FACT SHEET: NEW LAW CLARIFIES HOA VS HOMEOWNER RESPONSIBILITIES
Background: The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“Davis-Stirling Act”) governs the management and operation of common interest developments (CIDs) such as condominium complexes. In a condominium complex, property is characterized as either association property or owner property. The association property includes common areas such as the clubhouse, roof, or any area that serves the whole community. The separate interest is comprised of space inside individual units. The “exclusive use common area” refers to parts of the common area which serve only one owner, such as patios, balconies, doorsteps, etc.
Old law: The Davis-Stirling Act states that the association is responsible for repairing, replacing, or maintaining the common area, other than exclusive use common area. The owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining that separate interest and any exclusive use common area appurtenant to the separate interest.
Issue: In California, there are over 49,000 CIDs ranging from three to 72,000 units. They comprise over 4.9 million housing units. The Davis-Stirling Act does not address clearly define certain terms. The Davis-Stirling Act also does not state whether the association or owners are responsible for repairing, replacing, and maintaining the exclusive use common area.
New law: Unless otherwise designated, the homeowner’s association is responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing the common area. The homeowner’s association is also responsible for repairing and replacing the exclusive use common area. On the other hand, the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining, repairing, and replacing the separate interest. The owner is also responsible for maintaining the exclusive use common area appurtenant to the separate interest.