Perpetuities, Rule Against

An archaic rule of law which required contingent interests in land to become vested within 21 years of lives in being at the time of creation of the interest. Today, the vestiges of the Rule are sometimes found in older sets of CC&Rs which provide that the CC&Rs will expire upon the happening of some future event, typically, the death of some personage.

Petition, Amending Governing Documents by

If an association fails to obtain supermajority approval for an amendment to its CC&Rs, it may petition the court for approval of the amendment pursuant to Civil Code section 4275 (formerly §1356) if it meets a number of requirements, including having received at least majority approval of the amendment pursuant to a vote of the members in accordance with the law and governing documents.

Planned Development

A condominium project is one of the four types of CIDs that are considered common interest developments in Civil Code section 4100. A planned development is defined in Civil Code section 4175 as a common interest development other than a community apartment project, condominium project, or stock cooperative. It also must have either or both of the following characteristics: (1) common area that is owned either by an association or in common by the owners of the separate interests who possess appurtenant rights to the beneficial use and enjoyment of the common area, and/or (2) common area and an association that maintains the common area with the power to levy assessments that may become a lien upon the separate interests. The owners’ separate interests are typically platted lots.


Plumbing includes the pipes, fittings and valves that bring water into a building and removes liquid-borne wastes from the building. The responsibility to maintain, repair and replace the plumbing system servicing the common areas or a specific separate interest will be defined in the governing documents.


Pools are often a vital part of association living and represent a nexus for community activities. They are, however, subject to a plethora of regulations and often a source rife with potential liability. In order to protect the association, contact your attorney regarding sign, fencing and liability requirements that may change on a yearly basis.

Post Office

The association’s manager should submit a Change of Address for each association that it accepts for new business and/or if the management company moves from the address it initially set up for the association in order to timely receive any mail on behalf of each association it manages. If an association is self-managed, it should open a P.O. Box to receive mail, instead of receiving mail at the board president’s home address. Visit the U.S. Postal Service for forwarding/change of address information and information on how to obtain a P.O. Box.

Privileged Information

Privileged information is data, communications, documents, etc., that are protected from disclosure by law. Communications from your attorney are generally privileged and in litigation, opposing parties can very rarely obtain this information. Topics and materials discussed in executive sessions are also privileged, although to a lesser extent. Keep in mind, privileged information is only protected if it has not been divulged to a non-privileged party.

Paid in Full Check Endorsement (Accord and Satisfaction)

The law is unclear whether a check that states “payment in full” is considered to be binding. Prior to 2002, acceptance of a check with the words “payment in full” did not constitute an accord and satisfaction under California Civil Code section 1526, if the association protested by striking out or otherwise deleting that notation or accepted the check inadvertently or without knowledge of the notation. However, the California appellate case decided in 2002 Woolridge v. J.F.L. Electric, Inc., 96 Cal.App.4th Supp. 52 (2002) (“”Woolridge””), suggests that if you cash such a check, you will not be able to pursue the owner for any remaining balance. Specifically, Woolridge held that the Uniform Commercial Code Section 3311, which says “payment in full” is binding, applies to negotiable instruments (e.g., checks) and overrides the California Civil Code. Consult with your attorney on a case-by-case basis to determine whether cashing the check is worth the risk involved.