Some Bad Pending HOA LegislationMar 29, 2021
By Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL
Last week’s column recapped five bills proposing to help HOAs. This week addresses the other side of the coin, as four legislative proposals are pending, which would not help California’s 50,000+ HOAs.
AB 1410 (author Rodriguez)
This year’s worst HOA bill is Assembly Bill (AB) 1410, by Member Freddie Rodriguez. The bill states that it responds to the pandemic emergency, yet most of the bill is not temporary. The bill would eliminate any ban on leasing portions of residences. This means that HOAs could not stop someone from renting each bedroom to a different tenant or subdividing the residence into multiple rented parts. This would effectively destroy the longstanding rule that HOA homes must be single “family” residences and allow them to become mini boarding houses.
AB1410 would also add a new Civil Code Section 4754, banning anything in governing documents restricting “critical discussion” of the HOA. That sounds like a nice idea; however, I have not seen such a provision in any HOA CC&Rs or rules during 32 years of advising HOAs.
Several years ago, the Community Associations Institute sponsored a bill proposing low-cost training for HOA directors, but it did not become law. AB 1410 would add a Civil Code Section 5101 requiring all of California’s 200,000 or more volunteer directors and every HOA employee (including everybody from managers to maintenance personnel) to take a course on “ethics and harassment prevention.” No information on course content, legitimacy, length, or cost is provided.
AB 1410 would also create a new Civil Code Section 5870, prohibiting HOAs from pursuing enforcement actions of any kind during declared emergencies or quarantines, and would create a new Section 5880 permanently requiring HOAs to give photographs or any other evidence to members accused of violations. During emergencies or quarantines, apparently scofflaw members can behave without consequence if this bill is passed and can demand to inspect any “evidence” against them.
AB 1466 (authors McCarty, Bonta, and Chiu)
AB1466 addresses the problem of old CC&Rs containing illegal discriminatory restrictions (most commonly racial or against children). The bill would allow HOA members, brokers, escrows or “other persons” to submit to County Recorders a proposed CC&R amendment. There are no proposed protections to ensure that County Recorders can confirm that only discriminatory portions are affected, and County Recorders are given only 90 days to record the amendments demanded. Under this bill, anybody inside or outside the HOA could modify its CC&Rs.
The “Safe At Home” program protects victims of domestic violence, and AB 611, from Member Quirk-Silva, would add a new Civil Code Section 5216 requiring HOAs use a designated state address instead of the member’s actual address for those in the Safe At Home program. However, this is unnecessary, since HOA members under Civil Code Section 4040(a)(2) can already designate an email address instead of postal mail for notifications.
AB 1584 (author Housing and Community Development Committee)
AB 1584 would declare “unreasonable” restrictions on accessory dwelling units (“ADUs”) or junior ADUs to be void. This would make the third major change in the law regarding ADUs in HOAs in three years, while HOAs are still figuring out 2019’s AB 670 and 2020’s AB 3182.
Review bills (and perhaps provide comments to their authors) and statutes at the official Legislature web site, www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.