New Laws Taking Effect January 1, 2020 & Policies Each HOA Should Consider

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

Restated Election Rules: ALL Associations are Required to update their election rules to conform with new legislation. Failure of compliance with these new election rules will subject any election to legal challenge as well as possibly resulting in monetary penalties and attorney fees. There are many requirements that need to be meet to be in compliance with SB 323. You need to start the process of obtaining updated election rules right after you get done reading this blog.

Membership List Policy: SB 323 will now require email addresses to be part of the records request that owners can ask for and keep copies of. Therefore if you don't want your email address shared with members when they are requesting records you will need to contact us directly and ensure the member opt-out form is completed and filed with us.

ADU Policy: Applies to All Associations with garages or 500 square feet or more of space in which an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU) could be constructed. Prohibitions on ADUs and JADUs are voided by AB 670, whilst keeping reasonable restrictions still in place. This policy would operate as a standalone policy or it can be added into existing architectural guidelines. We recommend that this be added as a standalone policy or updated in your architectural policy as soon as possible to ensure owners have a clear understanding of what the guidelines will be for your community.

Anti-Harassment Policy: As a result of new Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) Regulations, Associations will be required to hold investigations and take action on claims made by protected classes of people in their community. It's best to talk with your manager and legal counsel as how to address these allegations.

Employee-Independent Contractor Analysis: Applies to All Associations that utilize independent contractors as employees. New tests will be set in place to assure contractors are meeting specific standards in order to be classified as an employee.

Elevated Structures Inspection Policy: Applies to all condominium projects with elevated structures such as exterior balconies. If you live in a condominium complex expect your manager to be talking to you about this in your next board meeting as you will need to be in compliance starting January 1, 2020.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Policy: Applies to All Associations that have owners who might wish to install an electric vehicle charging station within the common area parking. This should be added to your architectural policy when you add ADU's to ensure the association's guidelines are established before an architectural application is received.

Solar Policy: New requirements will be put in place for individual solar system installations. This especially pertains to associations with the responsibility to maintain, repair and replace roofing. This should be added to your existing architectural policy with the other additions that are now going to be required.

Communication Policy: Incorporates procedures to help with efficiently diffusing situations with members/residents so as not to misuse the time and resources of the association. For example someone who harasses the association manager with dozens of emails a day could be required to only send in communication via the U.S. Postal service going forward to stop the misuse of association time. The Board should consider adopting a communication policy.

Disability Accommodation Request Policy: Introduces new procedures to best accommodate disability requests. You will need to speak to your manager and legal counsel to determine how this is going to impact your community and if a policy or accommodation policy needs to be created.

CC&R Restatement: If the governing documents of an association have not been updated in the past 10 years, it is usually more beneficial and cost effective for the association to do a full restatement so as to stay in compliance with new laws. This should be considered when adopting or updating current policies. It may be more cost effective for the community to partner with their law firm to do a governing document update then update the policies to ensure the community has the most up to date information.

Be sure to set your legal budget for 2020 accordingly!