Community associations in California must follow new mandates for election procedures, communication preferences, disbursement of funds, insurance requirements, and compliance with rental restrictions after several laws bringing changes to association operations became effective Jan. 1.

AB 502 and SB 432 amend requirements for association elections. The former authorizes voting by acclamation in uncontested elections—provided the association meets certain notice requirements when seeking nominations—and notes that associations may add term limits to their board eligibility requirements. The latter extends the timeline for elections to recall or remove a board member from 90 to 150 days from the date of the petition from homeowners.

Under SB 392, community associations must request homeowners’ preferred method of receiving communications (email, mail, or both) and provide notice that residents are not required to share their email address with the association. The law also prohibits the sale of residents’ information by the association or management company without their consent.

There also are new mandates for association financial activities. AB 1101 notes that board approval for fund transfers (including payments) will vary depending on the size of the association. Communities with 50 or fewer residents must require board approval for transfers of $5,000 or 5% of the association’s estimated annual income, while associations with more than 50 residents must have board approval for transfers of $10,000. The law also requires that all associations carry insurance coverage for crime and fidelity, employee dishonesty, and computer and fraudulent transfer endorsements. AB 1101 was sponsored by CAI.

In addition, AB 1584 confirms a community association’s right to maintain reasonable restrictions on construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—also known as granny flats or mother-in-law suites. It also extends the deadline to amend governing document provisions that restrict long-term rentals (as laid out in SB 3182) without requiring a vote from homeowners to July 1. SB 3182, which went into effect last year, prohibits associations from limiting rentals of more than 30 days to fewer than 25% of homes in the community.

Every year, CAI tracks thousands of bills impacting the community association housing model. More than 800 pieces of legislation have already been filed in states that began their 2022 legislative sessions this week. These are being monitored by members of CAI’s state legislative action committees, who will advocate for new mandates that protect the interests of the more than 74 million Americans living in community associations.

>>Follow CAI’s advocacy efforts at advocacy.caionline.org.

Kiara Candelaria

Kiara Candelaria

Kiara is the former associate editor for CAI’s print and digital publications. Before joining CAI, she worked for a trade media magazine focusing on the oil refining sector. Kiara also worked as an internal communications intern at the Library of Congress in 2015 and was a student journalist while attending college in Puerto Rico, where she was born and raised. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information and journalism from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, in 2014 and earned a master’s degree in communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in 2020.

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