Good morning Kelly. In our recent HOA meeting, one question raised was, “Why isn’t our CC&R’s on the HOA’s website?” The answer from our manager was, “Someone could hack into our website and see our CC&R’s.” I find this difficult to believe since the CC&R’s must be recorded with the county recorder’s office and as such, are a public record. It seems to me that putting the CC&R’s on the website shouldn’t be that difficult and would work much better than the current requirement to call the association and have them e-mail a copy. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. S.H., San Clemente

Dear S.H.:

CC&Rs are by definition covenants recorded on the HOA property, which means they are a PUBLIC notice. Anybody can obtain a copy by either seeking it from the local County Recorder or by contacting your favorite title insurance company’s customer service department. Governing documents normally contain no confidential information. Posting the governing documents (condominium plan or subdivision map, CC&Rs, Bylaws, and all HOA rules) on-line is a good idea. To the extent someone still views governing documents as confidential, they could be placed on the website’s “members-only” portion. HOAs and their managers are increasingly using websites as a communication tool and to post the various documents that members request from time to time. 

If the HOA documents required by Civil Code Section 4525 (items for sellers to give to prospective purchasers) are available electronically, Civil Code Section 4530(b)(1) prohibits the HOA from charging for the electronic copy. Web sites and electronic document transmittal make HOAs and managers more efficient and enhance community communication. So managers, HOAs and the members all win by embracing the technology.

Sincerely, Kelly

Dear Mr. Richardson: I am hoping you can give us some direction with these problems. Our CC&Rs call for financials every month. We have not gotten them for almost 2 years. We get yearly budget and reserve accounts but that is it. Also, we are trying to get people together for a meeting but she will not allow us to use the clubhouses. E.A., San Jacinto

Dear. E.A.:

Your board is required by Civil Code Section 5500 to review several important financial items on a monthly basis, including: a current reconciliation of the operating accounts and reserve accounts, the current year’s actual operating revenues and expenses compared to the current budget, the latest account statements from banks holding HOA funds, an income and expense statement for the association’s accounts, the check register, monthly general ledger, and delinquent assessment receivable reports. However, these are not necessarily all documents that a homeowner is entitled to request from the association. There is some small overlap between this list of financial records and the financial records a member may request to review under Civil Code Section 5200. The board should insist that the manager provide the reports necessary so it can meet the financial review requirements imposed by law. 

As to the meeting room request, Civil Code Section 4515(b)(3) allows members to reserve the clubhouse on an available date for members to meet and discus concerns regarding HOA issues. Although the HOA may not require a deposit, it can hold the host member responsible for violation of the facility rules or for any damage arising out of the event.

Best, Kelly

 

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 Kelly@rodllp.com. Past columns at www.HOAHomefront.com. All rights reserved®.

4 Comments

  1. Keith Marshall

    I really appreciate the echo group and how you take the time to answer questions from us lay people. We hold office often times because there are very few volunteers and we’re faced with so many difficult technical and legal questions and we’re responsible without any compensation. Without echo service, help, advice, and legal-based knowledge sharing we would be in a world of hurt. Your last seminar, I think it was called, ask the attorneys, was fabulous as you share from lessons learned an intense legal experience, I simply don’t know where we’d be without echo. Many thanks to you and all those that support the echo experience it’s very positive…

    Reply
    • Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL

      Keith, our firm is pleased to be involved with ECHO as well as CAI, CACM and CAR. Glad you find the organization helpful.

      Reply
  2. Anne Laureano

    Hello Kelly;

    Our Board is attempting to assess $2000 per year (2x per year) per homeowner in lieu of a dues increase. It appears it will be used for repairs for some specific things as well as maintenance.

    We are 11 units, all unique sizes. Therefore the total assessment would be $22,000 per year.

    1. Shouldn’t we be assessed based on pro rata share since we are all unique sizes and since it appears to be going into the general fund? If so, is there a specific law for this?

    2. Since the Board plans to assess this $2000 every year onwards, would this be considered a regular assessment?

    And if so, does this mean they can’t assess a homeowner more than 20% of their previous year’s assessment unless quorum approved?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL

      Hi Anne, can you send this question to me by email? I would like to consider this for a future column. My email is kelly@rodllp.com. Please include the name of your HOA and the city in which it is located. I will only use your initials and the city if I am able to publish an answer.
      Best regards, Kelly

      Reply

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