You have questions, we have answers.
What are the five (5) rules that are mandatory for community associations?
Do a majority of the Board members need to be present at the annual meeting?
Annual meetings are typically held as membership meetings, which means that only a quorum of the members is required for the meeting to proceed. A board member will typically chair and control the meeting and it is usually beneficial for the current directors to attend the meeting, but quorum of a membership meeting is tied to the number of members (not board members) being present.
If a Judge orders an owner to comply with a provision of the CC&Rs as an injunction and the owner fails to comply, can the owner be incarcerated?
Yes. A violation of a court order is considered contempt of court and is subject to incarceration.
If an owner fails to pay a small claims money judgment, can the judgment creditor HOA foreclose on a property owned by the owner?
Yes. The association would have the option of pursuing foreclosure as against any property that is owned by the owner in California. An abstract of judgment can be recorded in the County in which the property is located, which creates a judgment lien that is subject to foreclosure.
If an association does not have election rules consistent with applicable law, may the association hold an election?
No. If the association proceeds with an election but does not have a current set of election rules, the election conducted will be subject to challenge. An owner could argue that the outcome of the election may be different had proper election rules been enacted, especially because the election rules establish director qualifications and various other rights that could have an impact on an owner's decision to run or not run for the board.
Do association need to be involved with neighbor disputes?
Yes. At the very least, associations should investigate the particular allegations and determine whether the allegations rise to the level of a violation, and if so, whether enforcement should be pursued. Ultimately the association may decide that no violation has been committed, but it is critical for associations to show that an investigation has been performed.
Can an association recover attorney fees against an owner that violates the governing documents without filing a lawsuit?
Yes. Assuming the association's governing documents allows for a special (reimbursement) assessment, the association may recover attorney fees, costs, expenses, and damages that the association incurs as a result of the violation. Consult your association's legal counsel for further guidance to ensure your governing documents support this action.