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AMEND TO INCORPORATE DAVIS-STIRLING REWRITE

QUESTION: Will my homeowners association have to update its documents to conform to the 2014 Civil Code changes including references to past Civil Code numbers?

ANSWER: You may need to update your documents for other reasons--because they are out of date, badly written, contain Declarant language, are ambiguous about maintenance duties, etc. but restating your documents for the sole reason of changing Civil Code numbering is admirable but not necessary.

Renumbering. The most noticeable change in the Davis-Stirling Act is the renumbering. The current Act is found in sections 1350 to 1378 of the Civil Code. The rewrite moves everything to sections 4000 to 6150 of the Civil Code. For example, Civil Code §1350 becomes §4000 starting January 1, 2014. If your CC&Rs and bylaws refer to the old numbering system, there is no legal requirement that you switch to the new numbering system. However, there will likely be other more compelling reasons for updating your documents.

Conversion Chart. If your documents are new and otherwise in good shape, except for outdated Civil Code references, all you need is a conversion chart to find the new numbers. Charts can be found on many law firm websites, including my own (see Conversion Chart). You can download and distribute our chart to the membership and include it in escrows for new owners. That should allay any angst about the new numbering system.

Recommendation: If your governing documents need updating to get rid of legalese, eliminate confusing declarant language, include disclosure requirements and Open Meeting provisions, then renumbering references to the Civil Code make sense.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC