Reasonable Restrictions
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REASONABLE CC&Rs & RULES

Recorded Restrictions (CC&Rs). An association's CC&Rs shall be enforceable equitable servitudes, unless unreasonable. (Civ. Code §5975.) Use restrictions contained in a recorded declaration are afforded a "presumption of validity" and are enforced unless found unreasonable under a deferential standard. (Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assn. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 372, 383.)

Whether CC&Rs are reasonable is determined not by reference to facts that are specific to the objecting homeowner but by reference to the common interest development as a whole. Restrictions contained in CC&Rs are presumed reasonable and will be enforced unless the restriction:

  1.  Is arbitrary,

  2.  Imposes burdens on the property that substantially outweigh the restriction's benefits to the development's residents, or

  3.  Violates a fundamental public policy. (Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village)

CC&R provisions are presumptively valid and the burden of proving otherwise rests on the challenging owner. (Villa De Las Palmas v. Terifaj.)

Rules & Regulations. However, rules and regulations adopted by a board of directors are not given the same presumption of reasonableness as are CC&Rs. (Dolan-King v. Rancho Santa Fe.) Whether a rule is reasonable is to be determined not by reference to facts that are specific to the objecting homeowner but by reference to the common interest development as a whole. The same test of reasonableness used for CC&Rs is used for rules, i.e., rules should be enforced unless they are wholly arbitrary, violate a fundamental public policy, or impose a burden on the use of affected land that far outweighs any benefit. (Sui v. Price.) To be enforceable, operating rules must meet the following criteria (Civ. Code §4350):

  1. The rule is in writing.

  2. The rule is within the authority of the board conferred by law or by the declaration, articles of incorporation or association, or bylaws of the association.

  3. The rule is not in conflict with governing law and the declaration, articles of incorporation or association, or bylaws of the association.

  4. The rule is adopted, amended, or repealed in good faith and in substantial compliance with the requirements of this article.

  5. The rule is reasonable.

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

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