Common interest developments were first regulated in California in 1963 with the passage of the California Condominium Act. However, the laws affecting homeowners associations were scattered throughout the Corporations Code and the Civil Code and did not adequately address the unique issues posed by community associations.
Formation of the Act
. Through the efforts of Assemblyman Lawrence W. Stirling, Assemblyman Gray Davis (later to become Governor of California, law professor Katharine Rosenberry and a Task Force of attorneys and management professionals, a comprehensive body of law governing common interest developments was drafted in 1985 and
became known as the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. The Act was signed into law
by Governor Deukmejian on September 18, 1985. The Act went into effect January 1, 1986 as Civil Code §§1350-1378
Stability and Disclosures
. The Act brought stability to the governance of the millions of Californians
served by community associations. It did so by creating
financial safeguards, disclosures, insurance protections and reserves in
a framework that allowed community associations to govern themselves through elected representatives in each community.
. In 2012, a Davis-Stirling "Rewrite" was signed into law by Governor Brown. The Act was rewritten so as to simplify, reorganize and renumber the law into Civil Code §§4000-6150
. The rewritten Act took effect January 1, 2014. Whereas the original Act was only 25 pages long, the Rewrite was 100 pages long with an additional 100 pages dedicated to a separate Commercial & Industrial
Common Interest Development Act (which was only one section in the Davis-Stirling Act).
. The Davis-Stirling Act applies to all forms of residential common interest developments in California, including those in existence prior to the Act
. The Davis-Stirling Act applies to all common interest developments in California. In addition, the Corporations Code applies to all incorporated associations. From time to time, there are conflicts between governing documents and statutes which can be resolved using established rules of interpretation