2009 Legislative Update Summary


This legislative update is a summary of those state senate and assembly bills (and one federal bill) which were passed by the legislature, signed into law and will most directly affect homeowner and community associations. With this same focus, also summarized here are: bills which were passed and vetoed, but may reappear; as well as a perspective of those key bills and/or areas of legislative emphasis which are on the horizon.

SB 1511 – Defaults/Foreclosures Notification – Would require lenders and trustees to inform the association of new owners (i.e.: lenders, etc.) who have taken a separate interest as a result of foreclosure or other transfer of title. – Chaptered – now law.

For associations, the key objective resulting from SB 1511 will be to record requests for notification of foreclosure for EACH unit/home in the association. A draft of a form for doing this is provided with this update.

Perhaps the most important for associations, this bill was signed into law in October 2008. However, the various players (e.g.: the lenders, county clerks/recorders, etc.) have not yet identified any specific procedures which associations may follow to ensure notification. For example: an association is made up of 100 separate units, each with its own legal property description. The association seeks to record a separate notification request form for each of these property descriptions. Ideally, one single recording (and a single recording fee) could accommodate this purpose. However, different counties charge different amounts and have different procedures i.e.: one fee per legal description recorded, one fee per a given number of descriptions recorded, etc.

The benefit of the law for HOA’s is that prior to the law, homes would often go into foreclosure without notice to an association. Thus, dues and/or other assessments could go unpaid for long periods of time before the association would be made aware. This law requiring prompt notification is meant to address this.

Our research indicates that as of the 4th quarter of 2008, none of the county clerks/recorders offices throughout Southern California and the Central Coast have addressed the process envisioned in SB 1511 implementation, nor have lenders. Thus, we have provided a draft of a form (Exhibit 1) for these recordings and a listing of contact information for all the county clerk/recorders throughout the region (Exhibit 2). As the procedures are developed and enhanced by the various parties involved; we will keep you abreast of these developments. Throughout this process, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your association’s particular issues in this regard.

Pool Safety (Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, 15ISC 8004) – The Act – Passed in December of 2007 then signed into federal law, The Act requires installation of certain safety devices and education of consumers about drowning prevention. Among other requirements are:

    • Each public pool and spa must be equipped with anti-entrapment drain covers.
    • Each public pool and spa with a single main drain (other than an unblockable drain) must also be equipped with a device or system designed to prevent entrapment, such as a safety vacuum release system.
    • The terms “Public Pools and Spas” is considered to be any pool or spa that is:
        i) Open to the public generally (whether for a fee


              or free of charge)


        ii) Open exclusively to:

          a. Members of an organization and their




          b. Residents of an apartment building


                residential real estate development


                or other multi-family residential area,




          c. Patrons of a hotel or other public


                accommodations, or


      iii.) Operated by the federal government

From an equipment/mechanical perspective, there are 3 basic requirements for compliance with The Act:

1. The first requirement is that the main drain grate/cover be replaced with one that meets the requirements of the new ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 performance standard, “Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs”.

2. The second requirement is that the direct pump suction drainage system entrapment hazard be mitigated by one of six methods, i.e., changes to the recirculation system.

•  Safety Vacuum Release System conforming to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387

• Suction-Limiting Vent System with a tamper-resistant atmospheric opening

•  Gravity Drainage System with a collector tank (required in Florida)

•  Automatic Pump Shut-Off System

•  Drain Disablement device or system, or

•  Other Systems that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approves.

3. Grates/covers manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the new federal standard.

This statute itself and compliance with it technically are complex. If your association has swimming pool, spas or wading pools to which the statute applies, the association should carefully review the law to ensure compliance with all technical aspects by DECEMBER 20, 2008.

From our research, pool equipment and maintenance companies/contractors have been gearing up for compliance with this law; particularly in Florida where the tragic drowning which led to the law’s passage took place. Thus, associations might be best served either by a current pool maintenance contractor and/or shopping pool contractors in order to find those most familiar with compliance with this new law.

AB 1892 – Solar Energy Installations – Would void any CC&R prohibition or restrictions with respect to solar energy systems – Chaptered – now law – This new law is indicative of a direction in which the legislature will increasingly move i.e.: “Green Laws” designed to guide associations in general toward more environmentally sound practices. This trend will be addressed later in this Update.

The amended bill also states:  “This section does not apply to provisions that impose reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems. However, it is the policy of the state to promote and encourage the use of solar energy systems and to remove obstacles thereto. Accordingly, reasonable restrictions on a solar energy system are those restrictions that do not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency or specified performance, or that allow for an alternative system of comparable cost, efficiency, and energy conservation benefits.”

Link to the text of the amended bill/law: http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_1851-1900/ab_1892_bill_20080312_amended_asm_v98.html

AB 2846 – Small Claims Court Disputes – Would expand the options available to an owner in a monetary dispute with the Association to pay under protest and seek relief via Small Claims Court.  Chaptered – now law

Review of the text of the bill/law indicates applicability to “Common Interest Developments” under the Davis-Stirling Act.

Link to a PDF of the text of the bill/law: http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2801-2850/ab_2846_bill_20080815_enrolled.pdf


AB 567 – Common Interest Development Bureau – This bill would authorize the establishment of a state CID Bureau to provide educational opportunities, a website and toll-free number to field questions.  The bureau would be funded from fees levied upon homeowners associations.  The initial fee would be $10/unit, every 2 years.  A 50-unit association would pay the state $500 once every two years.  VETO – This bill may reappear during 2009. However, if it did so; much of costs involved would have to be revisited along with the bureaucratic implications/apparatus.

AB 952 – Assessment Payment Plans – This bill would require the board and an owner to meet and discuss the reasons why a payment plan is needed, if the owner requests a payment plan.  The association would have 45 days to provide a payment plan in writing if the evidence warrants it.  The payment plan could last no more than 3 years.  Lien enforcement procedures would be suspended if payments are made as required.  Reasonable fees to administer the plan are allowed. VETO – This bill may reappear during 2009. However, it will do so with some form of requirement for proof of hardship on the part of owners/members requiring a modified payment plan. Moreover, the sponsoring representative, due to term limits, will not return to Sacramento in 2009.

AB 1955 – Variable Assessments – Would prohibit associations from levying assessments based upon the taxable value of the property unless it was being done before December 31, 2008 – limited applicability VETO

AB 2259 – Rental Restrictions – Would not allow rental restrictions enacted by HOA members after January 1, 2009 to apply to any owner who owned their separate interest prior to the date the rental restriction passed.  Would also require owner to provide name and contact information to the HOA about his tenants.  VETO – This bill or one like it is likely to return at some point in the 2009 sessions of the legislature, particularly in that it is aggressively endorsed by the California Association of Realtors.

AB 2806 – Board Member Education – Would require that all board members and candidates for the board disclose to the HOA members whether they have taken a course in Community Association law and when they took the course.  It would be effective in 2010, if passed. VETO – Board education issues have been a recurring element of proposed and passed legislation. Thus, this bill is somewhat likely to reappear during 2009.

SB 127 – Transfer Disclosures – Requires that necessary disclosures be made within 20 days of the execution of the purchase agreement or the opening of escrow, whichever is later.  VETO
Green Law Trends – Generally, the state legislature has been moving toward environmentally focused bills and laws. That said, key issues upon which they may focus are:

  • Water quality, use reduction and conservation (i.e.: Xeriscaping vs. water use intensive landscaping, etc.)
  • Energy use reduction and efficiencies, including solar energy systems such as AB 1892 discussed above.
  • Recycling issues and waste reduction i.e.: facilitating ease of recycling by the association and its members, etc.


Exhibit 1 – Draft of Foreclosure Notification Form RE: SB 1511


By _________________ Homeowners Association (use legal name)

In accordance with Section 2924b(f) of the California Civil Code, request is hereby made that a copy of any Trustees’ Deed or other Deed resulting from the sale under the deed of trust or mortgage recorded against any of the properties described by the Parcel/APN numbers listed on Exhibit A, which is attached hereto and incorporated herein, be mailed to ____[HOA NAME]______, which is a common interest development homeowners association and is subject to Civil Code Section 1351, at: _________[ADDRESS], within 15 days of recording said Trustee’s Deed or other form of Deed upon sale.

NOTICE: It is understood that a copy of said deed will be sent only to the address contained in this recorded request, which is for the Homeowners Association making the request, and that if the address changes, a new request must be recorded.

Signature __________________________________________
Printed Name: ______________________________
Title: ______________________________________
Authorized by and on Behalf of [Proper Legal HOA NAME]


[Exhibit identifying the parcel numbers or legal descriptions of the property must be affixed.]

Exhibit 2 – Southern California County Clerk/Recorders Offices &  Fee Schedule Information
Los Angeles County:

LAX Courthouse
11701 S. La Cienega Bl. 6th Floor
Los Angeles , CA 90045
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Lancaster District Office
1028 W. Avenue J2
Lancaster , CA 93534
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m


Ventura County:
Fee Schedule: http://recorder.countyofventura.org/pdf/schedule.pdf
Homepage: http://recorder.countyofventura.org/recorder.htm

Philip J. Schmidt
County Clerk/Recorder
Hall of Admn., Main Plaza
800 S. Victoria Ave.
Ventura, CA. 93009-1260


Santa Barbara County:
Forms General: http://www.sbcvote.com/webqual/Forms.aspx
Forms Clerk Recorder: http://www.sbcvote.com/webqual/ClerkRecorder/ClerkRecorderForms.aspx
Real Estate Services: http://www.sbcvote.com/webqual/Assessor/AssessorRealEstateServices.aspx


Hall of Records, 1100 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0159
Phone: (805) 568-2250
Fax: (805) 568-2266

Mailing Address :
P.O. Box 159
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0159


Santa Maria
511 E. Lakeside Parkway, Suite 115
Santa Maria, CA 93455-1341
Phone: (805) 346-8370
Fax: (805) 346-8371
401 E. Cypress St., Room 102
Lompoc, CA 93436
Phone: (805) 737-7705
Fax: (805) 737-7890

San Luis Obispo County:
Fees: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Asset7508.aspx?method=1

Clerk Recorder Homepage: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/clerk.htm

Clerk-Recorder’s Office
1055 Monterey Street Room D120
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408-3237

Orange County:
Fees: http://www.ocrecorder.com/Fees.Asp
Clerk Recorder Homepage: http://www.ocrecorder.com/
The Clerk-Recorder Department has 2 office locations in the downtown Santa Ana / Civic Center area and 1 office location in South Orange County at the Laguna Hills Civic Center.

Clerk-Recorder – Old Orange County Courthouse
211 West Santa Ana Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Clerk-Recorder – Hall of Records and Finance
12 Civic Center Plaza, Rooms 101 and 106
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Clerk-Recorder – South County Branch Office
Laguna Hills Civic Center
24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


San Diego County:

Fees: http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/docs/2008RecFilingFees.pdf
Recording services page: http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/services/documentrecording_links.aspx

County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 260
San Diego, CA 92101
Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

590 Third Avenue,
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 498-2200

9225 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 505-6262

200 S. Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 401-5700

141 East Carmel St.
San Marcos, CA 92078
(760) 940-6868


Riverside County:

Fees: http://riverside.asrclkrec.com/acr/forms/Fee%20Schedule.pdf
Clerk Recorder Homepage: http://riverside.asrclkrec.com/
Locations for Recording:

Riverside (Gateway)
2720 and 2724 Gateway Dr.
Riverside, CA 92507

Riverside (Downtown)
4080 Lemon St., 1st Floor
Riverside, CA 92502

270 N. Broadway
Blythe, CA 92225

880 N. State, Suite B-6
Hemet, CA 92543

82675 Highway 111, Room 113
Indio, CA 92201

41002 County Center Dr. #230
Temecula, CA 92591


County Clerk-Recorder Phone Numbers & Hours
(800) 696-9144
(951) 486-7000
Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm M-F


San Bernardino County:

Fees: http://www.sbcounty.gov/acr/pdf/Fee_schedule_070108_Rev70108.pdf
Clerk Recorder Homepage: http://www.sbcounty.gov/acr/
222 West Hospitality Lane
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0022

Email: accrmail@asrclkrec.com


Apple Valley Library – (760) 240-7710

Montclair Library – (909) 624-7247