No matter what kind of common interest development you live in, if it’s in California, it’s governed by the Davis-Stirling Act. Since its inception in 1985, California lawmakers have amended the Davis-Stirling Act on numerous occasions. Most recently, on January 1, 2014, the legislature in California overhauled the Davis-Stirling Act to better organize and clarify this relatively complex area of the law.
There are four types of common interest developments that fall under the Davis-Stirling Act:
- community apartment projects;
- planned developments;
- condominium projects; and
- stock cooperatives.
Within those four categories, you’ll find a variety of housing arrangements, from single family homes (i.e., detached homes) and condominiums, to high-rise apartments and townhomes. What all common interest developments have in common, however, is that they are governed by an association of owners who enjoy the use of shared common areas and amenities.
Common interest developments are governed by their HOAs (homeowners associations). A good HOA can play an important role in maintaining your property values and ensuring your quiet enjoyment of your property. A bad HOA can decrease the value of your home, force you to spend a lot of money, and turn your life upside down. Good HOAs are priceless; bad ones can be a nightmare for a homeowner.
The Davis-Stirling Act addresses the rights and obligations that HOAs and homeowners have towards each other, and it provides a mechanism for HOAs and homeowners to handle disputes that arise between them, such as: