Davis-Stirling Act – HOA Member Rights – GUIDE [2024]

Updated on November 30, 2023

Key Takeaways

Davis Stirling Act: This act, adopted in 1985, applies to all common interest developments and condominiums in California. It establishes specific rights and obligations for HOA members and the associations themselves.

Key Rights Under the Act:

  1. Access to Records: HOA members have the right to inspect and copy the association’s accounting books, minutes of proceedings, and other records.
  2. Display of the US Flag: The act ensures that no governing document can limit or prohibit the display of the United States Flag.
  3. Airport Influence Area Notice: Developments within an airport influence area must include a statement in the HOA’s CC&Rs about the nearby airport.
  4. Modifications for Disabled Access: Homeowners can request modifications to their property for disabled access, subject to certain conditions.
  5. Pet Ownership: Governing documents cannot prohibit homeowners from keeping one pet, with reasonable rules and regulations.

Davis Stirling Common Interest Development Act

Homeowner’s specific rights are established by the governing documents of the HOA (i.e. the Bylaws, the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, etc.), the Davis-Stirling Act and the California Corporations Code.

Specifically, the Davis-Stirling Act, which was adopted in 1985, applies to all common interest developments and condominiums. (See Civil Code §§ 4000 et. seq.) It is important to note that the Act does not apply to commercial and industrial common interest developments as defined in Civil Code § 6531. (See Civil Code §§ 4202).

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Davis Stirling Act History:

  • The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act was enacted in 1985 in California. Named after its legislative authors, Larry Stirling and Gray Davis, the Act consolidated and standardized the laws governing condominiums, planned developments, and other common interest developments (CIDs) in the state.

Evolution Over Time:

  • Since its inception, the Davis-Stirling Act has undergone numerous amendments and revisions to address the evolving needs of HOAs and their members. These changes have included clarifications on governance procedures, financial management, dispute resolution, and member rights.
  • Notably, in 2014, the Act was reorganized and renumbered to make it more user-friendly and accessible, reflecting the growing complexity of HOA governance.

Impact on HOA Governance:

  • The Act provides a legal framework for the creation, management, and operation of CIDs in California. It covers a wide range of issues, including board elections, financial disclosures, maintenance responsibilities, and enforcement of community rules.
  • It has significantly influenced how HOAs conduct their business, ensuring transparency, fairness, and accountability in their operations.
  • The Act also empowers homeowners by granting them specific rights and mechanisms to address grievances, thereby balancing the power dynamics between HOA boards and individual members.

FAQ – Davis-Stirling Act

What types of properties are governed by the Davis-Stirling Act?

The Davis-Stirling Act applies to common interest developments in California, including condominiums, townhomes, planned developments, and any other community with shared common areas and facilities.

How does the Davis-Stirling Act affect HOA elections?

The Act sets forth specific procedures for conducting HOA elections, including nomination processes, voting rights, and the use of secret ballots to ensure fairness and transparency.

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Are there any financial disclosure requirements under the Act?

Yes, the Davis-Stirling Act requires HOAs to make regular financial disclosures to their members, including detailed budgets, reserve studies, and assessments.

Can homeowners challenge HOA decisions under the Davis-Stirling Act?

Homeowners have the right to challenge certain HOA decisions, especially if they believe the decisions violate the Act or the community’s governing documents. The Act provides mechanisms for dispute resolution, including internal processes and, in some cases, legal action.

Q5: Does the Act address maintenance responsibilities? A5: Yes, the Davis-Stirling Act outlines the maintenance responsibilities of both the HOA and individual homeowners, typically defined in the community’s governing documents.

HOA Member Rights in Davis-Stirling Act

✔️Specifically, some of the rights of HOA members under the Davis Stirling Act include:

  1. A residential association must make its accounting books, minutes of proceedings and records available for inspection and copying by a requesting member, or the member’s designated representative. (See Civil Code §§ 5205 (a), 5205 (b). Once requested, access to the records must be given within 10 business days.  (See Civil Code §§ 5210). Further, for a complete list of association “records” that homeowner’s have a right to access, please see Civil Code §§ 5200.
  2. No governing document shall limit or prohibit or be construed to limit or prohibit, the display of the United States Flag. (See Civil Code §§ 4705).
  3. If a development is located within an airport influence area, any HOA’s CC&R’s recorded after January 1, 2004 must contain a specific statement giving notice of the airport in the vicinity. (See Civil Code §§ 4225). It is crucial to note that San Francisco has special rules regarding this matter. (See Civil Code §§ 4225)
  4. Homeowners can request to modify a property in order to gain access or facilitate the use of their units, at their own expense, for disabled persons, as long as the modifications do not “impair the structural integrity or mechanical systems or lessen the support of any portions of the common interest development.” (Civil Code §§ 4760). Boards have the power to set some conditions regarding this issue, however, they cannot deny these requests unless the modifications: (a) adversely affect the health or safety of neighbors OR (b) are not necessary because of possible alternatives. (See Civil Code §§ 4760).
  5. No governing documents passed after January 1, 2010, can prohibit a homeowner from keeping one pet, subject to any reasonable rules and regulations of the association. However, this in no way means that a homeowner can keep a dangerous pet or nuisance pet on the property. (See Civil Code §§ 4715).
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If you are experiencing any issues with your Homeowner’s Association, please contact Schorr Law, APC by phone, by email at [email protected] or by filling out the contact form . Schorr Law’s Los Angeles based real estate lawyers have significant experience with HOA issues. Contact us now to inquire about a free-30 minute consult.