Separate Interest

A separate interest is the generic term used to describe the ownership interest an owner in a CID receives in the space he or she occupies. Civil Code section 4185 states that a separate interest in a condominium project is a separately-owned unit. In a planned development, it is a separately-owned lot, parcel, area, or space. In a stock cooperative, it is the exclusive right to occupy a portion of the real property. In a community apartment project, it is the exclusive right to occupy an apartment.

Standing to Sue

Pursuant to Civil Code section 5980 an association has standing to institute, defend, settle or otherwise intervene in litigation, arbitration, mediation, or administrative proceedings in its own name, without joining its members individually, in matters involving enforcement of the governing documents, damage to the common area, damage to separate interest that the association is obligated to maintain or repair, or damage to separate interest that arises out of or is integrally related to damage to the common area or separate interest the association is obligated to maintain or repair.

Service of Process

Service of process is a legal method of providing notice and documents to a party involved in the legal process. The method of service for a particular item is governed by statute. A variety of legal documents are not deemed effective under the law without service of process, including writs, summons and complaints (lawsuits), and various court orders.

Statute of Limitations

The time in which a lawsuit must be brought. Different claims have different statutes of limitations. For example, a lawsuit for personal injury must be brought within two years of the date of the event causing the injury while a lawsuit for breach of a written contract must be brought within four years of the date of the breach. Most of the statutes of limitation in California are found in Code of Civil Procedure, sections 335 through 349.4, but are also found in other code sections. Failure to bring a lawsuit within the time specified in the applicable statute of limitations will act as a complete bar to the lawsuit.

Severability of Restrictions

This is a term used in statutes, CC&Rs, bylaws, contracts and other agreements for language providing that, if one or more parts of a document are determined to be invalid, then that fact will not invalidate any remaining parts. Thus the invalid parts should be disregarded, while the remaining parts should be enforced as written.

Stock Cooperative

A condominium project is one of the four types of CIDs that are considered common interest developments in Civil Code section 4100. Under Civil Code section 4190, a stock cooperative is a CID in which an association holds or a leasehold interest in or title to improved real property, and the shareholders in the corporation receive an exclusive right to occupy a portion of the property. The owner’s interest is considered an interest in a common interest development. However lenders often consider that an owner’s interest is not an interest in real property that would entitle an owner to obtain a loan and give a mortgage or deed of trust to secure the loan.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools often serve as a focal point for community activities, gatherings and board meetings. Pools are subject to a myriad of state regulations and potentially federal regulations. Statutory requirements for signage, fencing, equipment and access can change on a yearly basis. Contact your association’s legal counsel before making any major decisions regarding your swimming pools.

Short Sales

Short sales can provide an association with a way to recover unpaid assessments without foreclosing on an assessment lien. In a short sale, a property is sold for a price that falls short of the total amount of debt secured by liens against the property. An association that demands payment of delinquent assessments in order to remove an assessment lien may be able to collect the amount owing as the lien may prevent a short sale from taking place.