How New HOA Laws for 2024 Will Affect San Diego Homeowners

May 24, 2024 | Uncategorized

Being educated and informed about state and local regulations is an important aspect of being a homeowner, especially when it comes to new laws and updates. Understanding new and upcoming law changes can help homeowners (and homeowners associations) see the whole picture when it comes to making important decisions – and ensuring that you and your HOA are abiding by the new regulations.

Here are some recent laws that could potentially affect San Diego homeowners.

California Senate Bill 391 – HOA Virtual Meetings during Times of Emergency

SB 391 allows HOAs during times of declared emergency to hold purely virtual meetings (without the normal requirement of a physical location where members can choose to observe).

Notice of the first virtual meeting must be announced to all members by mail, including the contact information of someone who can help with log-in difficulties, and all votes in purely virtual meetings must be by roll call. You can read more here.

Many HOAs now integrate dedicated management platforms that facilitate communication, document sharing, and virtual meetings. Tools like Zoom and Teams have become essential, while platforms like TownSq and AppFolio enable HOAs to streamline operations, manage payments, and keep residents informed in real-time through mobile apps and online portals.

California Senate Bill 392 – HOA Association Document Delivery

Senate Bill 392 was actually sponsored by the California Association of Realtors, and continues to push towards electronic communication within HOAs. Starting in 2023, owners may choose whether they wish to receive individual notifications from the HOA by postal and/or electronic mail. If they do not choose, the default method of communication will still be postal mail.

A new 4045(a)(5) was created, permitting HOAs to make general notices on the HOA’s website. New subparts were added to Civil Code Section 5230, barring the HOA or its management from selling member information to a third party without member consent. (Some management companies have been doing this without full disclosure to the membership.) Read more here.

California Assembly Bill 3182 – Rental Restrictions in HOAs

This law requires condo associations with three or more units to have a licensed structural engineer inspect the building’s exterior elevated elements (balconies, elevated walkways, railings, stairways, etc.) every nine years. Associations must conduct their first inspection by January 1, 2025. You can Read more here.

California Senate Bill 326 – HOA Balcony Law

This law requires condo associations with three or more units to have a licensed structural engineer inspect the building’s exterior elevated elements (balconies, elevated walkways, railings, stairways, etc.) every nine years. Associations must conduct their first inspection by January 1, 2025. Read more here.

Assembly Bill 1033: California Family Rights Act

The California Family Rights Act makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to grant an employee’s request to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period for family care and medical leave. The law defines family care and medical leave to now also include care for a parent-in-law. Read more here.

Assembly Bill 1101: Common Interest Developments – Insurance

According to this law, managing agents are no longer allowed to commingle association funds with the managing agent’s money or with the money of others. At the written request of the board, managing agents must also deposit funds accepted or received on behalf of a CID into an account in a bank, savings association, or credit union in California that is FDIC-insured or insured by the National Credit Union Administration Insurance Fund.

Such funds may only be deposited in accounts that protect the principal and funds cannot be invested in stocks or high-risk investment accounts. Depositing funds in interest bearing accounts is no longer required. You can read more here.

California State Bill 391: Emergency Powers and Procedures

This law allows a board or membership meeting to be conducted entirely by teleconference, without any physical location being held open for the attendance of any director or member, if all of the following are met:

  • Gathering in person is unsafe or impossible because the CID is in an area affected by or if a state of emergency or disaster is declared by the Federal, state or local government;
  • Every director and member has the same ability to participate in the meeting that would exist if the meeting were held in person;
  • Any vote of the directors shall be conducted by a roll call vote; and
  • Any person who is entitled to participate in the meeting shall be given the option of participating by telephone

Read more here.

California Assembly Bill 1410: Common Interest Developments

This law, effective from January 1, 2023, prohibits HOAs from restricting the display of the U.S. flag on a member’s property or preventing them from discussing common interest development issues through online platforms. Read more here.

AB 1410 prevents HOAs from prohibiting homeowners from conducting virtual meetings or using social media to discuss HOA issues, reinforcing residents’ rights to communicate and organize digitally. The law promotes transparency and encourages a more open community dialogue within HOAs, addressing restrictions that limit homeowners’ freedom of expression.

California Assembly Bill 1033: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Assembly Bill 1033 focuses on enhancing the rights of property owners to build ADUs by streamlining the approval process and reducing barriers. This bill aligns with California’s broader push to increase housing availability by encouraging the construction of additional living spaces on existing properties.

As a result, it facilitates the development of ADUs by reducing permit delays, eliminating unnecessary restrictions, and promoting a more efficient review process by local governments. You can read more here.

California Assembly Bill 648: Virtual Meetings

Effective for 2024, California Assembly Bill 648 allows HOAs to conduct board meetings and member meetings virtually, giving them the flexibility to use teleconferencing and other electronic communication methods. This change is intended to promote greater participation and convenience, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HOAs adopting virtual meetings must still ensure compliance with notice requirements, maintain transparency, and provide mechanisms for homeowner participation and voting. You can read more here.

California Assembly Bill 1764: Director Qualifications

Assembly Bill 1764 outlines director qualifications for California Homeowners Associations, setting specific requirements for individuals serving on HOA boards. The bill emphasizes that board members must be homeowners within the association, promoting accountability and ensuring that those making decisions have a vested interest in the community.

The bill also includes provisions to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure fair governance, reflecting a focus on transparency and responsible leadership within HOAs. Read more here.

In most cases, many of these newly passed laws have positively impacted local communities. Laws like Assembly Bill 1410 have made it easier for homeowners to discuss HOA matters through digital platforms. New ADU regulations have also pushed San Diego HOAs to adapt their rules to better accommodate state housing policies, promoting density and affordability.

A number of housing advocates in California supported Assembly Bill 1033 for ADUs for this reason. While it will take much more to solve the housing crisis, Ricardo Flores, executive director of San Diego housing nonprofit LISC, believed the bill was helpful in “moving the ball in the right direction.”

How to Stay Compliant and Prepare for New Legislation

Here a few best practices San Diego HOAs can use to remain compliant with regulations:

  • Understand state and local regulations: Familiarize yourself with all of the legislation above and all San Diego municipal codes affecting HOAs. This includes rules on meetings, record-keeping, financial reporting, and enforcement.
  • Conduct a regular legal review: Schedule periodic reviews with legal counsel specializing in HOA or community association law. This helps ensure compliance with evolving laws and addresses common legal pitfalls.
  • Practice transparent communication: Maintain clear and open communication with HOA members. Distribute meeting agendas, minutes, budgets, and financial reports as required by law. This fosters trust and reduces misunderstandings.
  • Introduce comprehensive record-keeping: Keep detailed records of meetings, financial transactions, communications with members, and rule enforcement activities. This provides a clear audit trail and can help resolve disputes or misunderstandings.
  • Schedule annual board training: Ensure that board members are trained on their responsibilities, including compliance with state and local laws. Consider workshops or online courses tailored for HOA board members.
  • Regularly update governing documents: Review and update bylaws, CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), and other governing documents to ensure they align with current laws and HOA needs.
  • Utilize technology for compliance: Use software or online platforms designed for HOAs to streamline compliance tasks, track important dates, and maintain communication with members.

Another helpful practice is to revisit insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage for natural disasters like wildfires and earthquakes. In light of public health emergencies and evolving liability laws, HOAs must also consider Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance to protect board members from personal liability and maintain compliance with health and safety regulations.

As far as what lies ahead, legislation for HOAs in San Diego and California is likely to continue focusing on increasing housing availability, as well as promoting sustainability. This may include further efforts to ease restrictions on ADUs and encourage eco-friendly practices–like prohibiting the use of potable water on non-functional turf, set to go into effect in 2029.

How have these new laws affected your HOA and your community? Feel free to share your thoughts and tag us on social media. If you’re looking for an experienced HOA management company who understands the ins and outs of HOA rules and regulations, Associated Professional Services can help. Take a look at our services or contact us to request a proposal.

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