The state of California has mandated that every planned development
and common interest development
, such as condos and walled or gated
communities, must form a Homeowners Association, AKA HOA, to govern and oversee the common interests of the homeowners and is to be regulated by the
Personally, I hate the idea of being governed by my neighbors and find it very Orwellian, but the "law is the law", right?
So, I purchased a manufactured home and the land it sits on in this walled community, on city streets, about a 1 1/2 years ago, and ran into trouble
with the HOA during escrow. It seems the President/office manager refused to provide the disclosure documents, required by law, claiming that "we're
not a common interest development." The escrow company begged to differ and, long story short, if I wanted the house I had to sign a
Six months down the road I get a flyer announcing the Annual Meeting of Homeowners, so I go, and find out that we have governing documents, Articles
of Incorporation, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and Bylaws, that assert in several places that our community is a common interest
development and our annual dues goes to promote the common interests of the homeowners' and the upkeep of our common areas.
Now, the HOA sold the clubhouse years ago, and the only common interest that we have now are these nice walkways that run behind the houses that
people use to ride bikes, walk their pets, etc. However, the HOA asserts that each homeowner is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of these
walkways from the edge to the middle.
Also, the governing documents say that each "perimeter" homeowner is responsible for the maintenance and up keep of their portion of the outside wall.
The HOA owns no property, pays no property taxes and holds no liability insurance should someone injure themselves tripping on a crack or
Another sneaky thing, instead of providing the disclosure and governing documents to new homeowners, they sent me a greeter to take a picture of my
driver's license and gave me a rule book. The Rule book was chocked full of illegal rules, like a $10 dollar per month late fee, when dues is only
$75 per year, or a rule stating that all cats must be kept on leashes. The law only allows for a one time $10 dollar late fee/fine, and after that 1%
per month. California state animal protection laws state that cats must be allowed to roam uncollared.
So, my question is, if we're NOT a common interest development, as the president and the board of directors assert, and not governed under
Davis-Stirling, don't follow the laws dictated by the Davis-Stirling Act, unless it benefits them, like collecting a Davis-Stirling allowable transfer
fee, but NOT providing the legally required disclosure documents, ignores the "open meeting" laws, then what law gives the HOA the right to collect
dues or escrow transfer fees, or to govern at all? Does Davis-Stirling only kinda apply, because we're only kinda a common interest
, as the board asserts.
What recourse do discontent homeowners have?
edit on 24-3-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)