Nathan McGuire, Esq. | McGuire Schubert Sohal LLP


The legislature reconvened the 20232024 legislative session on January 3, 2024. Last year, in the first part of this two-year session, the legislature introduced 3,036 bills. Of those, 1,196 (nearly 40%) made it to Governor Newsoms desk, where he signed 890 into law and vetoed 156. Under Californias pocket signature rule, the unsigned bills also became law. This year, the count is down to 2,124, consisting of 1,505 in the Assembly and 619 in the Senate. A handful of these bills would impact HOAs, some of them significantly. This month well summarize the bills. Stay tuned throughout the year for more updates and insight into these bills. 

AB-2114 (Irwin), Inspection of Elevated Structures

This bill would amend the law (SB326) to add licensed civil engineers to the list of professionals authorized to conduct inspections of exterior elevated elements in a condo project for which an association has maintenance or repair responsibility. Existing law requires the inspection to be conducted by a licensed structural engineer or architect. Th

AB-2159 (Maienschein), Elections

This bill would authorize an association to conduct an election by electronic secret ballot, unless the associations governing documents specify otherwise. The bill would require an association that conducts an election by electronic secret ballot pursuant to these provisions to ensure, among other things, that the electronic secret ballots provide a method to authenticate the members identity to the online voting system and a method for the member to confirm that their electronic device can successfully communicate with the online voting system at least 14 days before the voting deadline. The bill would require the online voting system to have the ability to authenticate the members identity, authenticate the validity of each electronic vote, and transmit a receipt to a member that casts an electronic vote. If an electronic secret ballot is conducted by internet website, the bill would require individual notice of the ballot to be delivered to each member and would require that notice to also include specified information, including instructions on how to vote by electronic secret ballot. The bill would specify that an electronic secret ballot is effective when transmitted and irrevocable. The bill would prohibit the use of an electronic secret ballot unless the association creates procedures that provide an opportunity for members to vote by written secret ballot. 

AB-2460 (Ta), Elections/Quorum

This cleanup bill (to last years AB1458) would clarify that an association board of directors is required to adjourn to the 20% reduced quorum, if that scenario applies. 

AB-2996 (Alvarez), Insurance/FAIR Plan

The California FAIR Plan Association is a joint reinsurance association in which all insurers licensed to write basic property insurance participate in administering a program for the equitable apportionment of basic property insurance for persons who are unable to obtain that coverage through normal channels. Existing law establishes the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank and authorizes it to issue bonds upon request by a state entity. This bill would authorize the FAIR Plan Association to request the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank to issue bonds and would authorize the bank to issue those bonds. This bill is an urgency measure which, if passed, would take effect immediately. 

SB-477 (Housing Committee), Accessory Dwelling Units

This bill was introduced last year and signed by the governor on March 25, 2024. As an urgency measure, it became effective immediately. Existing law provides for the creation by local ordinance (or by ministerial approval if a local agency has not adopted an ordinance) of accessory dwelling units in areas zoned for single-family or multifamily dwelling residential use in accordance with specified standards and conditions. Existing law also provides for the creation of junior accessory dwelling units by local ordinance or (if a local agency has not adopted an ordinance) by ministerial approval in single-family residential zones in accordance with specified standards and conditions. This bill made nonsubstantive changes and reorganized various provisions relating to the creation and regulation of accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units (including the provisions described above) and included related nonsubstantive conforming changes. 

SB-900 (Umberg), Repair and Maintenance

This bill would make an association responsible for repairs and replacements for matters pertaining to the interruption of gas, heat, water, or electrical services that begin in the common area, even if the matter extends into another area, as specified. The bill would require an association to complete those repairs or replacements within 30 days. The bill would require an award of reasonable attorneys fees to a prevailing owner who enforces this provision against an association.

SB-1055 (Min), Accessory Dwelling Units

This bill would prohibit a qualifying local agency from imposing height limitations that would prohibit an attached accessory dwelling unit from attaining a height of 16 feet, as specified. The bill would define qualifying local agency as a local agency that the Department of Housing and Community Development has determined that the number of housing units that have been entitled by the local agency (as shown on its most recent annual progress report) is greater than the local agencys share of the regional housing need, for the low- and very lowincome categories, prorated for that annual reporting period.

SB-1212 (Skinner), Housing Investments

This bill would prohibit an investment entity, as defined, from purchasing or acquiring an interest, as defined, in a single-family dwelling or other dwelling that consists of one or two residential units within this state. The bill would provide that a purchase or acquisition of an interest in housing in violation of this prohibition is void. The bill would define investment entity as a real estate investment trust or an entity that manages funds pooled from investors and owes a fiduciary duty to those investors. The bill would exempt nonprofit organizations, entities primarily engaged in the construction of housing, and governmental entities from the definition of investment entity. The bill would absolve a seller of housing from liability under these provisions if the seller obtains a written release signed by the buyer stating that the buyer is not an investment entity.

SB-1470 (Glazer), Construction Defect Cases

Existing law sets forth standards for determining liability in an action seeking the recovery of damages arising out of, or related to, deficiencies in residential construction, design, and related issues, and specifies the characteristics of those deficiencies. This bill would require a deficiency in the specific standards described above to materially affect the habitability or usefulness of the residential dwelling unit and to be a result of a failure to meet the standard of care for the builder to be liable, as specified. The bill would define standard of care as the level of care standard in an industry for similar work performed in the state. This bill would provide for the participation of a special inspector in the inspection and approval of repair work performed pursuant to these procedures and require the builder to obtain and pay for a building permit to perform such work. The bill would instead authorize a builder to obtain a release or waiver upon completion of repair work. This bill would require a local permitting authority to issue a building permit for these purposes within 30 days of receipt of an application for a permit, thereby creating a state-mandated local program. The bill would provide that a claimants rejection of an offer to repair is not inadmissible in an enforcement action. 

Nathan McGuire is a founding partner of McGuire Schubert Sohal LLP, a law firm specializing in representing community associations of all types. He has been engaged in legislative advocacy for HOAs for most of his career and was recently appointed to serve on the board of directors for Echo. He was named Super Lawyer Magazines California Rising Star for six years running; Super Lawyer in 2021, 2022, and 2023; and is the recipient of an AV Preeminent Peer Review designation from Martindale-Hubbell, which signifies the highest level of excellence in the attorney profession. 

You can view full bill language and legislative process on Abstract CA.