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SavannahWe are proud to announce that Savannah at Mountain House Owners’ Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Savannah is a brand new single family home community in the growing town of Mountain House being developed by Signature Homes. Residents will enjoy a true neighborhood vibe, where they can share a cup of coffee on the porch or entertain family and friends in spacious great rooms.

hoa laws Our HOA attorneys and staff look forward to working with Savannah’s Board and management.

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hoa-fha-loansWe have previously blogged about Federal Housing Administration (FHA) certification for condominium associations.  Recently, the California legislature proposed AB 596 (Daly), which would add a separate document to the Annual Budget Package disclosing whether the condominium association is FHA approved.  This bill would also require a second document disclosing whether the condominium association is approved by the federal Department of Veterans Administration (VA).

When a community is a condominium project, AB 596 requires that the Annual Budget Package include a statement “in at least 10-point font on a separate piece of paper and in the following form:  ‘Certification by the Federal Housing Administration may provide benefits to members of an association, including an improvement in an owner’s ability to refinance a mortgage or obtain secondary financing and an increase in the pool of potential buyers of the separate interest.  This common interest development [is/is not (circle one)] a condominium project.  The association of this common interest development [is/is not (circle one)] certified by the Federal Housing Administration.”  A similar statement on a second piece of paper must be made regarding VA certification.

Industry experts have expressed concern that an association that was certified at the time of the disclosure may not retain that certification throughout the course of the fiscal year.  FHA approval expires every two years and requires a recertification process.  If a community no longer meets the FHA approval guidelines, recertification may be rejected.  If approval is granted, but the FHA learns of additional factors, approval may be withdrawn.  HUD does not currently have a notification system in place to inform the association that FHA approval has expired or been withdrawn.

CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee is requesting amendments to the bill that would direct homeowners to the official FHA and VA Approval websites to verify if the community is FHA or VA certified.  AB 596 has passed the Assembly, and is currently in the Senate.

hoa laws Association boards and managers are encouraged to regularly check for FHA Approval at the Official HUD Directory and VA Approval at the Official VA Directory to verify the current status of their communities. We will update our blog if and when AB 596 is ultimately signed into law.

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Avelina.pngWe are proud to announce that Avelina Homeowners Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Avelina is a brand new single family detached home community in the city of Perris being developed by Pulte Homes. The community features five versatile floor plans ranging from 1,959 to 3,286+ square feet with 3-7 bedrooms and up to 5 baths. Residents will enjoy this family-friendly master planned community with a neighborhood-exclusive pool, kiddie pool, Jacuzzi, BBQs and more.

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Our HOA attorneys and staff look forward to working with Avelina’s Board and management.

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*New Case Lawhoa-renter-fee.jpg

In the landmark case of Lamden v. La Jolla Shores Clubdominium Homeowners Assn. (1999) 21 Cal.4th 249 (“Lamden“), the California Supreme Court established what is known as the “Rule of Judicial Deference” or “Lamden Rule” that, in sum, requires courts to defer to decisions made by a HOA’s Board of Directors regarding “ordinary maintenance:”

“…We adopt today for California courts a rule of judicial deference to community association board decisionmaking that applies, regardless of an association’s corporate status, when owners in common interest developments seek to litigate ordinary maintenance decisions entrusted to the discretion of their associations’ boards of directors.” (Lamden, at 253.)

However, in a recently published opinion, the Court of Appeals expanded the scope of the Lamden Rule to include additional decisions made by a HOA’s Board, such as those to adopt rules and impose fees on members relating to short-term renters…

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Coronado.pngWe are proud to announce that Coronado at Aliso Viejo Homeowners Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their association’s legal counsel.

Coronado was built in 1994 by Lohn Laing Homes in the City of Aliso Viejo, which is known for its rolling hills, low crime, clean air, and close proximity to the beach. Residents enjoy using the community pool, spa, and a central greenbelt.

hoa laws

Our HOA attorneys and staff look forward to working with Coronado at Aliso Viejo’s Board and management.

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*New Case Lawhoa-attorneys-fees.jpg

Litigation can be a time consuming and costly endeavor. These two factors typically weigh heavily against filing a lawsuit, especially where there is no ability for the party prevailing in the lawsuit to recover its attorney’s fees and costs. By default, the “American Rule” with respect to attorney’s fees awards states that each party must pay for its own attorney’s fees and costs unless otherwise provided by statute or contract. (Code Civ. Pro. § 1021.) Fortunately, in the context of homeowners associations (“HOAs”), Civil Code Section 5975(c) allows for a prevailing party in an action to enforce HOA governing documents to recover its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Section 5975 is a component of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“Act”)–the principal body of Civil Code sections governing California HOAs and common interest developments (“CIDs”).

In the recent case of Tract 19051 Homeowners Association v. Kemp (2015) 2015 Cal.LEXIS 1216 (“Kemp“), the California Supreme Court addressed the question of whether Section 5975(c) allows for a prevailing party to recover its attorney’s fees and costs in a lawsuit brought under the Act even where the HOA in the lawsuit is not a CID and thus technically not subject to the Act…

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Spanish-Walk.pngWe are proud to announce that Spanish Walk Community Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Spanish Walk is a gated, master planned community with condominiums and single family homes. The community amenities include two pools and spas, fitness center, playground areas, billiard room, beautifully designed clubhouse with an equipped kitchen and large greenbelt nestled in Spanish style architecture and landscape.

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Our HOA attorneys and staff look forward to working with Spanish Walk’s Board and management.

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hoa-irrigation-sprinkler.jpg*New Regulations

The prolonged period of drought in California has resulted in numerous regulatory and legislative changes aimed at addressing the water shortage (i.e., legislation regarding low-water using plants and watering during droughts). On March 17, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an expanded emergency regulation to safeguard California’s remaining water supplies.

Under the expanded emergency regulation, additional prohibitions on potable water use have gone into immediate effect. All Californians are now prohibited from using potable water to:

  • Wash down sidewalks and driveways;
  • Water outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excessive runoff
  • Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle:
  • Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system; and
  • Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation (*New)

The newly adopted prohibition on irrigating turf/landscapes during and 48 hours following precipitation (rain) may impact the common area maintenance/irrigation practices of HOAs. Failure to comply with that provision could subject a HOA to a fine of $500 per day.

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To read more about the emergency regulation, click here.

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Cariz.pngWe are proud to announce that Cariz Homeowners Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Cariz is a brand new community in the Village of Portola Springs in the City of Irvine. Spanish and Santa Barbara architecture create timeless curb appeal at Cariz by TRI Pointe Homes, a fresh collection of attached homes featuring hard-to-find single-level living and three-story plans that blend open design with relaxed sophistication. As part of the Village of Portola Springs, homeowners will enjoy proximity to the new Center Terrace Park with resort-inspired amenities and recreation.

hoa laws

Our HOA attorneys and staff look forward to working with Cariz’s Board and management.

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*New Case Lawhoa-condo-hardwood-flooring.jpg

Homeowners within condominium developments are typically granted broad authority in making improvements to the interior of their respective Units that do not require modification of association common area. However, because of the way in which condominium projects are built, certain improvements made within a Unit may ultimately impact the quiet use and enjoyment of neighboring homeowners (i.e., sound transmissions from hardwood or hard surface flooring). As indicated by the recent case of Ryland Mews Homeowners Association v. Munoz (2015) 2015 Cal.App.LEXIS 161 (“Ryland“), to the extent that a homeowner’s interior improvements result in a nuisance to neighboring homeowners, an association does have the authority to compel the homeowner to modify or remove the improvements as necessary to abate the nuisance…

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