How Does HOA Voting in California Work?

Homeowner Association (HOA) voting in California is typically governed by the HOA’s bylaws and state law.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • The secret ballot process described in the Davis-Stirling Act (California Civil Code Section 5100) must be used for the following types of votes: “elections regarding assessments legally requiring a vote, election and removal of directors, amendments to the governing documents, or the grant of exclusive use of common area.”
  • The HOA must give homeowners notice of the vote, including the time, place, and manner of the vote. If amendments to the governing documents are being proposed, homeowners must be provided with the text of the proposed changes.
  • Each ownership unit in the HOA receives one ballot. if the vote does not involve the election of directors, homeowners typically receive one vote per voting measure. However, in an election of directors, they will receive an amount of votes equal to the number of seats up for election and/or removal. In a case where a homeowner owns multiple properties, they will get the designated amount of votes per property, multiplied by the number of properties owned.
  • Voting may take place in person or by mail, depending on the rules established by the HOA. However, voting in person is increasingly archaic and has been replaced by the two-envelope, vote-by-mail system outlined in the Davis-Stirling Act.
  • A quorum of homeowners must be present (i.e. represented by the ballot they mailed in) in order for ballots to be opened and tallied.
  • For certain types of votes, such as amendments to the governing documents, a certain percentage of homeowners must approve the measure in order for it to pass. This percentage is found in the HOA’s governing documents.

It’s important to note that HOA voting procedures and requirements can vary widely depending on the specific HOA and the governing documents in place. Homeowners should review their HOA’s governing documents and consult with their board of directors, the inspector of elections, or an attorney if they have any questions about the voting process.