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disclosureOn July 31, 2017, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1139 (“AB 1139”) into law.  AB 1139 amends California Civil Code Section 1098.5 with regard to deed-based transfer fees (“Private Transfer Fees” or “Fees”).  Prior to AB 1139 becoming law, any individual or entity who imposed a Fee on real property on or after January 1, 2008, had to record a document that provided limited notice of the Fee on or before January 1, 2009.

AB 1139 now requires any individual or entity who imposes a Fee on real property on or after February 8, 2011, to record a document that contains very specific language with regard to notice.  The notice must now state that federal housing agencies are prohibited from dealing in mortgages on properties encumbered by private transfer fee covenants that do not provide a “direct benefit” to real property encumbered, and that if a person purchases such a property, that person may have difficulty obtaining financing.

 Brief Background

Private Transfer Fees are fees paid by a purchaser when real property is resold.  The Fees are typically one percent (1%) of the sale price of the real property and specified in the original purchase documents.  The Fees are typically paid from the purchaser to one of four groups: 1. the HOA, 2. tax-exempt groups that provide a direct benefit to the HOA, 3. tax-exempt groups that don’t provide a direct benefit to the HOA, and 4. third-party developers or investors.

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Central-Park-WestWe are proud to announce that Central Park West Community Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Central Park West is Irvine’s first urban master planned community developed by Lennar. This beautiful 43-acre community encompasses urban-styled residences, verdant parks and landscaped paseos, resort-style clubhouse, barbecue areas, state-of-the-art health and fitness center, exercise/yoga studio, and Junior-Olympic-size saline pool and spas.

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

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The Governor has signed AB 690 into law, which modifies several Code sections and adds two new Civil Code sections to the Davis Stirling Common Interest Development Act. Here is what you need to know about the new requirements:

New Civil Code Section 5376 provides that the manager, management firm, or third-party contractor must facilitate the delivery of escrow documents pursuant to Civil Code Section 4530, as required by the management contract.

New Requirements: Escrow Document Disclosure Form

The “Charges for Documents Provided” form described in Civil Code Section 4528 must be modified to include the following:

  • All information in at least 10-point type;
  • The statement: “The seller may, in accordance with Section 4530 of the Civil Code, provide to the prospective purchaser, at no cost, current copies of any documents specified by Section 4525 that are in the possession of the seller.”;
  • The statement: “A seller may request to purchase some or all of these documents, but shall not be required to purchase ALL of the documents listed on this form.”;
  • The fee for each document in the “Fee for Document” column of the form;
  • Fees must be separately stated and billed to distinguish them from other transfer fees; and,
  • A copy of the escrow document disclosure form must be included in the Annual Budget Report sent to members.

New Manager and Management Company Disclosures

Business & Professions Code Section 11504 and Civil Code Section 5375 have been amended to provide that, in addition to a CID manager’s disclosure within 90-days of providing management services of their name, address, certification, real estate license, and fidelity insurance coverage, managers and management firms must annually disclose, in writing, to HOA boards the following:

  • Any referral fee or other monetary benefit the manager or management firm receives from companies that provide escrow documents and annual budget reports;
  • Acknowledgement that the records listed in the escrow document disclosure form are the property of the HOA, not the manager or management firm; and,
  • Any business or company in which the manager or management firm has an ownership interest, receives profits or other monetary incentives.

New Civil Code Section 5375.5 provides that, when presenting a bid for vendor services to a board, the manager or management firm must disclose, in writing:

  • Any referral fee or other monetary benefit that could be derived from a business or company serving the HOA (i.e., vendor the HOA board may contract with); and
  • Any ownership interests or profit-sharing arrangements with service providers recommended to, or used by the HOA.
California HOA lawyers Although managers have long been advised to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to an association’s board of directors, AB 690 now codifies how and when a manager or management company must make that disclosure.

-Blog post authored by TLG Attorney, Terri A. Morris, Esq.

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BelamariaWe are proud to announce that Belamaria Community Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Located in Ontario, Belamaria is a brand new planned development by Frontier Communities.  Residents will enjoy a clubhouse, splash pad, dog park, and tot lot.

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

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Broadmoor-HillsWe are proud to announce that Broadmoor Hills Community Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Broadmoor Hills is a planned development located in Corona Del Mar.  Residents enjoy a community pool, picnic area, and ocean views.

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

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Vendor professionals frequently provide a variety of services on behalf of community associations and individual homeowners.  Under California’s Constitution, unpaid vendors possess a legal right to lien the property upon which they work for the value of their rendered services or furnished material.

AB 534 (Gallagher), effective January 1, 2018, seeks to clarify how mechanic’s liens are to be used in common interest developments by amending Civil Code Section 4615 and by adding new Civil Code sections.

Under existing law, if a vendor intends to preserve the ability to impose a mechanic’s lien at a later time for work performed at a property, then such entity must first secure advance authorization from the property owner. Similarly, under existing law, a vendor seeking to enforce its claim to payment by way of a mechanic’s lien must notify the owner of the property which will be subject to a lien.

In the context of community associations, ownership of common area property can take a variety of forms: that property can be owned by the association, or it can be owned by all of the homeowners jointly, as tenants in common.  As such, the vendor is often burdened by the obligation to identify the legal owner of the common area property when attempting to obtain that advance authorization and when seeking to provide legal notice of an impending lien.

AB 534 circumvents the challenges associated with identifying property ownership by imputing association authorization for a common area improvement to all members, and by making the association the agent for the members for purposes of receiving notices and claims during the lien enforcement process.

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short-term-rental*Unpublished Case

Recently, many residential common interest developments have experienced an influx in the number of short-term rentals within their community. This problem is exacerbated by the increased popularity of websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Although profitable, short-term rentals have a significant negative impact on community associations, such as increased damage to common area and violations of the Association’s governing documents. To address these concerns, many associations are amending their CC&Rs to include restrictions imposing a minimum lease period (e.g., thirty days). In a recent unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal upheld such a restriction as reasonable.

In Ocean Windows Owners Association v. Spataro, the Court affirmed the decision of the trial court granting the Association’s petition to reduce the requisite approval necessary to amend their CC&Rs pursuant to Civil Code section 4275.  The proposed amended CC&Rs included, among other things, a provision imposing a minimum lease term of “thirty (30) consecutive days in any one (1) calendar year….” A homeowner filed an objection to the petition stating that the record was void of any facts sufficient to support a conclusion that the amendments “were necessary for the good of the community.” The Court of Appeal rejected this argument for two reasons.

At the outset, the Court noted that the homeowner had misstated the standard under Civil Code section 4275. Specifically, Civil Code section 4275(c)(5) requires that the “amendment is reasonable.” Reasonableness has been defined as:

Not arbitrary or capricious, rationally related to the protection, preservation and proper operation of the property and the purposes of the Association as set forth in its governing instruments, and is fair and non-discriminatory.

(Fourth La Costa Condominium Owners Assn. v. Seith (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 563, 577; see Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assn. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 361, 382 (citations omitted).)

Using the appropriate standard, the Court concluded that the rental restriction was reasonable. The Court’s decision was predicated, in large part, on the declarations of the Association’s community manager and its general counsel. Both averred that short-term rentals had resulted in damage to the common area, increased costs and violations of the governing documents, and the inability or difficulty with obtaining financing due to the association’s appearance as a “condotel.” As such, the Court concluded that there was substantial evidence to support the conclusion that the rental restriction contained in the amended CC&Rs was reasonable (i.e., rationally related to the protection, preservation and operation of the community as a whole).

California HOA lawyers Although unpublished, this case underscores the courts’ awareness of problems affecting communities with short-term rentals, and their willingness to assist associations in addressing the issue.  HOA Boards that are dealing with these types of issues should consult with their HOA’s legal counsel for guidance and recommendations.

-Blog post authored by TLG Attorney, Matthew T. Plaxton, Esq.

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Weatherly-BayWe are proud to announce that Weatherly Bay Homeowner’s Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Weatherly Bay is a luxury condominium community located next to Huntington Harbour in northwest Huntington Beach.  Residents enjoy harbor views, private boat slips, a large community pool and tennis courts.

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

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AlderWe are proud to announce that Alder Community Association has selected Tinnelly Law Group as their associations’ legal counsel.

Alder at McKinley Village by The New Home Company is a progressive urban village set in East Sacramento that connect residents to where they want to be, and how they want to live – modern design and amenities foster connectivity and healthy living with village parks, paths, pools, spa and clubhouse.

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

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*Unpublished Case


Is an HOA Board of Directors (“Board”) entitled to protection under the Business Judgment Rule (“BJR”) when it applies an unambiguous view restriction contained in the governing documents in a manner other than written?


No.  In Lingenbrink v. Del Rayo Estates Homeowners Association, 2017 WL 1075062 (“Lingenbrink”), the Court of Appeal concluded the BJR only applies to matters that are within an HOA Board’s discretion.  A Board does not have the discretion to interpret or re-write a restriction where the meaning of the restriction is perfectly clear.


The HOA consists of eighteen (18) “high end” homes in Rancho Santa Fe built on 21 lots, each with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.  The CC&Rs contain very specific language that protects each Lot’s view as follows:

“No tree, hedges or other plant shall be so located or allowed to reach a size or height which will interfere with the view from any Lot and, in the event such trees, hedges or other plant materials do reach a height which interferes with the view from another Lot, then the Owner thereof shall cause such tree(s), hedge(s) or other plant material[(]s) to be trimmed or removed as necessary.”

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