Community Legal Advisors provides guidance to HOA Board of Directors helping boards navigate the complex legal landscape surrounding Homeowner Association law.
The proverbial “ounce of prevention” can save hundreds of thousands of dollars of “cure.”
We so completely believe this, that we implemented a policy of free telephone calls for clients who enter a retainer agreement with our firm. We want our clients to “make a quick call” to confirm that an action they are about to undertake is consistent with the governing documents and California law.
Our general counsel work encompasses the following:
Potentially the most misunderstood element of association authority lies within its obligation to impose architectural control over a community. Community Legal Advisors will guide the Board of Directors through the process of creating Architectural Guidelines, and through the application, notice, plan review, decision, appeal and, if necessary, enforcement processes.
CC&Rs are a living constitution for the association, designed to be revised and amended to meet the continuing needs and desires of the ownership. Rules help an association define and implement broader concepts found within its governing documents.
The attorneys at Community Legal Advisors have a firm background in subdivision law:
- Creating the governance structures of common interest subdivisions
- Implementing non-profit mutual benefit corporate structures
- Drafting governing documents (including articles, bylaws and CC&Rs) which define and communicate exactly how the project is designed to operate.
This insight and big picture experience helps to avoid common pitfalls in the amendment process and maximize the value of amendments to theCC&Rs and Rules and Regulations.
The IDR and ADR processes should be treated both as an opportunity to communicate and resolve the dispute amicably as well as an opportunity to best understand the legal arguments which each side brings to the table.
For example, during these dispute resolution processes, the association may learn that rules or regulations relied upon were never properly communicated or are selectively enforced. In attempting to resolve these matters, we try not to lose sight of the fact that these disputes are often between neighbors, folks whose kids play together and have to live next door to one another for years to come.
Board Resolutions should be memorialized in a writing which identifies the Board’s desired outcome, its reasoning for implementing the resolution, and its authority to impose the resolution. We’ll work with the board to understand its goals, properly document its decision and confirm its authority for passing the resolution.
The Davis-Stirling Act recognizes both incorporated and unincorporated associations as managing entities for owning and maintaining common interest subdivisions. Operating these entities legally requires compliance with articles, bylaws, CC&Rs, maintenance agreements, municipal, state and federal codes. Community Legal Advisors provides advice on corporate compliance requirements.
Associations are charged with many obligations by entering into contracts with outside vendors. These contracts can contain questionable provisions geared to protect the interests of the vendor to the detriment of the interests of the association.. It is important to review these contracts. Before engaging with a vendor send the contract to our offices a general review of the contract and special review of the insurance and liability provisions will help ensure that the interests of the Association are preserved.
Community Legal Advisors will prepare election packages which properly reflect the election rules, bylaws and CC&Rs for the association. It is our feeling that sitting boards should be given the “benefit of the doubt” when questions arise as to the operation of the association. However, if a board is acting in an unethical manner or is unresponsive to the desires of its members, the statutory remedy is removal or recall of the sitting Board. Our firm will prepare the proper petitions and counsel owners through the recall process.
We’ll review courtesy/warning letters and confirm that they are consistent with the Association’s governing documents. Then, we’ll prepare violation letters, arrange and attend executive sessions, internal dispute resolution hearings and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. In the rare situation where informal dispute resolution measures do not resolve the issue, Community Legal Advisors can undertake and aggressively prosecute legal action to obtain compliance with the governing documents.
A legal opinion advises the Board regarding legal issues, including interpretation of its governing documents and the interplay of those documents with Federal, State and local law. We provide legal advice and opinions regarding architectural matters, contracts, corporate matters, elections, enforcement issues, property maintenance obligations and any other area of client concern.