HOA Voting Rules
Homeowners’ Associations in California
Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are commonplace in California’s residential communities. They are organized entities that maintain common areas, enforce rules, and oversee the general welfare of the community. However, to ensure effective management and the protection of homeowners’ rights, HOAs must operate within specific legal parameters, including voting rules set forth by the Davis-Stirling Act.
California Civil Code 5100
California Civil Code 5100 outlines the basic rules for HOA voting. The code requires that HOA voting must be conducted in compliance with the association’s governing documents and applicable law. The governing documents include the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
The HOA Election Process
One of the essential components of the voting process is notice. HOAs must provide adequate notice to all members before any voting takes place. Typically, notice is given through written communication, such as a mailed letter, email, or posted flyer. The notice includes the date, time, location, and any other information pertinent to the election.
Additionally, HOAs must establish a quorum before any voting can take place. A quorum refers to the minimum number of members who must be present or represented for a meeting to take place. California law requires that a quorum be established by a majority of the association’s voting power.
California Civil Code 5110 requires that all HOA elections be conducted by secret ballot. The ballot must be anonymous and cannot contain any identifying information about the member casting the vote. The code also requires that the ballots be counted by at least two members who are not candidates for the election.
One of the most contentious issues in HOA voting is the use of proxies. A proxy is a written authorization allowing another person to vote on behalf of a member. California Civil Code 5130 stipulates that proxies can only be used in elections of the board of directors or for amendments to the CC&Rs. The code also requires that proxies be revocable, meaning a member can withdraw their proxy at any time.
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