2012 Updates to the Davis-Stirling Act

There are big changes in store for the Davis-Stirling Act that all homeowner associations and board members should watch closely. Four amendments have been added to the Act and are effective as of this year. Here is a summary of the four amendments that have been added:

  1. 1.       Civil Code Section 1353.9

This provision allows for the installation of electronic vehicle charging stations. Rules or provisions that prohibit the installation of these charging stations will be rendered void. Associations are permitted to place restrictions on the installation of electronic charging stations, though these limitations cannot “significantly increase the cost of the station or significantly decrease its efficiency for specified performance.”

Prior approval may be required by the board or architectural committee. The approval or denial must be in writing and, if not denied within 60 days, the application shall be considered approved unless there is a reasonable request made for more information regarding the installation of the station.

The owner of the parking space where the station is installed, and all future owners of that parking space, will be held liable for damages caused by the station and the costs associated with its maintenance and operation.

  1. 2.       Civil Code Section 1360.2

Governing documents cannot restrict the rental or leasing of any unit, unless that restriction was in effect as follows: “prior to the date the owner acquired title to his or her separate interest.” All owners are bound by the provision if it existed prior to January 1, 2012. Owners are bound to new restrictions only if they are put in place prior to purchase of their units.

  1. 3.       Civil Code Section 1363.05

An executive section meeting can only be held if owners are given at least two days’ notice of said meeting. Emergency circumstances are excluded from this provision. The law now states that an executive session may take place “when the board adjourns to, or meets solely in, executive session.” Owners must also be given, upon their request, a copy of the agenda for an executive session meeting.

Notifications of executive session meetings can be sent electronically if owners consent. It is suggested that management obtain consent at the time of unit purchase in an effort to save time.

If a meeting is held by teleconference, there must be a centralized location designated in which homeowners can gather to observe the meeting. One board member must be physically present in this location during the meeting.

Any items that pertain to the business of the board may not be discussed via a series of emails. This discussion would constitute a meeting. In the case of an emergency, there may be an exception to this provision.

  1. 4.       Civil Code Section 1368

Upon the prospective purchase of a unit, the buyer must be provided, at their request, the minutes of all meetings held up to 12 months prior to the prospective purchase of the unit. In addition to the document, the requestor must be provided with a fee schedule on a special form included in section 1368.2. These forms may be posted on the association website or provided electronically if it is agreed to by the owner. Reasonable fees to be collected may include those “based upon the association’s actual cost for the procurement, preparation, reproduction and delivery of the documents.” No further fees may be imposed.

HOA laws, like any other, can be open to interpretation; thereby causing misunderstanding and dissention in the ranks. Though new amendments usually mean more paperwork and time spent learning their guidelines, they are always at least an attempt to resolve or refine real issues.

Related: Davis-Starling Act History


Leave a Reply