Woodside Association, Inc., our homeowner association, is required to comply with the law. Failure to do so puts all of us homeowners at risk for liability. How well is our Board protecting us?

Civil Code § 5300. Annual Budget Report.
The annual budget report must be distributed to homeowners 30 days before the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30. By law, the report must include several statements regarding the reserve funding plan per Civil Code § 5550, Reserve Study Requirements:
(1) List of the major components to be maintained
(2) Their remaining life expectancy
(3) Cost estimate for maintaining components
(4) Funds needed for all component maintenance
(5) Plan for raising the required funds

The budget report for 2023-2024 dated May 23, 2023, was submitted by Woodside Treasurer Bill Sessa. The required reserve funding statements were not provided with the report or mailed separately.

The annual budget report containing the pro forma budget for 2024-2025 must be distributed to homeowners by the end of May 2024. Woodside Treasurer Bill Sessa scheduled Budget Committee meetings for April 29 and May 6, allowing limited time to develop the 2024-2025 budget although the Association has financial issues.

Civil Code § 5305. Review of Financial Statement.
The Association’s financial statement must be reviewed by an accountant and distributed to homeowners by individual delivery within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year. Our fiscal year ends June 30. The review for the June 30, 2023, fiscal year should have been distributed by October 28, 2023.

Woodside Treasurer Bill Sessa announced at the February 27, 2024, Board meeting that the financial review had been received. After the Board was put on notice by homeowners of the individual delivery requirement, the review was sent to homeowners via U.S. mail postmarked March 19, 2024 — 143 days after the required distribution date.

SB 326 Balcony Bill (Civil Code § 5551)
Beginning January 1, 2020, Woodside was required to have balconies and walkways inspected. The deadline for inspection is January 1, 2025. While an inspection was completed late last year, the copy of the report we saw didn’t comply with the law by providing the “expected future performance and remaining useful life of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system” per Civil Code Section 5551(e)(3). Instead, the many recommendations were classified as low or medium priority with no suggested time for completion. The Association spent $19,000 on an inspection that needs to be redone and it’s not clear whether the contracted company has been asked to update their report to comply with requirements.

Civil Code § 4775. HOA and Owner Maintenance Responsibilities.
According to California law, the HOA “is responsible for repairing, replacing, and maintaining the common area” unless the CC&Rs state otherwise. Our CC&Rs follow the law: “The Association shall provide maintenance, repair, and replacement of the Common Area and all facilities, improvements, and landscaping thereon.” A walk through the property will show many areas where repair and maintenance are lacking.

Health and Safety Code 17920.3.
“Any building or portion thereof including any dwelling unit … in which there exists … the following … shall be deemed and hereby is declared to be a substandard building: …
“(5) Lack of hot and cold running water…
“(12) Infestation of insects, vermin, or rodents …
“(13) Visible mold growth…
“(14) General dilapidation or improper maintenance.
“(15) Lack of connection to required sewage disposal system.
“(16) Lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities…”

Residents in both East and Sierra constantly report water issues and hot water issues. Residents report rat issues, particularly where holes in the roofs provide access. Residents report mold caused by leaking roofs. Everyone who attended the town hall on January 30, 2024, heard about issues with sewage entering homes. Garbage bins routinely overflow before pick-up day.

Civil Code § 5855. Notice of Hearing; Notice of Decision.
In the Board meeting on January 23, 2024, the Board announced its intention to circumvent Civil Code Section 5855 by reinstituting the Rules Hearing Committee.

The law states, “When the board is to meet to consider or impose discipline upon a member, or to impose a monetary charge [for] damage to common area and facilities caused by a member or the member’s guest or tenant, the board shall notify the member … at least 10 days prior to the meeting. … The member has a right to attend and may address the board at the meeting. The board shall meet in executive session if requested by the member.”

There is no mention of a Rules Hearing Committee. There is no mention of any other non-Board member being allowed to be present during discussion. There is only mention of the Board and the homeowner accused of a violation.

Civil Code § 4515. Assembly for Political Purposes; Flyers, Social Media.
A homeowner was delivering flyers to resident homeowners in relation to the upcoming election. A member of the Woodside security team informed the homeowner that the distribution of flyers wasn’t permitted.

According to law, “A member or resident of a common interest development who is prevented by the association or its agents from engaging in any of the activities described in this section may bring a civil or small claims court action to enjoin the enforcement of a governing document, including a bylaw and operating rule, that violates this section. The court may assess a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation.”

Civil Code § 4950. Meeting Minutes.
Minutes of Board meetings are generally approved by the Board a month later at the next meeting and then posted on the website. However, by law the minutes – whether approved or draft – must be posted within 30 days.