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With the new year, California has adopted new laws impacting the way your association might function. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a few bills into law affecting HOAs in 2020.

Some of these changes include, how elections are conducted, restrictions on accessory dwelling units, and specifications regarding whether or not a contractor is considered an employee. These changes may force associations to make modifications to existing regulations and practices within their communities.

Senate Bill 323 includes;

-      Suspending the right to vote in elections if the community member is overdue in their assessments

-      Setting qualifications for board member candidates

-      Requiring a third party to monitor elections 

Additionally, homeowners now face more challenges when building accessory dwelling units or ADUs.

This law prohibits HOAs from enforcing rules that would make ADUs difficult to build. However, it does allow them to impose reasonable restrictions, such as:

-      The owner must occupy the main residence instead of the ADU

-      Only one ADU maybe built on the lot

-      The ADU cannot be sold separately from the primary home on the lot

-      The ADU cannot be larger than 50% of the main residence or 1,200 square feet in size

Finally, one of the biggest changes reclassifies an independent contractor as an employee. Assembly Bill 5 states that contractors are considered employees unless the community association does not supervise the person’s work.

-      Attorneys, accountants, engineers, and other professionals who provide services to common interest communities are exempt 

Collectively, these changes were established after the first of the year. Boards and managers in the state of California should be aware and anticipate changes within their associations. It’s recommended that all communities in California consult a legal professional when establishing these updates.

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