In California, Homeowner Associations, HOAs, are governed by The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act, which gives California HOAs mind boggling
authority to oversee escrows, impose and enforce rules, compel dues and assessment fees, impose fines, penalties, liens and even foreclose on rebel
But, my HOA has been very naughty. They have refused to disclose their governing and procedural documents to prospective home buyers, they don't hold
regular meetings, don't keep adequate records and refuse to allow member access to inspect records at all. They illegally raise dues, impose crazy
illegal fines, suspended voter rights of 2/3s of the membership without due process, or even notifying the member their rights had been suspended!
They illegally pay their board members, and on and on.
So, I took my HOA to court for a handful of basic no brainer violation of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act, that the state legislature has
designed to be heard and mitigated through small claims court. HOA members may petitions the court to impose fines, require compliance and to ask for
injunctive and equitable relief.
Long story short, the HOA's new Board of Directors had fired the HOA attorney, who served us for over a decade, and hired a new attorney that argued
for them, through a letter, that the HOA wasn't subject to the rules and regulations of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act, because, in his
opinion, there is "no common interest" among the homeowners.
Now, my HOA has been overseeing escrows, demanding transfer fees, imposing rules and compelling dues, assessments and fines for over 40 years! They
have enjoyed the authority and benefits of the law, but in court they argued that they had no obligation to protect the "common interest" of the
The judge agreed with their new lawyer's assessment, over the letter I presented from our old lawyer, that said that we ARE a "Common Interest"
So, I lost. The judge didn't impose fines, for non-compliance of the law, on my HOA. Nope. The Judge ruled that our HOA was not a "Common Interest"
and therefore not subject to the rules and regulations of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Act!
That means that the HOA is not subject to the benefits, the protections or the authority of the law either! None of 335 homeowners are compelled to
pay dues, assessments or fines! We can paint our houses bright red! (Maybe, city subdivision rules still apply)
I walked out of court a loser. But, I walked out of court a FREE WOMAN!
I can't tell you the legal "can 'o worms" that this ruling could/will open up. But right now the question is, how do we maintain our "Senior
Community" status of "55 and over" without the state's HOA protections?
edit on 29-9-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)