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Law Alert!

California Reorganizes the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act

(Posted October 1, 2013)

On August 17, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law AB 805 (Stats 2012, ch 180), which reorganizes the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. The reorganization, which takes effect January 1, 2014, attempts to continue the substance of existing law in a more logical and user-friendly form by moving the Act from CC §§1350-1378 to CC §§4000-6150 and reorganizing several sections. Also signed into law in August 2012 was AB 806 (Stats 2012, ch 181), which makes technical conforming changes to statutes that cross-reference the Act. A year later, on August 27, 2013, the Governor signed SB 745 (Stats 2013, ch 183), which includes clean-up legislation to clarify the intent of certain language in the Act and make other minor changes.

In addition to moving the Act, several substantive changes have been made. Specifically, the bill does the following:

  • Revises provisions regarding notices and their delivery;
  • Standardizes terminology;
  • Establishes guidelines on the relative authority of governing documents;
  • Establishes a single procedure for amendment of a common interest declaration;
  • Guarantees the owner of a separate interest the right to make changes in that separate interest in a common interest development (a right that previously only applied to condominium projects);
  • Establishes an express list of conflicts of interest that may disqualify members of a board of directors of an association that manages a common interest development from voting on certain matters;
  • Revises provisions related to elections and voting;
  • Establishes standards for the retention of records; and
  • Broadens the requirement that liens recorded by the association in error be released.

Any substantive changes in the new law do not retroactively invalidate actions and documents that were completed prior to the operation of the new law and that were proper under the former law.

For in-depth discussion of the Davis-Stirling Act as it applies to existing common interest communities and homeowners' associations, see Advising California Common Interest Communities (Cal CEB 2003). For detailed coverage of how to create a common interest development from the developer's perspective, see Forming California Common Interest Developments (Cal CEB 2004).

Check out CEB's On Demand program, Recent Changes in Common Interest Development Law

© The Regents of the University of California, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission is strictly prohibited.

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