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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Changes in California law for homeowners' association boards

The 2017 California legislative session saw some changes that affect residential communities. Some of the changes specifically apply to homeowners' association boards. Since these new laws may change the way HOAs work, it may be helpful to know what happened.

First, every document recorded with one of California's county recorders will be assessed a new tax of $75. This does not apply to documents transferring ownership of property, but it does apply to everything else. For instance, if an HOA needs to file a lien against a homeowner, it will cost $75, and when the lien is removed, it will require another $75 fee. More than likely, HOAs will pass on this cost to the homeowner, but it may still require budgeting for this new tax.

HOAs will also be required to notify members if a contractor files a lien against work done on common areas of the community. People voluntarily serving as directors of an HOA in communities with both residential and commercial units may also receive some new protection. Under prior law, only those in residential communities received immunity, but now they may also receive immunity for the residential side of these mixed-use communities.

More than likely, when these changes go into effect, homeowners' association boards may have some questions regarding exactly what it means in their situations. It would probably be helpful to discuss the new laws and the changes they may require with an attorney. This would help ensure that the HOA remains in compliance with the laws, which could, in turn, help make sure that the HOA and its board members retain the protections the laws provide.

Source:, "HOA Homefront: What Sacramento did for (or is it to?) HOAs in 2017 (part 1)", Kelly G. Richardson, Nov. 11, 2017

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