Solicit Information. Beginning January 1, 2022, associations must request members' preferred delivery method (email, mail, or both) for notices and disclosures. In addition, associations must annually give notice that members are not required to provide their email address to the association (Civil Code § 4041) for the membership list, which the association is obligated to maintain. This notice must be given no later than 30 days prior to mailing the Annual Budget Report. (See Sample Form; NOTE: An email with the requested information is sufficient for the association's records. (Civ. Code § 1633.7.) The email can be printed and stored in a file or stored electronically.)
Preferred Method of Delivery. Effective January 1, 2023, documents and notices that are required to be provided by “individual notice” or “individual delivery” must be delivered in accordance with the “preferred delivery method” specified by the member under Civil Code § 4041. Associations may find themselves in the administratively difficult position of delivering notices four different ways:
- Mail to some members (§ 4041(a)(1)(A));
- Email to other members (§ 4041(a)(1)(B));
- Mail plus Email to a third group of members (§ 4041(a)(1)); and
- No Preference: If a member does not provide a preferred delivery method, notices must be delivered by "first-class mail, registered or certified mail, express mail, or overnight delivery by an express service carrier addressed to the recipient at the address last shown on the books of the association." (§ 4040(a)(2))
Bounce-Backs. In addition, associations must have a procedure in place to monitor email for bounce-backs or error notifications. If delivered to an invalid email address, the association must resend the notice to a snail mail address or another email address identified by the member. (Civ. Code § 4041(e).)
General Notice-Delivery. If a provision of this act requires “general delivery” or “general notice” (such as board meetings), the document may use one or more of the following methods:
- Billing Statement. Inclusion in a billing statement. (Civ. Code § 4045(a).)
- Electronic. Email, facsimile, or other electronic means if the recipient has consented, in writing, to that method of delivery. (Civ. Code § 4040.)
- Mail. First-class mail, postage prepaid, registered or certified mail, express mail, or overnight delivery by an express service carrier. The document shall be addressed to the recipient at the address last shown on the association's books. (Civ. Code § 4040.)
- Newsletter. A notice or report mailed or delivered as part of a newsletter, magazine or other organ regularly sent to members shall constitute written notice or report pursuant to this division when addressed and mailed or delivered to the member, or in the case of members who are residents of the same household and who have the same address on the books of the corporation, when addressed and mailed or delivered to one of such members, at the address appearing on the books of the corporation. (Corp. Code § 5016; Civ. Code § 4040.)
- Posted in a Prominent Location. Posting the notice in a prominent location that is accessible to all members if the location has been designated for the posting of general notices by the association in the annual policy statement, prepared pursuant to Section 5310. (Civ. Code § 4045(a)(3)).
- Website. If the association maintains an internet website for the purpose of distributing information on association business to its members, by posting the notice on the association's internet website in a prominent location that is accessible to all members if designated as a location for posting general notices in the annual policy statement. (Civ. Code § 4045(a)(5)).
Individual Notice-Delivery. If a provision of this act requires that an association deliver a document by “individual delivery” or “individual notice,” the document shall be delivered by one of the following methods:
- First-class mail, postage prepaid, registered or certified mail, express mail, or overnight delivery by an express service carrier. The document must be addressed to the recipient at the address last shown on the association's books.
- Email, facsimile, or other electronic means if the recipient consented in writing to that method of delivery. The consent may be revoked by the recipient.
Sale of Emails. Associations and their managing agents cannot sell or transmit a member's personal information for any purpose without the consent of the member. (Civ. Code § 5230(c).)
Incentives for Electronic Delivery. Associations can offer incentives, such as gift cards, bottles of wine, etc., to their members to switch from paper to electronic delivery of disclosures, notices, and documents.
Notice Period. See "Notice Period Defined" for questions about how to count days for giving notice.
Disclosure Checklist. Associations are required to disclose a large number of things to the membership, such as the presence of asbestos, how they plan to fund their reserves, their rules enforcement policies, etc. See "Disclosure Checklist" for a list of all the disclosures.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.