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Homeowner Association / Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporations

The Office of the Attorney General has limited, discretionary authority to intervene on behalf of homeowners who are denied certain prescribed rights provided by the California Corporations Code. Since homeowners associations are usually set up as non-profit, mutual benefit corporations, the Office of the Attorney General has discretionary authority under section 8216 of the California Corporations Code to intervene on behalf of non-profit, mutual benefit corporation homeowners association members who are denied certain specified rights and submit a complaint to the Attorney General.

A summary of the homeowners associations complaints that fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Attorney General is provided below.

Corporation Code Violation
Corp. Code, Section 7510(b) Failure to hold a regular meeting of the members.
Corp. Code, Section 7510(e) Failure to hold special meeting after demand by 5 percent or more of members.
Corp. Code, Section 7511 Failure to provide notice of a meeting to members.
Corp. Code, Section 7511(a) Failure to provide timely notice of meeting to members.
Corp. Code, Section 7512 Transacting business not otherwise authorized in the bylaws at a meeting of members with less than a quorum.
Corp. Code, Sections 7513, 7514 Failure to provide members with properly conformed written ballot or proxy as authorized in bylaws.
Corp. Code, Section 7520 Failure of mutual benefit corporation to provide for reasonable means of nominating and electing persons as directors.
Corp. Code, Section 7615 Failure to abide by its bylaws authorizing cumulative voting for directors.
Corp. Code, Section 8320 Failure to keep books and records, minutes of proceedings, or list of members.
Corp. Code, Section 8321(a) Failure to prepare an annual report.
Corp. Code, Section 8321(a) Failure to provide annual report to member upon written request.
Corp. Code, Section 8330(1) Failure to allow inspection and copying of names and addresses of members upon written request.
Corp. Code, Section 8330(2) Failure to send member list of names and addresses of members upon written request.
Corp. Code, Section 8333 Failure to allow inspection of books and records.
Corp. Code, Section 8334 Failure to allow director to inspect and/or copy books, records, and documents of the corporation.
Corp. Code, Section 8215 Falsification of or tampering with association reports or records.

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If you would like the Office of the Attorney General to generate a Notice of Complaint letter for any of the above violations, please fill-out and submit a complaint form, pdf. Your complaint must specify which of the above mentioned Corporations Code(s) that you allege the HOA has violated. Please attach to your complaint copies of supporting documentation, as we are unable to return your originals. Please include a copy of your written request(s) to the HOA as well as the HOA response letter(s).

After reviewing a complaint, and if appropriate, the Attorney General may send a "Notice of Complaint" letter with a copy of the submitted complaint to the corporation. We request that the corporation responds to both our office and the complainant within 30 days.

Many times our "Notice of Complaint" will be sufficient to prompt a response from the board of directors. However, you may wish to discuss your problem with your own private attorney. You may obtain a referral to a certified lawyer referral service by contacting the State Bar at 866-442-2529 (toll-free in California) or 415-538-2250 (from outside California). If you cannot afford a private attorney, you may wish to contact your local legal aid office. For a referral, visit the Legal Services Corporation website and click on the Find Legal Assistance tab.

Other complaints may involve civil disputes in which the Attorney General has no statutory authority to intervene. You may wish to contact a private attorney if your complaint involves the following:

  • Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (California Civil Code section 1350 et seq.)
  • Rules of the HOA, commonly referred to as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
  • Services and amenities or maintenance issues
  • Property management companies
  • Accountability for common interest assets, i.e. landscaping, pools and clubhouses
  • Parking and the towing of vehicles
  • Dues, assessments and citations
  • Costs related to written document production requests, such as copying or redaction fees
  • Foreclosure proceedings
  • Poor management, misappropriation or negligent handling of corporate assets

If you suspect criminal activity, such as fraud, theft or embezzlement on the part of the board of directors or individual officers, please file a report with the police or sheriff's department in the area where the crime occurred. Local law enforcement authorities are responsible for investigating violations of law within their jurisdictions. After investigating the crime, the local law enforcement authorities may forward the case to the county district attorney's office for prosecution, if appropriate. The decision whether or not to file criminal charges will then be made by the locally elected district attorney.

Additional information is also available from the California Bureau of Real Estate.

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