Community Association Law
Richardson|Ober LLP provides outstanding counsel to common interest development communities throughout California. We are a trusted resource for all common interest developments, including commercial and residential associations, condominiums, mixed-use and senior communities.
We don’t just know the law, we make it. Our team works to make laws, both in the legislature and in court. Our attorneys are involved in drafting, reviewing, and often working to amend legislation before it becomes law. When necessary, we represent our clients in both trial and appellate courts, having represented clients in cases all the way to the Supreme Court of California. As a result, we provide quality community association legal counsel, which can only come from a deep working knowledge of common interest development law and the intuitive ability to apply the law effectively.
As leaders in community association law, we counsel a diverse range of communities. Our team provides ongoing counsel with time-tested legal theories and innovative trends to community association boards, providing directors with the tools they need to make decisions in the best interests of their communities and their members.
Quality community association legal counsel entails not only a working knowledge of common interest development law but also the intuitive ability to apply the law effectively; always with an eye toward improving the value of and the quality of life within the community.
Richardson | Ober Attorneys Provide Exceptional Counsel on All Community Association Matters
Click below to learn more about our most common services provided for community associations.
We provide comprehensive contract drafting, negotiation, compliance and enforcement services, for both special projects contracts and ongoing vendor service agreements. We provide guidance in monitoring and enforcing contractor and vendor performance, and, if needed, guide our clients in contract termination to limit their liability. Our extensive experience informs us that no contract is too small when it comes to protecting our clients from liability.
Election Rules, Voting Procedures and Meeting Protocol
The laws governing community association meetings and elections is constantly changing and with that creates challenges for community association compliance. In addition, the impact of Covid-19 on community association meetings has been significant. We assist our clients in complying with often cumbersome and confusing statutory elections procedures, notice requirements and timelines, ensuring that the association has clear and concise mandated elections rules in place. We assist communities in preparing for and conducting community association meetings and voting processes. Finally, our general counsel services include ongoing assistance with board and annual meeting preparation and protocols, meeting conduct rules, and working with new technologies for conducting community association meetings.
Assessment Recovery Through
The payment of assessments is an obligation owed by every owner. A delinquent owner is a burden on all other owners in the community. R|O provides state of the art assessment recovery utilizing a cost effective and efficient assessment collection system. Our program provides 24/7 access to collection status using the most up to date collection software. Our program is simple, straightforward and, most importantly, successful. We operate on a deferred-fee basis where our attorney’s fees are billed monthly but payable at the conclusion of the matter. In most cases, attorney’s fees and costs are recovered from the delinquent homeowner.
Rules and Regulations, Policies and Resolutions
We believe community rules should be designed to respectfully encourage compliance. From essential resident conduct rules to solar, electrical vehicle charging and water intrusion responsibility policies, R|O attorneys prepare rules, policies and resolutions that meet the specific needs of each community; they must be clear, concise, understandable and easy to comply with. Our drafting team has significant expertise in revising your existing complex, cumbersome or outdated rules, and developing new common sense rules along with reasonable fine and enforcement policies that meet current civil code requirements and ensure that each Owner will receive due process.
Governing Document Amendments, Interpretations and Enforcement
An association’s governing documents reflect the health of the community in terms of how the community is maintained, governs and operates. R|O attorneys partner with your community to develop governing documents that empower the board to govern in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. Thereafter, we provide ongoing assistance to aid in interpreting, and where necessary, enforcing, the association’s governing documents. Finally, whether enforcing your existing CC&Rs or amending and restating them, we work with your community leaders to inform and educate your owners toward a better understanding of their obligations as property owners. We work with each community to ensure that enforcement methods are clear, consistent and equitable to all concerned, and to encourage voluntary compliance. Amending or restating your association’s CC&Rs or bylaws is one of the most import projects a board will undertake and we partner with you through every step in the amendment process to ensure you the greatest possibility of a successful outcome.
Dispute Resolution: Enforcement Hearings, Internal Dispute Resolution, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Community association governance must embrace an efficient and effective method of conflict resolution, encouraging respectful engagement and civil discourse. At R|O we believe in timely, consistent and fair enforcement to encourage compliance and that each homeowner should be treated with respect when faced with a compliance issue or enforcement proceeding. Due process must allow for swift, cost-effective dispute resolution, while ensuring compliance with the governing documents for the benefit of all residents.
Our mediation services are second to none, partnering with the board in proceeding through alternative dispute resolution with the goal of resolving disputes with owners effectively. Respectful disagreement is a necessary component of community governance. Mediation allows parties to meet to discuss and resolve their disputes in an efficient, cost effective manner.
Our focus is to resolve disputes in order to avoid costly and disruptive litigation whenever possible; however, our community association litigation team is well-equipped to successfully prosecute or defend the association and its directors in any litigation matter, staying mindful of the association’s goals and budget constraints. Our litigation team will evaluate your legal dispute or claim, provide you with a litigation plan, and keep you informed with regular litigation status update. We have particular expertise in insurance policy interpretation and enforcement, providing you with the tools necessary to evaluate the association’s coverage options and assist you in obtaining the coverage expected, including monitoring insurance defense counsel representation to guide the board toward a successful conclusion of any litigation matter.
General Counsel Services
Our philosophy is to partner with your association to build a long-term relationship on which your directors and community management can rely for all community association matters. Our attorneys have extensive experience with corporate governance, fiduciary duty, business judgment, association management and compliance with the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. We assist with enforcement of your governing documents and compliance hearings, offer well-reasoned, easy-to-understand legal opinions and provide specific answers to difficult questions that allow you to make sound, informed decisions.
We believe that board members benefit from ongoing education and legal updates. In addition to monthly newsletters, R|O provides regular and annual legislative updates, case law reviews, webinars and board orientations throughout the year and as needed, so that directors feel confident that they have the skills and general knowledge necessary to serve their communities effectively.
Based on our commitment to quality representation and personalized attention, R|O is recognized as one of the premier law firms representing community associations throughout California with clients ranging in size from a couple of units to over 13,600 units. Our clients include single-family homes, residential and commercial condominiums, and high-rise towers. As a full service law firm providing complete representation of common interest developments, no matter the size of your association or the issues you face, R|O can meet your community's legal needs.
Fair Housing, Harassment and Employment Issues
Among the more complex areas of community association law are fair housing, harassment and employment law issues. These laws prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment, and may require communities to accommodate residents with disabilities so they can enjoy equal use of their residence. At R|O, we believe in educating our community association clients on the nuances of the fair housing laws and in ensuring compliance with appliable fair housing, harassment and discrimination laws. R|O’s extensive experience with fair housing claims and reasonable accommodation requests guides communities in applying these laws to protect their association, while affording each resident dignity and respect in the process.
In matters of employment and staff issues, complex and ever-changing employment and workplace laws require ongoing assessment of risk and identification potential liability in hiring, training, management of employees. We support our associations with a full team of expertise in such matters as hiring, employment agreements, job descriptions, leave of absence, discipline and termination.
Memberships & Affiliations
Our proven dedication to the community associations industry reflects our firm belief in education and experience as the drivers of sound decision making in community associations.
We are committed to providing legal counsel customized to your needs. Please contact us with any further questions or to request a proposal.
By submitting this form, you consent to email communication from Richardson|Ober.