Last week’s column addressed three bills recently passed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Assembly: Senate bill 2, Assembly bill 534 and AB 1412. Today’s column will tackle three other significant bills, SB 407, AB 634, and AB 690, which also were approved and take effect in 2018.
SB 407 created Civil Code 4515, which has the expressed intent of protecting the right of HOA members and residents to “peacefully assemble and freely communicate” regarding HOA living or “for social, political or educational purposes.”
The statute protects the right of members or residents to hold meetings regarding HOA issues, legislation, or public elections, and to invite public officials or candidates or homeowner organization representatives to speak in the association common area if the area is available. It also protects the right of members and residents to reasonably canvass or petition other members or residents and to distribute information regarding about public or HOA legal or political concerns. A member or resident using the common area for this is not to be charged a fee or deposit for use of the common area.
AB 634 spotlights a policy preference for solar energy by expanding Civil Code 714.1 and creating Section 4746. The changes make it clear that homeowners may, with reasonable limitations by the HOA, install solar systems on common area roofs over their residence or garage. Associations may require the homeowner keep the system insured and that the owner and subsequent owners take responsibility for any damage, repair, or maintenance costs caused by the system.
The most novel part of the new law is that it opens the door to solar systems on apartment-style HOA building roofs, in which condominium units are stacked so that multiple units “share” the same roof. The HOA may require the homeowner to create a “solar site survey” to show they are not taking more than their fair share of the roof.
Ultimately, this new law probably will…