Excessive Rentals
Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association LawSeptember 4, 2020

Excessive Rentals. Our community is only 6 years old. Investors came in, rented their property, and left. As it stands now, out of 350 homes, 60% are rented and the other 40% are owned.

Renters don't care about the property and have little sense of community pride. When we send violation letters out, we're sending them to the homes that are rented, because that's the address the owner left with the HOA.

Investors are renting for profits and not for the stability of the community. What can our HOA do to decrease the level of renters occupying these homes? -Geoffrey G.

RESPONSE: With 60% of your community as rentals, I don't think there is a solution. I've seen too many associations hit the 40%+ mark and never recover.

AB 3182. Amending your CC&Rs to limit rentals will be impossible. All the investors will vote against it. Moreover,
AB 3182 passed the Senate and Assembly earlier this week and will wreak havoc on community associations if signed into law. It opens the door to even more rentals in HOA communities. I will report on it in our next newsletter.

No Solution. A high percentage of rentals is the death knell of a community. There will be a steady decline in the upkeep of homes, opposition to dues increases to build strong reserves, ongoing problems with rules enforcement, and a negative impact on property values. I know it's a pessimistic view. You can either grit your teeth and do your best to hold the line or sell your home and get out while the community is still new and your property values high.


QUESTION. Does the board have a responsibility to answer questions asked by members during public comments at a board meeting? I know we are not obligated to answer during the board meeting, however, do we NEVER answer the question? Seems kind of counter productive to not communicate with the community. -Sue B.

RESPONSE: There is nothing in the Davis-Stirling Act that requires the board to answer questions. Instead, there is a provision in the Act limiting the board's ability to answer questions at board meetings, which makes no sense at all. (Civ. Code §4930(b).)

When boards refuse to answer questions, members get frustrated and become suspicious that directors are hiding something. Fortunately, there is no penalty attached to the restriction and, in my experience, most boards readily answer most questions. I am not aware of anyone running into court for an order to stop boards from answering questions.

As a practical matter, boards need to keep the membership informed and answer questions in a timely fashion. Some questions can't be answered on the spot, and a director or manager will follow up with the person asking the question. Some questions are answered in a newsletter so all members receive the benefit of the answer.

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend boards be as open as possible and communicate frequently with the membership.

Circulating Agenda Items. Our president inquires of the rest of the board if they have agenda items for the board meeting. The president then puts the item on the agenda. Is this legal? -Brenda H.

RESPONSE: Yes, it's perfectly legal. It's an administrative function and does not violate the Open Meeting Act. See Exceptions to Open Meeting Act.

Proof-Reading. Is it acceptable for board members to pass around documents via email for the purpose of proofreading and adding input like grammar corrections, etc.? -Roger D.

RESPONSE: Yes, it's legal. As with setting the agenda, it's an administrative function. As long as the board is not discussing matters that will come before the board, but instead is performing an administrative task such as proofreading, it does not violate the Open Meeting Act.

Snowbirds. How can boards communicate without violating the law? Four out of five of our board members are snowbirds and currently out of country. We are dealing with landscape issues that require immediate action so I have written a few emails to the entire board but our management company has informed me that my emails violate the Civil Code. -Marius O.

RESPONSE: You can hold open meetings via teleconference or video conference such as Zoom with 4 days' notice. If it's urgent, you can hold an emergency meeting. In all cases, keep minutes so you have a record of the board's decisions.

NorCal Counties. At his press conference on Friday, Governor Newsom announced that the Monitoring List would no longer be used and that it was being replaced by the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. More information can be found here: Blueprint for a Safer Economy. You can track your County here: State County Tracker I have noted what Tier Counties are in based on the number next to the County name, with 1 being the worst (widespread), 2 (substantial), 3 (moderate) and 4 being the best (minimal). This resulted in new businesses being allowed to open throughout the State (noting that Counties can be more restrictive): What Businesses May Open Pursuant to Blueprint. The CDPH issued a new Order dated 8/28/20.

Alameda issued a press release on August 31, 2020 indicating that they are evaluating which businesses they will be opening pursuant to the new regulations noted by the State. Alameda County August 31, 2020 Press Release

Butte County issued another press release about a spike in cases among college-aged persons. The press release notes that gatherings of any size are required to be postponed or canceled.

Contra Costa County issued a press release dated August 31, 2020, indicating that indoor hair salons and barbershops may now open, indoor shopping malls may reopen at 25% maximum capacity, with congregation and food courts closed; gyms and fitness centers may open outdoors.

El Dorado County issued a press release indicating that it believed it was misclassified in the tiered system. On September 1, 2020, a new press release was issued indicating the circumstances under which the County can move to Tier 3 by the week of September 21.

Fresno County issued an advisory on September 2, 2020 regarding the status of schools, noting that all schools are to remain closed for in-person instruction and providing more specific guidance. They also provided updates re Youth and School-Based Sports: Guidance re Youth and School Based Sports.

Marin County has come out with a new way to report businesses that are in violation of the Health Order, which can be found here: Marin County Form to Report Business Violations of Health Order.

Mendocino County issued a new Order on August 28, 2020 to comply with the State’s new tiered system and update the open businesses and restrictions.

Mono County Briefing on September 1, 2020 outlined what businesses could open in Mono County, based on their status in the tiered system, including information about schools, some of which have determined to open in late September. Mono County Briefing dated 9/1/20.

Napa County updated their FAQs related to business operations to comply with the opening, based upon the new tiered system. The link for Napa County’s Ordinance re violations of the Health Orders is posted in the Notes section.  Nevada County has a new press release re the tiered system and businesses which may now open.

Sacramento County has a new Order dated 8/31/20 that aligns with the State’s new guidance. Sacramento County has a new Order dated 8/28/20 re schools, indicating that all schools transitional kindergarten through grade 12 shall immediately close for in-person instruction and remain closed until they are instructed by the Health Officer of Sacramento County that they may reopen.

San Francisco has a new Health Directive dated 9/1/20 which provides industry-specific guidance for businesses. They also issued a press release indicating which sectors are open, noting that they are being more restrictive than the State allows and outlining the goal for future openings.

San Joaquin County has a new Order dated 8/31/20 implementing the Blueprint directives. They also issued an Order of the same date regarding brewpubs, bars, breweries, and pubs, indicating that they must follow the State’s Order issued August 28, 2020. The County’s July 29, 2020 press release re schools has also been added.

San Mateo issued an update that certain sectors are allowed to open pursuant to the State’s Blueprint model, which can be found here: San Mateo County Reopening.

Santa Clara issued an update to their Order dated 8/31/20, implementing the State’s Blueprint.

Santa Cruz indicated in a press release dated 8/28/20 that they expect to be in Tier 2 on September 8, barring an increase in cases. The press release indicates that indoor hair salons, barbershops and malls may open, and that schools must remain closed for in-person instruction at this time. A press release was released dated 9/2/20 reminding of beach closures over Labor Day weekend: Santa Cruz County Press Release dated 9/2/20 re Beach Closures Labor Day Weekend.

Solano County issued a revised Order dated 9/1/20 to incorporate the State’s new Blueprint framework.

Sonoma County issued a press release dated 8/30/20 indicating that barber shops, hair salons and malls are allowed to resume indoor operations based on the State’s Blueprint framework.

Tuolumne County issued a new Order dated 8/31/20 implementing the State’s Blueprint framework.

SoCal Counties. Imperial County amended its health order to incorporate the State’s new Blueprint model.

Los Angeles County amended its golf course protocols and now allows barbershops and hair salons to operate at 25% capacity indoors. Beginning Monday, September 14, schools K‑12 may offer in-school services for small cohorts of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP), students requiring instruction for English as a Second Language (ESL), or students needing assessments or specialized in-school services, as long as the school is able to fully implement the Health Officer’s re-opening protocols.

The City of Los Angeles updated their Safer LA order to allow indoor hair salons and barbershops.

Riverside County indoor malls can reopen at 25% capacity, as well as indoor barbershops and hair salons.

San Bernardino County indoor malls may reopen at 25% capacity, as well as indoor barbershops and hair salons.

San Diego County amended its Health Order to follow State guidelines for face coverings, and allows the opening of indoor businesses for Tier 2 of State’s new Blueprint model, allowing indoor operations for gyms and fitness centers, dining, personal services, barbershops and hair salons.

San Luis Obispo County indoor barbershops and hair salons may reopen.

Ventura County indoor malls and barbershops and hair salons can reopen.

READING THE CHART. Because the chart is large and the text small, you can easily make it larger for viewing by holding down the "Ctrl" key on the left side of your keyboard and then using your finger to scroll forward or backwards with the wheel on your mouse. You will see the text grow larger or smaller as you move the wheel. For a list of county restrictions and links to health department orders, see County Chart 9-2-20. The chart is also posted on our website.

Boards can contact us for friendly,
professional advice.

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Founder & Managing Partner

DISCLAIMER. Our newsletter provides commentary based on sketchy information we receive from readers. From time to time, we add a little humor. Some find it amusing. Others are appalled. Some readers are excited when they score free legal advice. Not so. Our newsletter provides commentary only, not legal advice. You need to pay real money for an attorney to review all the facts and give you a legal opinion. We do that too, but you have to actually hire us. It's okay, we're friendly. You can call us. Keep in mind we are corporate counsel to California associations only.

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