Reader Questions - CC&R Questions

c c & rs h o a homefront reader questions Jun 02, 2014

Dear Mr. Richardson,

I cannot locate a copy of our CC&Rs. In fact, I cannot recall ever receiving a copy of them when my wife and I moved into our condominium 16 years ago. I recall seeing a notice from our HOA some time ago stating that a charge of $100 would be assessed to any homeowner who needed a replacement document. 

I have not yet gone through all of the documentation pertaining to the purchase of our unit. If I do so, should I expect to find anything proving that a copy of the CC&R’s was delivered to us?

Thank you for your kind attention, 

Sincerely, T.B., Laguna Niguel

Dear T.B.,

The CC&Rs should have been recorded (i.e., filed with the County Recorder in your county) when the subdivision was formed creating your association. Once recorded, it binds all later owners in the association, regardless of whether they received a copy when buying their residence. Unfortunately, few homeowners understand how important are CC&Rs, and belatedly learn that it is a contract binding them as if they had signed it. Civil Code 5205(f) bars associations from charging more than their “direct and actual costs” in making and sending the copy to you. I am guessing that $100 is not your association’s cost. Also, it is easy to obtain a complete copy from your local title company, and although a fee may be charged, it will be a heck of a lot less than $100!

Best regards,

Dear Mr. Richardson,

1) The condo association has a rule regarding open forum that the board will not allow any prepared statements to be read unless they have been pre-approved first by the Board. Is this rule legal? 

2) Based on my reading/research of the Davis Stirling Act, only the board can place an item on the agenda. What would be an effective strategy to utilize in getting an item on the agenda?

3) If I am unable to attend a board meeting, may I email a request that it be read during the open forum section, so it will be part of the meeting minutes?

Thank you for your consideration of these questions,

Sincerely, N.B., San Marcos

Dear N.B.,

1) No, I don’t think the rule is “legal”. Whether your use your allotted minutes extemporaneously, or read them from prepared notes, what does that matter? Your board needs to ease up. Open forum is your time, not theirs. Make it count, and if you are prepared instead of rambling, the board should be appreciative.

2) The agenda is the board’s domain. Unless your association meeting rules allow non-directors to submit agenda items (which is rare), the board in consultation with management decides what it will and will not discuss. If you REALLY want to make sure you can submit agenda items, get elected to the association board.

3) The purpose of minutes is not to record what people said, directors or not, so no, the board should not be “reading statements into the minutes”. Minutes are to reflect ACTIONS, not statements. So, if you want to make a statement to the board, then write the board a letter, but don’t expect your words to be in the minutes. The board’s words should not be in the minutes either- unless those words are a motion.

Thanks for your questions,

Written by Kelly G. Richardson

Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to [email protected]. Past columns at All rights reserved®.