If you are involved in the operation of a California homeowners association or an owner of a house that is governed by a California HOA, you are probably aware it is likely that any architectural changes to homes that are governed by the HOA must first get approved. It is common for disputes about requested architectural changes to arise between property owners and HOAs.
Homeowners associations that require property owners to get architectural approvals for changes must follow the provisions of the Davis-Stirling Act. This includes having a procedure established for the submission of architectural approval requests to the HOA. The decision made by the board must be made in good faith and not in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
If you sit on a board of a homeowners' association and are unsure whether you should approve or deny a requested change, it is important for you to understand the law governing your decision-making process. If you are a property owner whose request for an architectural change has been denied, you may also want to understand the requirements of the Davis-Stirling Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act in order to determine whether or not you might have legal recourse.
At our law firm, we have represented both HOAs and property owners regarding architectural approval disputes for more than 25 years. We advise property owners about their rights under the applicable laws when their requests have been denied unfairly. We also advise HOAs about whether or not architectural changes should be approved. We work to negotiate resolutions for our clients when disputes arise over proposed changes. If you are on the board of an HOA or are a property owner who is involved in a dispute over an architectural change request, you might want to review our architectural approvals page for more information.