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Are your HOA’s restrictions reasonable under the Davis-Stirling Act?

| Mar 22, 2021 | HOA Disputes

The Davis-Stirling Act is a body of laws in California that went into effect in 1986. They address all of the unique issues faced by homeowners associations (HOAs), including the use of covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs).

Are your HOA’s CC&Rs acceptable or unreasonable? Whether you’re a homeowner who has a complaint or in charge of managing an HOA, it’s important to understand what does and does not make a rule unreasonable.

What makes a CC&R valid?

In essence, an HOAs covenants, conditions and restrictions in their recorded declaration are presumed to be valid and enforceable, unless they are shown to be unreasonable in reference not just to a specific homeowner who complains but to the common interests of the development as a whole.

To show that a CC&R is unenforceable, someone must demonstrate:

  • The rule is arbitrary or capricious in nature, not a policy made by sound decisions and with full regard of the possible circumstances
  • It violates a fundamental public policy in some way (such as forbidding indoor pets that couldn’t possibly have any bearing on other homeowners’ use or enjoyment of their property)
  • It imposes a significant burden on the individual property owner that seriously outweighs the benefits the restriction might give to all other residents in the development.

Challenges to an HOAs covenants, conditions and restrictions can be difficult to navigate, precisely because every situation relies on the unique circumstances involved between the HOA and the complaining homeowner.

Whichever side you are on, it’s wise to seek experienced counsel right away. Please continue reviewing our website to learn more about your options and our services.