Real estate professionals and lawyers should be aware of new real estate laws in California that put restrictions on HOA's. These laws will come into effect on January 1, 2023.
AB 1410: Disallows the governing documents of a homeowner's association ("HOA") from prohibiting members and residents from discussing their common interest development on social media, including discussions that are critical of the association or governance. This will become a new subpart of Civil Code section 4515 (b). A new Section 4515(e) is also added, which prohibits retaliation against members or residents for exercising rights under the statute.
Instant Considerations: This further protects a homeowners free speech which is already well protected under the United States Constitution and attorneys should continue to review social media profiles if applicable in their case.
A new Civil Code Section 4739 will make unenforceable any provisions of HOA governing documents that prohibit owners from renting a portion of the owner-occupied space for a period of time of more than 30 days.
Instant Considerations: The impact of this new law is that members living in their HOA home can take on renters (but not short-term).
Lastly, the third new law from AB 1410 is a new Civil Code Section 5875 which prevents an HOA from pursuing enforcement actions for violations during a declared emergency, if that emergency makes it unsafe to fix the violation, this will not apply in cases of nonpayment of assessments.
Instant Considerations: This arises from the pandemic and provides greater protection to homeowners during a State declared emergency. Going forward, the statute may be applicable to an owner’s violation of separate interest maintenance requirements during a drought or wildfire, an owner letting domestic pets off leash during a wildfire, or an owner violating parking restrictions when the owner cannot get to the owner’s house during a flood.
Other Real Estate Laws to take Note of that Will Come Into Effect on January 1, 2023
AB 2960: specifies that the real estate disclosure statement requirements in effect on the date the parties entered into contract shall be the requirements that apply to that sales contract. Any subsequent changes to the disclosure requirement statute after the parties enter into the sales contract will not apply to that contract unless the statute specifies otherwise.
AB 1837: makes changes to the process established by Senate Bill 1079 in 2020, which allows existing tenants, prospective owner-occupants, nonprofit organizations, and local governments, among others, up to 45 days after a home foreclosure auction to make an offer that meets the winning bid. It modifies the types of nonprofit entities that qualify as eligible bidders and disallows certain limited liability companies, and all limited partnerships, from bidding. It also subjects homes purchased by certain eligible bidders to a recorded affordability covenant and creates an enforcement mechanism for the SB 1079 process through the Attorney General.