CALIFORNIA – HOA HOMEFRONT: How to conduct disciplinary hearings
THE PRESS ENTERPRISE: HOA HOMEFRONT: How to conduct disciplinary meetings
- Be reasonable. Neighborly conduct is the goal and the board should be reasonable as it enforces the governing documents.
By Kelly G. Richardson -(Kelly G. Richardson is a member of the College of Community Association Lawyers.)
April 5, 2016
In a perfect world, disciplinary hearings would be unnecessary because all members would be focused on being good neighbors to each other. However, disciplinary hearings are occasionally necessary and if disorganized can be a negative experience for both the board and homeowner. Consider these suggestions toward improved disciplinary and reimbursement hearings.
- Give fair notice. Civil Code 5855(b) requires that disciplinary or reimbursement hearing notices contain at least the “date, time and place of the meeting, the nature of the alleged violation … or … the damage to the common area and facilities for which a monetary charge may be imposed and a statement that the member has a right to attend and may address the board …” Many associations do not inform the member of the alleged violation. How can the member meaningfully discuss the issue with the board without knowing in advance what it is?
- Have a published schedule of fines. Civil Code 5850(a) requires associations have a list of fines and that the list be part of the Annual Policy Statement Packet (see Civil 5310). All too often, associations lack a written fine schedule, which jeopardizes its ability to impose fines and is also unfair to members. Read more: