Every year new legislation and precedent-setting case laws impact the way Association’s are governed. At PMP we’re committed to ensuring our Board Member clients have the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively meet their fiduciary obligations and properly serve their Association.
Below is a brief overview of some of the new legislation impacting Associations in 2018. For a more in-depth look at these new laws, the link below includes a full legal update from our friends at Beaumont Gitlin Tashjian, Attorneys at Law.
AB 634 SOLAR SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Beginning January 1, 2018, Associations may no longer strictly prohibit homeowners from installing solar energy systems on Association common area roofs, garages and exclusive use carports. This new law dramatically changes Association common area property rights, and can pose long term liability ramifications for Associations if not properly managed. PMP suggests Board’s proactively adopt a Solar System Policy, outlining reasonable conditions and requirements as permitted under the new law for the installation of individual owner solar systems on common area roofs and exclusive use carports.
SB 2 BUILDING HOMES AND JOBS ACT
This new bill imposes a new $75 fee for the recording of every real estate instrument, including assessment liens, to fund affordable housing and other housing assistance programs throughout the State of California. Associations and the respective delinquent owners will bear the burden of this new $75 recordation fee. Assuming your Association’s collection policy specifies monetary collection fee amounts, PMP recommends updating your collection policy to reflect this new recordation fee, or better yet, updating your collection policy to remove any reference to specific monetary collection fees all together so that a policy update is not required every time a fee changes. There is no legal requirement that collection policies reference specific fees, but rather the collection process. Because this would be considered a policy change, the updated policy would need to be mailed out to all owners for the required 30 day comment period before being adopted.
SB 407 NONCOMMERCIAL SOLICITATION
This new law impacts use of common area property for not only Association Board Member election campaigning, but also legislative and public office campaigning. The current law requires that Associations provide equal access to common areas during an election for nominees to campaign. In other words, if a nominee wants to utilize a common area park or clubhouse to campaign, and the Association approves the request, all nominees must have the same access to those common areas. Civil Code 4515 goes further, prohibiting an Association’s governing documents (Bylaws, CC&Rs, and rules) from unreasonably restricting nominees and owners from peacefully assembling on common area property to communicate with other members regarding Association related matters (a broad standard that would include Association elections, legislation, initiatives and public office elections). In addition, this new bill prohibits an Association from charging a fee or requiring a deposit for use of common area property for such purposes. This includes use of common area parks, recreation centers and clubhouses. Many Association attorneys believe that the Association still has the right to impose reasonable conditions and charge the owner for actual costs of security, janitorial or management rental fees, but Associations are encouraged to proactively consult with their Association attorney and adopt a Noncommercial Solicitation Policy. Violations of this code carry a monetary penalty of $500.00 for each violation, to be paid to the impacted member(s).
AB 1412 NOTICES
In 2017 Civil Code 4041 was enacted requiring Associations to solicit annual written notices from all owners to confirm their official “address of record” where Association notices are to be mailed. If the owner did not respond to the official “address of record” request, the “address of record” would automatically default to the physical property address. This law created an administrative burden on both Associations and owners. AB 1412 allows Associations to utilize the last address provided if the owner fails to submit the annual “address of record” request. As such, pursuant to Civil Code 4041, PMP will continue to send out the annual request for owners to confirm their “address of record”, but in the absence of receiving an updated address, we will utilize the most recent address provided by the owner.
To view additional 2017 & 2018 legal updates and proposed state and federal legislation impacting Associations, please click on the link below.
Please Note: PMP is not a law firm and nothing contained in this newsletter should be considered legal advice. Follow up questions and requests for clarification on how these new laws may impact your Association should be directed to your Association’s attorney.