Overseeing Property Development and Turnover

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In California, a developer who designs and builds a common interest development in any form eventually reaches a point where they begin to transition power and control over to the incorporated or unincorporated association, often called the homeowners association or community association (per Civil Code Section 4800, effective Jan. 1, 2014). This process is commonly called developer turnover..

There are issues that develop that can require the assistance of a lawyer:.

Profit vs. Fair Dealings

A developer designs and sells common interest developments for profit.

  • Sometimes in the turnover process cost-cutting decisions which make sense for the developer do not make sense to the owners represented by the association.
  • Sometimes a developer oversteps and markets development in a deceptive manner.

Communication Breakdown

Developers and purchasers/owners must have an open line of communication.

  • When egos, personalities, money troubles or poor communication skills begin to dominate conversations, communication breakdown develops. This can affect the entire process of turning over control of development and board to members of the association who have bought property. Since development turnover does not happen overnight the root of the communication breakdowns must be addressed. In such situations using an independent legally trained communicator who knows the law and is experienced in handling problems is just plain smart.
  • Trial lawyers spend a lot of time honing their communication skills and can be an invaluable and effective asset if retained early. As time goes on it may be more difficult and expensive for a lawyer to help in a developer dispute.

A nice summary with ideal case studies outlining how a developer turnover process should be done has been laid out by the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Founded in 1973, CAI is one of the oldest trade associations for HOAs and is an excellent resource. Ask us for a copy or a link and take a look: it is a nice road map of how things should proceed. Compare this with your experience.

If you get the feeling that the development turnover is not being handled correctly, or, there appears to be a budding or budded communication breakdown, call this office for a free consultation. We have a reputation for no-nonsense guidance and getting results. Call Gregory M. Garrison, APC, at 619-798-9501 or send us a message online. Consultations are free. Choosing the wrong lawyer isn’t.