New HOA laws signed for 2019

Sept. 30 was the last day for the governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature in 2018. Many bills affecting homeowners associations were signed, and two were vetoed.

SB 261 – This bill, signed by the governor on Sept. 27, amends Civil Code 4040 to allow homeowners to use email to request the HOA send communications via email to the homeowner, and it amends Civil 4360 to require 28 days’ (instead of the current 30) notice to homeowners for proposed rule changes.

SB 721 – HOAs exempted. SB 721 requires multilevel residential properties to conduct inspections of balconies and other elevated elements every six years. Signed into law by the governor on Sept. 17, the final version of the bill exempts HOAs from its requirements.

SB 1016 – Time of Usage (“TOU”) Meters. SB 1016, signed by the governor on Sept. 13, adds a new Section 4745.1 to the Civil Code, protecting the installation of TOU meters for electric vehicle charging stations. HOAs may impose reasonable requirements on the requesting owner.

AB 2912– New Association Financial Requirements. AB 2912 requires boards to review the HOA financials monthly instead of the current quarterly requirement. The new law, approved by the governor on Sept. 14, requires all HOAs to have fidelity (dishonesty) insurance in place. It also requires documentation of board authority for expenditures over $10,000 or 5 percent of the HOA’s budget, whichever is lower.

SB 1128 and 1265 – vetoed. Two of the most troubling bills for California HOAs this year were Senate Bills 1128 and 1265. SB 1265 would have made it much harder for common interest development associations to preserve elections if technical errors occurred, and would have outlawed the ability of association members to adopt reasonable board eligibility standards. SB 1128 originally made some technical and sensible changes to the Davis-Stirling Act, but late in the legislative process was amended, adding the harmful content of SB 1265.

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