There is an old adage that giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, but teaching a man to fish feeds him for a lifetime.  Our goal is to feed our clients for a lifetime.  We strive to educate Directors on the ever-changing legal issues that confront Associations.  With this approach, we assist Association's in become proactive and empower them to problem solve.

One crucial resource in the "curriculum" is the Davis-Stirling Act.

We try to keep our Directors and their Managers abreast of changes in the law as well as provide pragmatic advice to address the real world issues that arise.

Another important tool in proactive and successful navigation of Association issues is a good set of Governing Documents.  This is our passion.  We like nothing more than to dive into an old, outdated and/or misleading set of Governing Documents and transform them into an updated, well-organized, user-friendly and comprehensive set of documents with the latest tools and statutory references to help Associations operate more efficiently.


Why Amend?

The need to revise Bylaws and Declarations (CC&Rs) is one that usually grows gradually over time.  Changes in statutes, case law, aging buildings, changes in owner preferences and environmental changes may influence the growing need to amend or revise.   The departure of the developer and collective experience of the Association may also prompt change. Specific reasons may include the desire for:

  • Elimination of complicated legalese and use of plain English

  • Descriptive headings and a comprehensive Table of Contents to assist in finding relevant sections

  • Deletion of outdated developer references and provisions

  • Deletion of outdated Davis-Stirling statutory references and addition of new ones

  • Deletion of outdated meeting-based voting procedures and addition of “ballot by mail” voting procedures

  • Addition of statutory requirements for "General Notice" and "Individual Notice" provisions

  • Addition of provisions which clarify those "gray areas" where it is unclear whether the Owner or Association is responsible for maintenance, repair and/or replacement of building components

  • Addition of provisions to deal with such subjects as insect infestations, communications wiring, window and exterior door maintenance, sewer and utility lines (and inspections)

  • Addition of provisions addressing solar power, electric vehicle charging stations, water conservation, balcony/patio/backyard agriculture and clotheslines

  • Addition of provisions requiring notice of sale or lease of the property

  • Insertion of step-by-step due process procedures for dealing with Governing Document violations, which include enforcement options

  • Addition of the power to fine and new ways to ensure payment

  • Addition of clean procedures for creating, implementing and enforcing rules

  • Provision of new tools for architectural enforcement for both past and current alterations

  • Addition of protocols for neighbors to deal with each other even if the Association is not involved

  • Specification of allocation of responsibility for insurance deductibles

  • Inclusion of provisions addressing the risk of earthquakes, insurance and deductibles

  • Reconsideration of proxies, Annual Member Meetings, Board meetings

  • Addition of provisions addressing election of Directors by acclamation

  • Changing the number of Directors and/or staggering terms

  • Enhancement of liability protection for Directors

  • Coordination of Association responsibilities with Reserve Study.

  • Creation of a document package more impressive to lenders and prospective purchasers.

  • Provisions which reflect the latest in legislative requirements and addition of authority for Board to update parts of the document to reflect new laws - without the necessity of a vote of all the Members

Whatever the reasons for amendment or revision, the process should be carefully thought through in advance.  The entire process, from decision to amend to final implementation will likely take months and several thousand dollars. Development of a timeline for activities and target dates will make the process smoother and more efficient.

Problems?  What Problems?

You may find yourself thinking "there must be a better way to deal with ___________".  We review your Association's historical problems so we can draft provisions which will assist you in dealing with those problems in the future.  We also draw on over 35 years of experience as counselor to and advocate for associations to provide appropriate tools to help you avoid problems we have seen other associations address inefficiently and often at great expense.