Liability

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How Can HOAs Use Reserve or Settlement Funds?

Boards in need of cash may want to use cash in the reserve accounts or from legal settlements, but there are important restrictions.

HOAs and Defibrillators: the Pros and Cons

Should homeowner associations maintain defibrillators (or "AEDs")? These life-saving devices can also be a source of major liability. Proceed with caution.

AB 1412 - Volunteer Officers Liability & Address Disclosure

Authorizes a common interest development association, when an owner fails to provide a certain required notice, to use the last address provided in writing by the owner, except as specified.

Extends a certain limitation on personal liability to a volunteer officer or director of a development that is mixed use when the volunteer officer or volunteer director is a tenant of a residential separate interest or is an owner of no more than a certain number of separate interests.

SB 451 - Liability for Harassment

Prohibits an association from being liable to any person because the governing documents of the association do not contain a provision that would authorize the association to stop harassment of a member by another member, under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act.

5 Policies You Should Consider When Hiring a Contractor

How does an association select the best bid and the right contractor? Don't stop at price and quality: investigate these 5 policies before you hire a contractor and save your HOA money on avoidable litigation.

HOA Records Security: Protecting Homeowners' Personal Information

Protecting personal information

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Homeowners Insurance

For many people, their home is their greatest asset, yet studies show that 59% of today’s homes are underinsured. Homeowners should update their insurance regularly to include improvements, major purchases and increased rebuilding costs, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). “A major home alteration or addition, even a lifestyle change such as marriage, or a family member moving in (along with his or her belongings), should trigger a call to your insurance company.” -Jeanne Salvatore, Senior Vice President and Consumer Spokesperson for the III. The cost of building or repairing a home has increased dramatically in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeowners spent over $359 billion on additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs from 2009-2011, up from $201 billion in 2004. Materials like lumber, cement, gypsum and structural steel products have become more scarce, not only because of the devastation from recent storms and disasters, but also because of increased global demand.

Replacing Windows

Common interest developments more than 30 years old often share a familiar dilemma when homeowners want to replace older single-pane windows with newer windows that are more energy efficient. Prior to the mid-1970s, most housing developments were built with standard single pane, aluminum frame windows because they were inexpensive and easy to install and maintain; however, permeable frames and glazing gave way to condensation, water leakage, and electrical conductivity.

Legal Obligations & Potential Liabilities of HOA Boards

Every person elected to serve on a homeowners association board of directors should understand the basic obligations and potential liabilities of the position.

Newly elected members should educate themselves about HOA board member responsibilities and obligations or risk legal exposure for both the HOA and individual directors.

Basic Fiduciary Obligations

Once elected to serve on a homeowners association board. a board director becomes a fiduciary. A fiduciary is a person legally entrusted with the care, protection and use of another's interest.

§5810 - Notice of Policy Changes

The association shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, provide individual notice pursuant to Section 4040 to all members if any of the policies described in the annual budget report pursuant to Section 5300 have lapsed, been canceled, and are not immediately renewed, restored, or replaced, or if there is a significant change, such as a reduction in coverage or limits or an increase in the deductible, as to any of those policies.

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