Taxation

Associations may have tax issues that arise with respect to taxes claimed to be on common area owned by an association, personal property owned by an association, such as office furniture and equipment, and income taxes. In most cases, but not necessarily all, the common areas of most CIDs are exempt from being taxed separately to an association, because it is usually already being taxed as part of the taxes paid by the individual owners. See Revenue and Taxation Code sections 2188.32188.7.

Transfer Fee

Refers to a fee imposed as a condition of changing occupancy of a separate interest. The amount an association may charge in this regard is limited to the association’s actual costs to change its recorded in connection with a transfer of title or other interest. See Civ. Code §4575. Note, however, that the association may pass through a transfer fee charged to it by its management company without violating 4575. See Berryman v. Merit Property Management, Inc. (2007) 152 Cal. App. 4th 1544.

Telephone Wiring

Internal and external telephone wiring located outside the boundaries of a separate interest, but which only serves a single separate interest, is exclusive use area, regardless of what the governing documents say. (Civ. Code §4145(c)) Owners have a reasonable right of access over common area to maintain this internal and external telephone wiring, after obtaining the consent of the association. (Civ. Code §4790)

Tree Roots

As to roots and branches which extend over property lines and threaten to cause damage to another’s property, the owner of the threatened property may trim roots and branches only where it is reasonable to do so. See Booska v. Patel (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 1786.

Temporary Restraining Order

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is a short-term pre-trial temporary injunction. To obtain a TRO, a party must convince the judge that he or she will suffer immediate irreparable harm unless the order is issued. If the judge is convinced that a TRO is necessary, he may issue the order immediately, without informing the other parties and without holding a hearing. TROs are intended to be stop-gap measures and only last until the court holds an evidentiary hearing on whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction (usually within 60 days). A judge’s decision on whether or not to issue a temporary restraining is not appealable.

Trustees Sale

A non-judicial foreclosure sale in California is known as a Trustee’s Sale. A Trustee’s Sale results in the extinguishment of the foreclosing lien and any junior liens and title interests pertaining to the property foreclosed, with the exception of certain tax liens.

Tenants in Common

In general terms, tenants in common have the right to possess an entire property held in this manner, but without rights of survivorship which would accompany other forms of holding title, such as joint tenancy. Unless the declaration otherwise provides, the common areas in a condominium project or in a planned development in which common areas are owned by the owners of the separate interests, the common areas are owned as tenants in common, in equal shares, one for each unit or lot. (Civ. Code §4500) The Corporations Code also describes the effect of voting by tenants in common, when membership of record is held in the names of two or more tenants in common, among other forms of title. (Corp. Code §7612)

Trusts

Form of property ownership wherein legal title to property is conveyed by the “trustor” to a “trustee,” while the equitable right to the property is enjoyed by the “beneficiary” of the trust. A form of trust, generally known as a revocable, inter vivos, or family trust, is a common estate planning device.