"Partition" means to divide or separate. When it comes to common interest developments, it refers to the dividing the common areas. Because the common areas in a condominium development are owned in common by all members of an association, there are statutory restrictions against dividing the common areas. Such restrictions are normally found in an association's governing documents and also in the Davis-Stirling Act. (Civ. Code §4625
On the rare occasion when there is a significant change in circumstances, a court can order a partition of the common areas. (Civ. Code §4610
). An example of changed circumstances involved an association where a large slope failure destroyed part of a condominium project. The cost to remove the dirt, stabilize the hillside and rebuild the condominiums was significantly more than the condominiums were worth. Accordingly, a court granted the association's request to partition that portion of the project and eliminate it from the balance of the condominium plan.
Another example involves a 36-unit condominium complex that was seriously damaged by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. (Moorpark HOA v. VRT Corp
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter