Davis-Stirling: Partial Payments Reducing Assessments Must Be Accepted

  The Court of Appeals affirms, in Huntington Continental Town House Ass. v. Miner, that a homeowners’ association is required by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act to accept partial payments from an owner of a separate interest when the owner is delinquent in paying assessments. Continue reading

Davis-Stirling: Partial Payments Reducing Assessments Must Be Accepted

  The Orange County Appellate Division concludes in Huntington Continental v. JM Trust that the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act compels a homeowner’s association to accept and apply partial payments that reduce delinquent assessments owed, but not any other amounts due such as late fees, interest, attorney fees, and costs. This is true even if an action has been commenced to foreclose the lien since there is nothing in the Act precluding the acceptance of partial payments of delinquent assessments once litigation has commenced. Continue reading

Davis-Stirling: Foreclosure Notice Requirements are Strictly Construed

  The Sixth Appellate District holds that the pre-foreclosure notice requirements of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act must be strictly construed to create a valid lien. Only valid liens may be recorded and subsequently foreclosed by the association. The case is Diamond v. Superior Court (Casa Del Valle Homeowners Association). The notice and procedural requirements can be found in Civil Code sections 1367.1 and 1367.4 and are summarized here.  Continue reading

Davis-Stirling: Only Members Have a Right to Attend Meetings

  The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, found at Civil Code sections 1350 et seq., governs common interest developments. Civil Code section 1363.05(b) provides that “[a]ny member of the association may attend meetings of the board of directors of the association . . . .”  Subdivision (h) of that section provides that “[t]he board of directors of the association shall permit any member of the association to speak at any meeting of the association or the board of directors, except for meetings of the board held in executive session.” Continue reading

Failure to Provide Notice of Redemption Rights May Void HOA’s Nonjudicial Foreclosure

  In Multani v. Witkin & Neal [See, also Multani v. Witkin & Neal Order Modifying Opinion (No Change in Judgment)] the Court of Appeal was presented with a question of first impression. Does a homeowner’s association’s failure to comply with the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 729.050, i.e., the associations failure to notify the owner of its redemption rights, sufficiently prejudiced an owner such that the owner can state a cause of action to set aside the foreclosure sale? Continue reading

Binding Arbitration of Construction Dispute Between HOA and Developer Required by CC&Rs

  The California Supreme Court in Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development reverses the Court of Appeal and holds that a clause in the recorded CC&Rs of a common interest development providing that the HOA and the individual owners agree to resolve any construction dispute with the developer through binding arbitration in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act is binding on the HOA and is not unconscionable.

Fee Award to HOA Reversed Though Plaintiff’s Action Frivolous

   There was an interesting twist in a case brought by a homeowner against his HOA last week. The homeowner brought a civil action, asserting violations of association rules and the relevant statutory scheme. The trial court granted a second demurrer without leave to amend and granted the HOA attorney’s fees of approximately $15,000 pursuant to Civil Code section 1636.09(b). The trial court specifically found that the homeowner’s causes of action under Civil Code section 1636.9 were frivolous because the homeowner knew when the action was filed they were barred by the one-year statute of limitations. The appellate court reluctantly reversed the fee award in That v. Alders Maintenance Assn. Continue reading

Mediate Claims Against Homeowner Associations

   I received an email a few weeks ago from a homeowner who wanted to file suit against his homeowner association. I suggested that he might want to review the CC&Rs which may require an alternate method of dispute resolution, and which usually contain an attorney fee and cost provision. I also advised him of Civil Code section 1354 which provides that in any action to enforce the governing documents of a common interest development — the pevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Continue reading