Community Association Counsel
LiMandri & Jonna LLP is prepared to answer your legal questions about homeowner associations. The firm serves as special counsel to common-interest developments, including single-family homes, condominiums, high-rises, planned developments, and business parks. The firm provides legal advice to the board of directors on all community association legal issues. Services include drafting, preparation, revision, interpretation and enforcement of governing documents, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, Architectural Guidelines, and Rules and Regulations.
Community associations can receive legal counsel for annual meetings, special meetings, and voting procedures, such as reviewing insurance policies, and advising on insurance matters. The firm drafts and interprets property easements, prepares license agreements, permissive use agreements, maintenance and indemnity agreements, settlement agreements, and waivers. General counsel advice concerning general board governance and management/vendor contracts is also available.
If an association wants to make arrangements for an individual owner to assume the maintenance obligation of a certain area of property, the legal professionals at LiMandri & Jonna LLP can prepare agreements that clarify the maintenance obligations of specific areas within an association. Such agreements detail the owner’s and association’s responsibilities and include indemnification to protect the association. The firm will then arrange for the recording of the fully-executed Maintenance and Indemnity Agreement with the County Recorder’s Office.
When insurance claims are made or questions arise regarding insurance coverage, the firm can provide advice and counsel about the extent and scope of coverage under various types of insurance policies including directors and officers policies, general liability and project specific policies, contractors’ insurance and bonds, surety bonds, business interruption, and homeowners insurance. The firm also offers advice with respect to the proper course of action and/or pursues litigation on behalf of the associations when there are coverage issues and bad faith claims.
Review/Amend Governing Documents
Having CC&Rs or Bylaws which are outdated due to changes in the law or industry standards can lead to disputes over which requirements prevail—those in the association’s governing documents or those found in California statutes.
In order for the board of directors to use the CC&Rs or Bylaws as a reference on how to properly run the association, changes may be required to update the documents or clear up conflicting provisions.
Depending on the types of changes required, the legal professionals at LiMandri & Jonna LLP can assist in the process to amend provisions, rewrite the entire document if needed, or prepare restated CC&Rs or Bylaws. The firm can also help ensure that the amendment or restated document is properly approved and adopted by the members.
Letters of Opinion
The board or community manager can request formal answers that address legal questions and/or address particular legal issues that arise in the governance of an association. The opinion letters written by LiMandri & Jonna LLP can be relied upon by the board and manager when making important decisions relevant to their associations.
LiMandri & Jonna, LLP supervises collection work performed by an outside vendor. The firm works with a recognized collection agency to make recommendations for handling and pursuing civil actions when needed.
LiMandri & Jonna LLP enforces governing documents. Our work to enforce governing documents begins before filing a lawsuit by participating in enforcement hearings, Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) meetings and mediation or arbitration. Should litigation prove necessary, LiMandri & Jonna LLP is prepared to take action on your community’s behalf.
LiMandri & Jonna LLP has also brought or defended numerous cases on behalf of common-interest developments. Below are recent examples in which LiMandri & Jonna LLP obtained excellent results:
- In Welk Resort Group v. Aviara Residence Club Owner’s Association, the Aviara Owners Association adopted a rule limiting the number of concurrent timeshare units that could be reserved at one time at the Four Seasons Aviara timeshare resort. This led to a lawsuit by Welk Resort Group, which had purchased a significant number of the timeshares. After a two-week trial, judgment was entered in Aviara’s favor on all points. LiMandri & Jonna LLP recovered over $1million dollars in attorneys’ fees and costs. In a counter-suit, LiMandri & Jonna LLP then obtained a $1.13 million settlement on Aviara’s behalf in an assessment collections action.
- In Pacific Tower Condominium Association v. Seis, a condominium association was forced to sue one of its condo owners after the owner installed a second bathroom that was not approved by the association. LiMandri & Jonna LLP successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the condominium association as well as all of the association’s attorneys’ fees.
- In Boardwalk Condominium Association v. Travelers Indemnity Co., two condo owners notified the association of water damage in their units, and the association reported their damage to its insurance carrier. When the insurance carrier refused to cover the water and mold damage, attorneys with LiMandri & Jonna LLP sued. Following a determination by the Ninth Circuit that the association’s insurance policy covered the damage, the case settled for a confidential amount.
- In another case, LiMandri & Jonna LLP successfully sued a homeowners’ association’s insurance carrier to cover the association’s large loss following a lengthy trial. LiMandri & Jonna LLP obtained near-full coverage for that loss.
You can contact us at (858) 759-9930 and speak directly to one of our experienced attorneys.