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July 2017 Archives

Pending legislation would ensure homeowners have free speech

California property owners who are part of a homeowners association might be interested in proposed legislation that could affect their rights as part of a common interest development. The bill, written by state Senator Bob Wieckowski, would secure free speech rights to persons living in such a development, including the right to peaceful assembly, the right to free communication within the community and the right to distribute information or gather for educational, social or political reasons.

Bill targets HOA disputes over speech suppression

California residents subject to the rules of homeowner associations may soon see a significant change in non-solicitation policies. Those policies have allowed HOAs to block political efforts among their residents by imposing fines and issuing commands. Some residents may agree with these policies as they impact political speech, but others feel strongly about their free speech rights. Citizen testimony was one factor in the movement of legislation preventing HOA infringement of free speech rights through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Avoid disputes by knowing what your HOA can and cannot do

Homeowners Associations, most commonly known as HOAs, are governing bodies that regulate and maintain certain aspects of a neighborhood. From neighborhood pools to keeping entrances looking nice, the power of your HOA depends largely on the bylaws adopted when the HOA formed. As a California homeowner, you may want to familiarize yourself with how your HOA works. 

Relief not always possible in a neighbor dispute

When prospective homeowners are looking at Orange County properties, they might consider the views, the peacefulness of a neighborhood or the safety of surrounding streets. Unfortunately, land development and moving neighbors can result in the loss of these qualities, which can impact enjoyment of the property as well as reduce its value. A lawsuit may be capable of remedying a damage to property rights in some situations.

Remodeling condominiums could require association approval

Civil codes in California regulate the interactions between condominium owners and homeowner associations. One source of confusion for owners is the level of autonomy and privacy that they have when making changes or repairs inside their homes. The written Condominium Plan specific to each community designates exactly where common and personal spaces begin. In general, the unit owner has control of the space bounded by the surfaces of walls, floors and ceilings.