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What is Homeowners’ Association Law?

A Homeowners' Association (HOA) is an organization that governs a subdivision, condominium, townhome development, or planned community/common interest development. In these developments, some property is owned exclusively by individual owners, while other property within the development is owned by all of the owners within the community. Homeowners associations are run by a board, which is bound by bylaws, and board positions are filled by election or appointment. The board has a variety of powers and responsibilities which can include managing the association’s budget, collecting fee assessments from all owners to maintain common areas, address legal and safety issues, and enforce applicable restrictions. The HOA also provides residents with a platform to address common concerns of the community.

In California, the homeowners association is not only bound by their bylaws, but is also governed by specific statutes within the California Civil Code known as the Davis-Stirling Act. The Davis-Stirling Act is a statutory scheme that was passed in 1985 to simplify and standardize the laws regarding operations of common interest developments. The numerous responsibilities that the HOA boards are faced with and laws governing the community can create many legal problems for the board.

The Judge Law Firm, founded by James A. Judge, Esq., has concentrated its focus on common interest development law and is a full service firm for homeowners’ associations. The Judge Law Firm handles cases ranging from collection matters to complex litigation and general counsel for the associations. Our expertise includes assessment collections, dispute resolutions, bankruptcy monitoring, real estate law, municipal law, and general counsel services for any issue that associations face.