MY SECONDARY ADDRESS:
QUESTION: I’m an owner who lives part of the year in Europe. I requested my HOA mail all notices to my secondary address, my email. The board told me they aren’t bound to send notices and disclosures via email. Isn’t my HOA obligated to mail notices to my designated secondary address, even if it’s an email?
ANSWER: You are correct. Civil Code §4040(b) requires an association, upon request from a member, to provide notices to the “secondary address identified in the request.” The Civil Code does not specify what type of address must be provided, so it stands to reason an owner can designate an email address in lieu of a physical address.
Email Notice is Allowed. Civil Code §4040 is clear if any part of the Davis-Stirling Act requires individual notice, an association can accomplish delivery by mail (U.S. or overnight) or by email, fax, or other electronic means so long as the owner consented in writing to receive the notice through the particular method. If a request to use an email as a secondary address is in writing, it is valid for individual notices to be sent.
Types of Notices. Associations are obligated to provide owners the following records, including by email: annual budget report, the annual policy statement, notices of regular and special assessments, and notices of foreclosure. Not all notices must be sent via individual delivery. Associations can deliver the following types of records through general delivery (which can include posting a physical copy of it at a designated location in the association): board meeting notices, rule changes, election and vote tabulation results, and use of reserve funds.
RECOMMENDATION: Civil Code §4045 permits owners to request all general notices also be delivered to them by individual delivery. Submit your request in writing to designate your email as your secondary address (make sure it complies with all the requirements) and also request individual delivery of all general notices so you can continue to be kept abreast while you’re abroad.
Thank you to partner Jasmine Hale in our Los Angeles office for this article.