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Opinion piece: what legislators might reasonably consider re HOAs

A guest columnist lamented recently in an Orange County publication that, although California legislators do frequently focus on homeowners association-related matters, the topics that take up their time are often trivial, if not inconsequential.

Regarding the Davis-Stirling Act (the principal state law governing HOAs), the writer argues that "significantly helpful changes in the act have been rare in recent years." He contends that many topics of material importance do exist that are ignored and should be considered in their stead.

Perhaps some readers of our Mission Viejo real estate blog think the same thing, especially if they are property owners or board members in planned communities.

Quorum-related matters frequently do arise, for example, as noted in the above article, with the writer stating that important matters sometimes fail to get addressed owing to overly low participation at meetings. The columnist states that enhanced HOA governance might ensue in many instances "with an automatic reduction of quorum to 25 percent" when the first attempt to elect directors fails.

And the article makes this singular point, namely, that HOAs stand alone as the only type of corporate body in the state lacking the means to vote electronically. With so many things being done online these days (everything from paying bills, transferring funds, accessing medical information and more), it might indeed seem odd to many people that HOA members continue to suffer from an electronic voting ban.

The article points to a number of other things, too, that state lawmakers might reasonably be focusing on, ranging from the elimination of proxies and educational requirements for board directors to a more timely distribution of HOA governing documents (especially CC&Rs) to property buyers and a suggested elimination of cumulative voting.

The laundry list of HOA-related topics suitable for legislative scrutiny is long and varied.

Moreover, property owners' questions, concerns and grievances regarding their HOAs are myriad and often complex. A proven real estate firm with long-tenured experience working in this singular area of law can provide candid guidance and diligent legal advocacy on behalf of any individual or family needing assistance with any matter involving an HOA.

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