HOA Homefront is a syndicated weekly column that educates the public on issues pertaining to California residents living in common interest developments, their boards of directors, and community association managers. HOA Homefront is published in over a dozen Southern California newspapers.
Amidst a state-wide shutdown of all non-essential businesses, many homeowners are already feeling the pinch of reduced employment or business income, and calls are already arising in many HOAs for the association to be lenient regarding delinquencies. While emotionally the immediate response is to not push assessment collection, the matter is not so simple for the association board of directors.
In the past few weeks, as the COVID-19 aka “coronavirus” proliferated globally, local, state, and some national governments have taken strong measures to ban groups from congregating and ordering non-essential businesses to close.
As a lawyer, I plead “guilty” to being persnickety (to use a Latin term) regarding the correct use of legal terms. In the world of common interest developments there are several commonly used terms which are inaccurate and create misunderstanding. Here are four of the “all-stars”.
Many talented successful people find themselves continually frustrated with volunteer service on their HOA board, and often are surprised to find themselves in conflict regarding their HOA service. This can be rooted in the failure to understand that HOAs run very differently than businesses, and some of the practices which bring career success are not what the HOA needs. Governing the HOA is very different than running a business
Senate Bill 323 took effect in January 2020, creating new procedural requirements for HOAs and also unintentionally creating many problems and unanswered questions.
The term “fiduciary duty” is often used, but with a misunderstanding of what it means. HOA Directors are considered “fiduciaries” because they care for the community’s property and finances and are therefore in a position of trust.