HOA MAINTENANCE 101-WHO FIXES WHAT IN AN HOA?

HOA MAINTENANCE 101-WHO FIXES WHAT IN AN HOA?

A couple of readers asked some questions about the “new” maintenance law for HOAs in California. Yes, it is in full force, and yes, I have written on it many times since it was passed about two years ago. And yes, these discussions are always timely.

Here goes, directly from the M-1 Maintenance Primer on my website:

“There are laws that apply to maintenance in the Davis Stirling Act – namely Civil Code Sections 4775-4790. Those sections defer to the CC&Rs in places (called the Declaration) when a maintenance item is covered but also contain default positions if the documents (CC&Rs) do not define who is responsible.

The most general section 4775 appears below and it says—if you read it carefully, that the HOA is responsible for maintenance, repair and replacement of common area. As to Exclusive Use Common Area (EUCA), it is different. Owner is responsible to maintain, BUT the HOA is responsible to repair and replace EUCA—AND all this applies only if the CC&Rs do not clearly say something else about these areas.  

 The law:

 4775. MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES IN A CID/RELOCATION COSTS

(a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), unless otherwise provided in the declaration of a common interest development, the association is responsible for repairing, replacing, and maintaining the common area.

(2) Unless otherwise provided in the declaration of a common interest development, the owner of each separate interest is responsible for repairing, replacing, and maintaining that separate interest.

(3) Unless otherwise provided in the declaration of a common interest development, the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining the exclusive use common area appurtenant to that separate interest and the association is responsible for repairing and replacing the exclusive use common area.

(b) The costs of temporary relocation during the repair and maintenance of the areas within the responsibility of the association shall be borne by the owner of the separate interest affected.

(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

My Comment: As you can see, 4775 provides the general overview, and the statutes that follow provide some more specifics. Figuring out responsibilities for maintenance, replacement and repair obligations is often difficult because documents also tend to lack specific language. Besides the CC&R provisions and the statutory references and requirements, past and current practices, reserve studies and policies may have some bearing on responsibility and consistency of enforcement may become an issue. Since this is a common area of dispute and disagreement, a Board should have an experienced professional assist in handling the issues and questions that arise. Sometimes it requires a CC&R amendment to clarify things. The very detailed Pest Control Treatment and Notice statutes which follow the law, namely 4777 etc. were added effective 1/1/2017.

 That is where the Davis Stirling Act gets more specific with notices and termite responsibility:”

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What appears above is a direct excerpt from the Maintenance Primer I offer on my website called Who Fixes What in An HOA? It is available for $25 at www.californiacondoguru.com. It will provide you with such comprehensive information about figuring out who fixes what, and how to head of fights, confusion, disagreements and issues over maintenance, and the content would cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees if you asked a knowledgeable attorney to educate you on the law and what it all means, and how to head off and solve problems.  

Go to the webstore at californiacondoguru.com if you wish to immerse yourself in the details and specifics. You will get about 20 pages of it. None of this  is LEGAL ADVICE, it is provided for informational purposes. To  get LEGAL ADVICE as to a specific situation, take a look at the consultation form on the website while you are there.

 

 

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