator does not render judgment in the dispute matter. If an agreement is reached during mediation, that agreement is memorialized in writing.

Motorized Scooters

Any two-wheeled device that has handlebars, has a floorboard that is designed to be stood upon when riding, and is powered by an electric motor. This device may also have a driver seat that does not interfere with the ability of the rider to stand and ride and may also be designed to be powered by human propulsion. This definition is taken from Vehicle Code Section 407.5, which goes on to exclude the following from the definition: an electric personal assistive mobility device, a motorcycle, a motor-driven cycle, or a motorized bicycle or moped.

Meetings, Board

Board meetings include regular, organizational, special and executive session meetings. Except for emergency meetings, advance notice of a board meeting must be given to members. All board meetings are open to the members except for executive session meetings. Directors have a fiduciary duty to attend board meetings. Meetings cannot be held by email, except for a defined emergency. See Open Meetings.

Mutual Easement

As provided in Civil Code section 4095, a mutual easement can be considered “common area” in a planned development. An easement is considered a mutual easement because multiple owners in an association have rights of use and enjoyment to property they don’t own, but they and their association must either maintain or must pay or contribute to the maintenance cost of that property. A mutual easement would exist if an association does not own a particular lot or parcel, but its owners have the rights to use it, such as a shared-use swimming pool owned by another association. A mutual easement would also exist, if a road provides ingress and egress for owners who live within one association that crosses someone else’s property outside the association. If a planned development must maintain or share in the cost of maintaining a mutual easement, then it can be considered common area in that association.

Meetings, Delegates

Delegate voting systems are used by communities that have a master and sub-associations or a large number of separate interests divided into neighborhoods. The representative for each sub-association or neighborhood (i.e., the delegate) acts as the liaison between members and the Board. The governing documents provide for the election of delegates, their duties, and meeting requirements. Delegates meet to cast votes on behalf of the members they represent. Election/voting requirements of Civil Code section 5100 et seq. are not applicable to delegate meetings and voting.