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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Attorney
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California HOA is in process of re writing CC&R's - They

Customer Question

California HOA is in process of re writing CC&R's - They were written in 60's and not been updated since that time.
What created this issue was 2 non homeowners being thrown off the board because the president found there was verbiage stating the board members had to be resident owners. ( i suspect he did not lile the questions/challenges that were being raised) We are in process of re writing ( 2 years later) - It has been made clear that the committee ( appointed by the board ) will work on the revisions - than go to board for approval and than official re-write by lawyer - than member vote). We recieved a document that is totally new - hard to clarify the changes but it has already been with some of the boards opinions. The lawyer has been directed to change the area about serving on the board and limited it to only 2 non resident owners can be on the board. I am a nonresident - and was told by a board member that if I didn't like it I could sell my unit . I feel that it is unfair since 75% of owners are non residents _ I am proposing that it be proportional or open to anyone who is ( owner) being able to run for office .
The clinker is that the draft has to be approved by the board before it goes to membership. Is this legal
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

There is nothing illegal in the board's decision to limit the board to 2 non-resident owners. You're right that it's not fair, but that's not the same as illegal. The board has to act in the best interests of the entire community, and if they believe in good faith that it's better to have mostly owners who live in the community on their board, that's not an obvious abuse of their discretion. Discrimination laws don't protect non-resident property owners as a class, so there just has to be a valid business reason for the restriction.

You're free to fight for your proposed change, though. Talk to the other owners, and see if you can get them on your side. If any of them want to serve on the board, too, they might be on your side. Or perhaps some of the other owners would like a larger pool of potential board members than just the 25% or so of people living there. Those are things you're allowed to do. The more people you can get on your side, the more chance there is that the board will agree with you. Keep in mind that you can also run for one of those two board seats whenever they become available - and if board positions don't end after a set time period (and require people to run again), then you could also encourage the other owners to set those limits to avoid a situation where the same people sit on the board forever.

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