Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association Law February 22, 2024

With an atmospheric river running through California, many associations suffered water damage from leaks in roofs, windows, walls, and balconies.

This is on top of water damage aging buildings suffer from drain lines and water lines in the walls.

Laurie Poole and I will speak on (i) Who is liable for water damage, regardless of the source? (ii) Are exclusive use pipes automatically the owner's responsibility? (iii) What does insurance cover? (iv) What if owners don't have insurance? (v) What are the association’s maintenance obligations? (vi) What if there is mold?

The presentation will be held at noon, Wednesday, March 27, 2024. There will be time for questions at the end. To attend, REGISTER HERE.

We are pleased to announce that the Davis-Stirling website has been updated with more resources and links making it easier to use.

Resources Page. Previously, outside resources were scattered throughout the website. They are now consolidated onto a single page, which you can access through the menu bar on the home page.

Now, you can easily conduct license searches for businesses, contractors, pest control providers, CPAs, and security companies. In addition, you can check bank and insurance company ratings, and access legal resources such as ADR providers, legislation, and statutes. See "Resources."

Commercial CIDs. Formerly, we had the Commercial and Industrial CID Act on a separate website. It is now on the Davis-Stirling website with easy access from the menu bar. See Commercial CIDs.

Video Library. Our library of videos is now accessible from the menu bar.

Legal Services. Information about our firm was previously in two locations with some on the DS website and the remainder on a separate website. All information about our attorneys and legal services is now consolidated on the Davis-Stirling website and accessible through the menu bar on our home page. See About Us.

Pop-Up Windows. Finally, we converted all links to statutes and cases into pop-up windows to make it easier to view them without leaving the topic you are researching. We have other features in development which will be announced later in the year. I think you will like them.

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.

We are pleased to announce that Benjamin "Ben" Refoua joined our firm.
Ben earned his law degree from Southwestern Law School. While earning his juris doctorate, Ben was simultaneously earning a Master’s in Business Administration from the
Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University. 
Before law school, Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Development and Business Finance from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Ben is working out of our corporate office in Los Angeles as a transactional attorney drafting legal opinions, preparing restatements, and attending client meetings. In addition, Ben is assisting our litigation department with research and briefs.

Hiring. We have additional openings for attorneys. If you are interested, email Adrian Adams or call him at 800-464-2817.

Proposals. If your association would like a proposal for legal services, contact us for more information.

QUESTION: My HOA has about 6500 members. Our association is in the high Sierras in a fire prone area. Can the HOA require those of us that have highly flammable shake shingled roofs to replace them with Class A fire rated materials? –Jim K.

ANSWER: I would need to see your CC&Rs, but generally, yes your HOA can require everyone to re-roof using fire rated materials. The danger of devastating wildfires is real. As a result, insurance is difficult to get and premiums have gone through the roof. Requiring fire-rated roofing makes sense. Your board should consult legal counsel about how best to address this issue.


QUESTION: A couple of weeks ago we had an incident that involved blood on the concrete. Does the HOA take care of these types of incidents by getting them to clean up? –Hector S.

ANSWER: The association should clean up the blood--it is responsible for maintenance of the common areas. Depending on how it got on the sidewalk, the association might bill the guilty party for reimbursement. If it resulted from a trip and fall, the association absorbs the cost. If one owner assaulted another owner, the board can hold a hearing to fine the person and bill him for the clean-up.


QUESTION: Can you please tell me why California does not allow the use of online voting services for HOAs. It would simplify voting. -Douglas J.

ANSWER: Electronic balloting was introduced to the Legislature in 2013 as AB 1360 to increase election participation and reduce expenses. Although the bill had wide-spread support, Marjorie Murray's Center for California Homeowner Association Law (CCHAL) opposed the bill and it died.


Agency Notices? Will the city or county automatically notify our HOA that our balconies are due for inspection? Or do HOAs request inspections on the honor system? How does it work? -Allen Q.

RESPONSE: It's the honor system. Agencies will not send notices that it's time to inspect, and knock on doors to find out if they were completed. However, if boards skip the inspections and someone reports them to a local agency, associations could get hit with fines.

Other consequences could include banks refusing to lend because the inspection was not done, insurance carriers raising rates or carving out losses related to balconies, and lawsuits if injuries occur because inspections were not conducted. Skipping the inspection is not a good idea.

Adrian, thank you. You are the best. –Joe O.

Thank you for what you do! Our HOA Board would be lost without you. -Joanie J.

Love your newsletter. -Jim K.

Boards can contact us--we're friendly and our rates are competitive.

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
DISCLAIMER. Our newsletter provides commentary, not legal advice. Boards need to retain an attorney to review all the facts and give a legal opinion on the issues they face. We serve as corporate counsel to California associations only. Request a proposal to represent your association.

PAST NEWSLETTERS. Readers can find current and prior year newsletters posted here. Older newsletters are not posted since the information they contain can change over time with new statutes and case law. The website, however, is kept updated with current information which can be found via the "Index" or through our website's internal "Google Search" feature.

I join Adrian in inviting you to contact us for your association's legal needs.

Hon. Lawrence W. Stirling, Senior Partner and author of the Davis-Stirling Act

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