Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association Law July 10, 2022

QUESTION: I know Davis-Stirling allows for the installation of EV charging stations, but if the HOA complex does not have adequate power to supply such a station would the upgrade be an HOA cost or an individual owner/unit cost? -Jennifer B.

ANSWER: The upgrade is at the owner's expense. You are experiencing one of the many problems with the transition to electric vehicles--the infrastructure is not yet in place. There is a related problem with the capacity of the electric grid to handle the increased demand for electricity. In May, California's Energy Commission issued a warning that it lacks sufficient capacity to meet electrical demands and we should expect rolling black-outs affecting 1 to 4 million people this summer.

Panel Upgrades. Your condominium complex was not constructed to handle electric vehicles. Electrical panels were designed for specific loads. The unplanned load imposed by electric vehicles requires an upgrade to your building's panels.
Your association is not obligated to pay for the upgrade. The cost falls on your shoulders the same as it would if you lived in a single family home.

Rebates. Fortunately, California and various utility companies have been offering rebates and other incentives for owners to install charging stations. A number of our clients have taken advantage of the incentives and upgraded their buildings so current and future EV owners can install charging stations. If you go online and search for "California charging station rebates," you will find a variety of programs. Following are a few: RECOMMENDATION. You should investigate the incentives and make a presentation to your board. It benefits all members and raises property values if your association upgrades its infrastructure so present and future owners can easily install EV charging stations.

QUESTION: With the increased popularity of electric vehicles, our electrical panels from 1982 are not always up to the task. We have several owners who want to upgrade from 100 amp to 200 amp panels and are willing to pay for it themselves. Can the board allow owners to upgrade panels? –Pamela D.

ANSWER: Yes. With the board's permission, owners can hire an electrician to perform the upgrade. Or, in the alternative, the association can hire an electrician and then bill owners for the work.


QUESTION: It is clear that paying someone to serve on the board is not permissible. What about paying a board member's spouse or son, to serve as handyman? –Carol W.

ANSWER: Yes, it is permissible. There is nothing illegal or unethical about it. With smaller associations, it proves beneficial since the person lives onsite, knows everyone, and is readily available to address maintenance issues. To keep things above board, the director must recuse herself from any matters involving her spouse/son.


We are pleased to announce that attorney Karen St. Onge joined our Firm.

Karen is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law. Prior to that, Karen graduated with honors from the University of California San Diego with a Bachelors of Arts in Theater Literature.

Karen is an experienced HOA attorney working with boards of directors on election disputes, rules violations, fiduciary duties, amending governing documents, nuisance complaints, and mediating disputes. Karen also has solid litigation experience with construction defects, personal injury claims, complex tort actions, premises liability, toxic torts, and nonjudicial foreclosures.

Karen is active in our industry as a member of the Community Association Institute's (CAI) Legislative Support Committee and the California Association of Community Managers (CACM).

Karen joins our growing San Francisco team of Melissa Ward and Aaron Schwarzkopf under NorCal Team Leader Nathan McGuire. For more information about our legal services, contact us.


Next in our series of 2-Minute Videos, we describe the different kinds of committees. What is the difference between an ad hoc committee, standing committee, and executive committee? How are they appointed? Who serves as the chair? Can they be dissolved?

  Watch: HOA Committees


As a trained parliamentarian, may I suggest the chair of a meeting, if he believes a consensus has been reached on a motion, may say, “If there isn’t any objection, the motion is adopted.” This recognizes the consensus and puts on the record the motion was accepted by all. If a committee or board member objects, then a vote can be taken after a call of the question. Using this maneuver can move things along with non-controversial motions. –Stephen S.

If a motion is made, and there is a second, and the president asks “all in favor” and ALL are in favor, there is no need to ask for “any opposed,” correct? I was in a meeting where this was happening and I told the president he could stop calling for any opposed if all were in favor. –Leila F.

ANSWER: You are correct. There is no need to ask for "any opposed" and "any abstentions" when the vote is unanimous in favor of a motion.

A note about excessive candidate statements. People tend not to read anything that is too wordy these days. A long statement is most likely to the detriment of the candidate. –Richard S.

ANSWER: True. People's attention spans have gotten quite short. Hence, our 2-minute videos instead of 30-minute videos. Everyone has a busy schedule and it is difficult to find the time to make deep dives into topics.

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

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Founder & Managing Partner
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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