California Senate Bill 1265 would seek to curb abuses of power by homeowner associations. The bill intends to further democratize the process of HOA elections but there are others who say that the bill is misdirected. The bill's detractors point out that the current system of elections in the state's 55,000 homeowners' associations is the strongest in the nation. They claim that the current system is fair.
In addition, supporters of the current system assert that California law already provides for protections that the bill is trying to initiate. The present laws already require associations to give notice of all elections, give ballots to all members and count the votes in open meetings. The new law would allegedly also reduce voting by association members because other members could copy the secret ballots and the signed envelopes, which would give them the other members' names, addresses and signatures.
Therefore, the new bill creates serious intrusions on members' privacy, according to opponents of SB 1265. They say that recent surveys by the Community Associations Institute indicate that 85 percent of members are satisfied with their homeowners' associations actions and approve the work of the elected HOA boards. The new bill will also increase the assessments against members due to the increased costs of administering its provisions, say the opponents. They also complain that California has obvious concerns about affordable housing and that this bill will only increase housing costs in the long run.
California has one of the highest populations of community associations in the country and the importance of their decisions are increasingly important to the community residents. The importance of such matters requires the assistance of an experienced real estate attorney when serious disputes arise in connection with the policies and actions of an HOA. When it comes to the broader issues encompassed in a proposed state law, voters are encouraged to research the bill and obtain as much pertinent information as possible before voting on any legislation like this that might come before them.