Governing documents include the operating rules of an association. (Civ. Code §4150) An operating rule is a board-adopted regulation that applies generally to the management and operation of the common interest development or the conduct of the business affairs of the association. (Civ. Code §4340(a)) To be valid and enforceable, operating rules must be reasonable and meet several other specified criteria, including being in writing and within the authority of the board. (Civ. Code §4350) Issues such as architectural control, landscaping, parking and common area use are common examples are commonly regulated through rulemaking. Specified rules must be adopted, including, but not limited to, election rules. Adoption of most operating rules can only be accomplished through following the rule-making procedures set forth in Civil Code section 4360.

Reciprocal Easement

As provided in Civil Code section 4095, a reciprocal easement can be considered “common area” in a planned development. An easement is considered a reciprocal easement if a group of owners have easements across each other’s property for a given purpose. A reciprocal easement would exist if a 30-foot wide road covered the front 15 feet of each owner’s property, and the road provided ingress and egress through an association across the other owners’ property. Another example would be a bridle trail or walking path that all owners have a right to use across the properties of their fellow owners. If a planned development must maintain or share in the cost of maintaining a reciprocal easement, then it can be considered common area in that association.


An “RV” or recreational vehicle is either of the following: (a) A motor home, travel trailer, truck camper, or camping trailer, with or without motive power, designed for human habitation for recreational, emergency, or other occupancy, that meets the space and construction requirements set forth in Health and Safety Code §18010 or (b) a “park trailer” as defined in Health and Safety Code §18009.3.


Rodent infestation is a serious problem that must be dealt with quickly and decisively. Unlike wood destroying pests such as termites, the Civil Code does not assign responsibility for rodent extermination to any specific party. Check your governing documents to see who bears rodent extermination responsibility.

Reasonable Modification

The term used in disability statutes to refer to the duty of a housing provider to allow modifications to the unit and common areas, at the cost of the disabled applicant, where necessary to afford the disabled resident an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the housing, and common areas and recreational amenities of the association. See also Reasonable Accommodation.


A receiver is a person appointed by a court to take charge of and manage property at the court’s direction. In rare instances, it may be appropriate to have a receiver appointed to manage an association’s affairs, where a court deems this necessary.

Reverse Mortgage

The generic form for a type of mortgage available to seniors, wherein the entire equity within a senior’s home is made subject to a lien, due on the death of the senior (or the senior’s removal from the home).

Recording Meetings

There is no requirement that board or owner meetings be recorded. The issue usually arises either when an owner insists on recording a meeting, or does so surreptitiously. The board has the right to adopt a prohibition against such recording, and insofar as the meeting is considered private rather than public, surreptitious recording of the meeting may violation Penal Code §632.