Legal Update for 2023: New Statutes
In contrast to other recent years, this past year the California legislature enacted very little legislation that directly affects common interest developments. The following is a summary of the few new laws affecting HOAs that will take effect on January 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 1410. This bill covers three topics: protecting members’ rights to discuss HOA issues, owner rentals to roommates, and a homeowners association’s ability to enforce the governing documents during an emergency situation.
- Member communications. SB 1410 revises Civil Code Section 4515 to prohibit homeowners associations from prohibiting owners from discussing any issue of concern to members or residents on social media or other online resources. Associations must specifically allow owners’ comments on development living; association elections; legislation; election to public office; and the initiative, referendum, or recall processes. Associations are also prohibited from retaliating against owners who use social media or online resources to make any such comments. While this statute is new, owners already had this right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution.
The association is not required to provide social media or online resources to members, nor is it required to allow members to post content on the association’s internet website.
- Roommate rentals. A new addition the Davis-Stirling Act, Civil Code Section 4739, applies to owners renting out a portion of their home to tenants or roommates while the owner is also living there. Section 4739 provides that associations cannot prohibit these rentals if the lease is for a period of more than 30 days. If the association’s governing documents prohibit owners from any such lease or rental to a roommate, Section 4739 now overrides that prohibition.
- Enforcement during government emergencies. SB 1410 adds Civil Code Section 5875 to the Davis-Stirling Act. Section 5875 prohibits an association from enforcing violations of its governing documents during any emergency situation declared by a state or local government, if that emergency makes it unsafe or impossible for the owner to either prevent or fix the violation. Specifically excluded from this restriction is nonpayment of assessments; associations can continue collection efforts during a government-declared emergency (unless barred by some other governmental mandate).
This newsletter gives only a brief summary of the new statutes. For further clarification on their impact on your homeowners association, please contact this office.