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  • jjoseph148


Beginning January 1, 2020, significant changes were made to the Davis-Stirling Act related to director elections. The changes require all homeowner association election rules in California be amended. Election rules should contain the following:

  • nomination procedures,

  • director candidate qualifications,

  • a method of selecting independent third parties as inspectors of election,

  • rules for access to association media during campaigns,

  • rules for access to common area meeting space during campaigns,

  • secret balloting procedures,

  • procedures for uncontested elections,

  • recall election procedures,

  • retention of election materials

Applicable Elections. As provided for in Civil Code § 5100, applicable elections include:

  • election of directors

  • removal of directors

  • special assessments

  • amendments to the CC&Rs and bylaws

  • grants of exclusive use common areas

Amending Election Rules. Election rules can be amended but associations must follow the rule amendment process required by the Davis-Stirling Act. Election rules cannot be amended less than 90 days prior to an election. (Civ. Code § 5105(h).) With the separate mandatory 28-day notice period for membership review of proposed rule changes (Civ. Code § 4360(a)), the waiting period for updating election rules is extended to 118 days (4 months) since the change cannot be approved by the board until the end of the 28 days. Unfortunately, the statute does not define the starting point for an election, which has created some disagreement regarding the 90-day period. Boards should consult legal counsel on this issue.

Election Timeline. Boards must pay attention to the extended election timeline when preparing their annual meeting elections.

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