Brian D. Moreno Law Corporation APC is experienced in community association law.
We are a full-service HOA law firm that represents community associations in virtually all aspects including:
1. CC&Rs Enforcement
Community associations are tasked with the duty of enforcing the community’s governing documents in a fair and equal manner, after evaluating the particular facts and circumstances. We work with board members and management in developing creative, thoughtful, and effective ways to bring owners, residents, tenants, and guests into compliance if needed. Fortunately, associations are provided numerous tools and remedies.
2. Assessment Collection
Community associations operate and function based on an annual budget and assessments that are charged to owners. All owners must pay their fair share. Moreno Law assists community associations with developing a Collection Policy that is specifically tailored to the particular community and that complies with all of the applicable laws. If delinquent accounts arise, we develop creative ways to identify the best collection remedies that maximize the association’s chances of collecting all assessments, plus interest, costs, late charges, and attorney fees.
3. Community Association Litigation
Community association litigation usually involves CC&Rs enforcement cases that arise from non-compliance on the part of the owner. Associations may or may not need to fund the litigation depending on whether insurance coverage is triggered. Typically, the prevailing party in the litigation recovers attorney fees and costs against the losing party. In this regard, it is important that the facts and circumstances of the particular dispute is examined and analyzed, and that the appropriate remedies are pursued.
4. HOA Governance
Associations function similar to other corporations, including the election of directors, holding membership and board meetings, and compliance with the governing documents, including quorum and agenda/notice requirements, the Open Meeting Act, and rules of order.
5. CC&Rs / Bylaws / Rules Restatement and Amendment
For many associations, the governing documents (including the CC&Rs, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations) are outdated and do not accurately reflect the current laws and trends Associations can benefit from appropriate amendments or restatement of the governing documents. Such benefits include:
The California Legislature continues to amend and revise the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act with regard to community association elections. Moreno Law will provide advice and suggestions for all aspects of community association elections, including important deadlines, ballot content, candidate applications and qualifications, inspector of elections requirements, record date, quorum and reconvened meetings, acclamation procedures, and strategies for managing risks associated with elections.
7. Association Meetings
The various laws that apply to association meetings – whether membership meetings or board meetings – make compliance all the more challenging and important. With the new shift to virtual meetings, association board members and management can benefit from advice and counsel regarding procedural compliance, transparency, free speech considerations, maintaining order, etc. Our firm provides flat fee options for the preparation and adoption of association meeting rules and codes of conduct.
8. HOA Assessment Collection
Assessments are an association’s only source of income with which to function and operate. It is vitally important for associations to keep delinquencies at a low percentage. Moreno Law utilizes smart and thoughtful techniques and strategies for recovering delinquent HOA assessments. One size does not fit all when it comes to assessment collection, and we provide a thoughtful review of the particular delinquency to determine the best course of action.
9. Foreclosure, Judicial and Nonjudicial
Similar to litigation, foreclosure should really be a last resort after examining the association’s lien position and equity of the particular property, as well as other relevant information. If the association desires to pursue foreclosure, the costs and benefits of judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure should be examined closely to determine the best remedy for the particular collection file.
Pre-litigation dispute resolution (IDR) and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are both wonderful tools that can help the association achieve its objectives without having to prosecute or defend costly litigation. With court calendars as backlogged as they oftentimes are, IDR and ADR procedures should be explored to see if an amicable settlement can be reached. In some cases, litigation may be necessary, but in most cases, IDR and ADR procedures can be beneficial for associations.
11. Fair Housing, Harassment, and Neighbor Disputes
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding that harassment and neighbor disputes are becoming more common. Unfortunately, fair housing and harassment claims can become costly and expose the association to significant liability. In this regard, it is critical that legal counsel is engaged quickly to provide advice so that proactive steps can be taken to mitigate and manage the risks associated with these types of disputes.
We strive to resolve disputes amicably in order to avoid costly and disruptive litigation whenever possible. That said, our litigation team will aggressively and effectively represent the association when needed to successfully prosecute or defend the association and its directors and management in any litigation matter, remaining sensitive to the association’s objectives and budgetary issues. Our goal is to meet or exceed the association’s litigation objectives quickly and effectively. We will provide relevant information to the Board prior to and during the litigation aimed at determining whether the association’s objectives can be met, and we will develop strategies and keeping the board informed throughout the litigation.
13. Vendor Contracts
Regardless of amount, associations should have their vendor contracts reviewed by legal counsel to ensure the association is adequately protected. We provide contract review services that include thoughtful revisions, addendums, and (if necessary) restatement of the vendor contact. Simple edits can go a long way in protecting the association’s interests should a dispute arise.
14. Board Member Training
Moreno Law offers Board member training for newly elected directors or directors that desire additional information concerning particular issues, including fiduciary duties, procedural compliance, and best practices in the decision-making process.