CAI-California Legislative Action Committee Accomplishments 2015

Community Associations Institute’s
California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2015


AS INTRODUCED: The bill renders void any provision in the governing documents of a community association which prohibits or unreasonably restricts the use of clotheslines or drying racks. (Clotheslines are seen as more environmentally sound than gas or electric clothes dryers.) As introduced, it would have allowed clotheslines or drying racks anywhere on a lot or in a unit.

POSITION: Seek to amend

RESULT: Passed with CLAC’s amendments and signed by the Governor, to be effective 1/1/16.

INDUSTRY IMPACT: Community associations cannot prohibit or restrict the use of clotheslines or drying racks in backyards designated for the owner’s exclusive use. However, because of CLAC’s efforts, they may restrict their use in front and side yards, and in balconies. Associations may also prohibit drying clothes and towels on balconies, railings, awnings, and other parts of structures. These do not qualify as clotheslines or drying racks because of CLAC’s amendments.



AS INTRODUCED: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will not insure a loan to purchase a condominium unit unless the entire condominium project is pre-certified. The Veterans Administration (VA) has a similar regulation. AB 596 requires that community associations disclose to members whether they are certified by the FHA and VA. As introduced, the bill would have obligated associations to advise members as soon as reasonably practicable of any change in the status of FHA or VA certification.

POSITION: Seek to amend

RESULT: Passed with CLAC’s amendments and signed by the Governor, to be effective 7/1/16.

INDUSTRY IMPACT: Condominium projects will be required to add two additional pages to their annual budget report, using specific language to disclose whether they are FHA or VA certified. However, they will not be required to monitor certification status or to report changes in between annual budget reports, as a result of the amendments secured by CLAC.



 AS INTRODUCED: AB 349 renders unenforceable provisions in governing documents that prohibit, or effectively prohibit, “artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass.” But associations may still apply their landscaping rules, if they are consistent with the bill’s overall requirements.


RESULT: Passed and signed by the Governor as urgency legislation. The new law became effective 9/4/15.

INDUSTRY IMPACT: Although associations cannot prohibit artificial turf, they still may require owners to obtain approval to install it if the governing documents so provide. Associations should establish guidelines for the use of artificial turf, to assist owners in submitting their applications. CLAC’s efforts in past years allowed associations to preserve the right to review applications and create reasonable guidelines.



 AS INTRODUCED: In 2014, legislation passed which prohibited associations from fining owners for reducing or eliminating irrigation during a drought, but excepted from the prohibition associations that use recycled water. AB 786 would have modified the exception, by allowing associations to fine only if all irrigation, for both individual lots and common area, used recycled water.

POSITION: Seek to amend

RESULT: Passed with CLAC’s amendments and signed by the Governor as emergency legislation, effective 10/11/15.

INDUSTRY IMPACT: Generally, associations are still prohibited from fining owners for underwatering during a drought. AB 786 clarifies the exception to this rule: associations may fine owners, if those owners receive recycled water and fail to use that recycled water for irrigation. CLAC’s amendment modified the bill’s language to provide that owners who have recycled water available for irrigation can be required to use it.



AS INTRODUCED: AB 1335 would establish a $75.00 surcharge on documents recorded with a County Recorder (except for documents recorded in connection with the transfer of residential property). The funds would be used for affordable housing.

POSITION: Seek to amend

RESULT:        Bill stalled in the Assembly and will be considered next year as a two-year bill.

INDUSTRY IMPACT: The $75.00 surcharge would affect community associations and owners. When seeking to collect past-due assessments, associations typically record several documents, and record several more as owners are able to bring their assessments current. The costs are borne by the owners who are struggling to pay their assessments and keep their homes, or by the associations, which may already be facing a budget shortfall. CAI supports affordable housing, but a surcharge on recorded documents impacts the people the bill seeks to help. CLAC will continue its efforts to modify this funding source if the bill is active in 2016.

For more information on CLAC, visit

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