"Partition" means to divide or separate. When it comes to common interest developments, it refers to dividing the common areas. Because 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, §4610)
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 condominium plan.
Another example involved a 36-unit condominium complex that was seriously damaged by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. (Moorpark HOA v. VRT Corp.)
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