I Want To Recall My HOA Board!

Yep, I had another call today about this, one last Monday, and two last week. The people who call are in the various throes of frustration. Most do not want to spend a lot of money to “get their board recalled”. Most do not realize the commitment required. And most do not know these things to begin with:

1. California elections law presents lots of hurdles to recall.

2. Getting signatures on a petition to recall a board does not work, the only petition honored by law is a petition to call a recall meeting, and that has to be done properly.

3. Owners can only call a meeting if a proper petition is filed with the board and the board fails to act properly to call a meeting.

4. Current board members, even if recalled, can run again in the new election. Thus, if a group is unsuccessful at every election or an individual finds themselves abandoned by other owners who get tired of the effort to fight for recall may not bode well in pushing through to the end of a recall effort.

5. Recall should be a last resort, not a starting place, if a person wakes up one day and doesn’t like what the board is doing. There are many things an owner or owners can try first to engender accountability without diving in headfirst only to find the pool was too shallow for diving.

5. Listening to “authorities” who are not intimately familiar with the Davis Stirling Act (such as corporate business lawyers, family law lawyers, trust lawyers and general real estate lawyers, insurance professionals, vendors and people hoist on their own petard) can get a group with a good cause off track very quickly.

6. Boards have access to association funds to spend to resist recall while owners who want to recall a board have to spend their own money to get good legal advice.

7. There is a Guide available on my website that explains how recall in California works and explains all these things and how to resolve many issues. If you don’t know what you are getting into, don’t start until you educate yourself. Otherwise you may end up in the middle of chaos, as I know has happened to some well-meaning owners. The Guide is $50 and can be sent PDF very quickly after an order is sent in (see the webstore at http://californiacondoguru.com).


If you are untrained about what is involved in recall you are already behind a very tall hurdle. I sure hope you can jump real high.



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2 Responses to I Want To Recall My HOA Board!
  1. Esteban Soriano
    September 2, 2013 | 6:10 pm

    Ordered your recall guide and it is most helpful. Thank you!

    Your guide and other websites speak to the need to include in the petition language the demand not only for a special meeting to recall Board of Directors but also to demand the election of new Directors should the votes tabulated at that special meeting approve the recall. However, nothing speaks to WHEN or HOW one nominates members so they can be on a secret ballot contained (hopefully) in the same envelope as the ballot to recall. In our petition for a special meeting to recall, can we also include a roster of those we put forth in nomination should the recall prove successful? Thus, can we have a “2-part” petition that demands a special meeting AND has the signers agreeing to nominate specific members to place on a new election ballot?

    • Beth Grimm
      September 23, 2013 | 7:45 pm

      Thanks for the comments. I have to say it is hard even in a guide intended to help owners cope who are going through the effort, it is impossible to cover all scenarios because the strategies for success depend so heavily on how a board reacts. I think your idea is a very good one. In my experience, where groups of owners who are trying to recall the board fail, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, is to be unprepared to offer strong qualified candidates.