Friday, October 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Does HOA need to be incorporated?

By
From page C2 | July 28, 2012 |

Q: We moved into our home seven years ago. We were told that we had a homeowners association and we were given a set of the C,C&Rs governing our development. We went to an association meeting and were told that the association isn’t incorporated. We have some renters in our home who won’t follow the rules. Is there anything the association officers can do about this? Also, under the law, is it even possible to have a homeowners association that isn’t incorporated?

A: I’m not entirely sure I understand the first part of your question, so I’m going to try and provide answers to several different questions and hopefully I’ll hit on the information you’re looking for.

Homeowners associations are becoming the norm for new housing developments, not that there’s a lot of those right now.

An HOA is a type of “city council” that exists only by the agreement of all the homeowners. Like a city council, its purpose is to govern the day-to-day management of the development.

Some HOAs, like in Fairfield’s Rancho Solano or Eastridge, have broad sweeping powers and relatively large budgets with which to manage streets, fences, street lights, security, green space, etc.

They can fine homeowners for parking their cars on the street at night or painting their home an unapproved color. They typically have a private security force to monitor the security of the development as well as serve as a surrogate police force capable of breaking up parties and even making arrests.

Others are not given all of those powers or money, and simply set rules regarding the operation of the development while having very few tools to enforce those rules. Typically, these types of HOAs leave any enforcement to the individual homeowners who are left with no option other than to ignore the problem or file a lawsuit against their neighbor.

The powers given, or not given, to an HOA are mostly contained in the C,C&Rs which functionally serve like a type of civil code defining what the HOA can and cannot do.

When it comes to making tenants follow the rules, regardless of the type of HOA, ultimately the property owner or landlord is responsible to the neighbors and the association.

No HOA has the ability to fine a tenant. The liability for imposed penalties such as fines is inherited by the landowner as a result of his ownership in the land itself.

So the answer to the question I think you’re asking is: No, the officers of the association, incorporated or not, can’t be relied upon to supervise your tenants. That’s your responsibility as the homeowner.

To answer the second part of your question regarding incorporation: No, I guess an HOA doesn’t technically need to be incorporated.

If the C,C&Rs lay out the existence of the HOA, and each homeowner’s deed requires the homeowner to adhere to the C,C&Rs, then it’s possible to have a defacto association that operates without the benefit of the corporate structure or protections. But I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do so.

Without being a corporation, what you’re left with is one big partnership. That means each homeowner is individually liable for anything the HOA does. If an employee, for example, sues the HOA for back pay or sexual harassment or discrimination, then every homeowner is equally liable as if they had been the employer. That’s because, just like in any business partnership, they are. That’s the nature of partnerships. Everybody is responsible for every other partner’s actions.

If I were you I would look closely at the C,C&Rs and see if they don’t require the HOA to be incorporated. My hunch is they do.

If so, ultimately, the homeowners can sue the officers to make them incorporate.

Tim Jones is a real estate attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like to have answered in this column you can contact him at SolanoScene@TJones-Law.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • PatrickMay 31, 2013 - 12:10 pm

    Couldn't you just draft by laws that offer you the same protection as a corporation i.e. no individual homeowner can be sued for anything the HOA does

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ finds a home on stage

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
For sale: Solano home with Nike missile bunkers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Salvation Army debuts giant kettle for holidays campaign

By Robinson Kuntz | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

New survey details vast scope of teen dating abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Boosters seek to keep Bay Bridge light display

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

$50,000 reward to find killer of Anaheim girl, 9

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Video shows bikers taunting California officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

California man guilty in wife’s stabbing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Brown opens up spending in campaign’s final month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Driver attacked after ice cream truck kills boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Suspect in girl’s 1984 killing was police employee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

PTSD argued in case of Marine jailed in Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Paintings in national parks spark probe, furor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Prisoner in Afghanistan to be tried in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US, SKorea agree to delay wartime control transfer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US officials: Iraqi army regrouping slowly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lawmakers seek to end benefits to former Nazis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

For teen with passport, Syria trip can be seamless

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Border deaths drop to 15-year low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

Ex-Mountie hero of shooting at Canada’s Parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NYC mayor: Don’t be alarmed by doctor’s Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 4 Comments

 
Cremation fears leave empty Ebola beds in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

Planning Commission not listening to the people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 14 Comments

 
Not sure I trust government on Ebola

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Is America prepared for Ebola or is threat overhyped?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Oct. 24-30, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘John Wick’ delivers non-stop action

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Entertainment calendar Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Burns’ series gives PBS a ratings milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

.

Sports

 
At 1-all, World Series moves to quirky Giants park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Giants’ Hudson to face Royals’ Guthrie in Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
College notebook: Cordes chosen to try out for USA national team

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Homecoming still on but no game for VCS

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Compton among PGA leaders at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arizona men near-unanimous pick by media to win Pac-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders may lose Woodley to biceps injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
The Write Way: KC coach’s lineup cards are artful

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Prep football capsules: Week 8

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Manning, Sanders lead Broncos past Chargers, 35-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Honda Fit becomes even more intriguing small car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Letting your car find a spot and park itself

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2, 1 Comment | Gallery

A blue Christmas for Amazon?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9