Online Legal Resources on Condominums
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2018 09:46:21 -0700 (PDT)
(Don’t feel you have to read all these messages in one day. Just because they 
are giving me a good excuse for procrastinating in doing my taxes doesn’t mean 
you have to labor over my research.)

California has the most comprehensive and clear regulations of any state. The 
condominium act and explanatory documents are excellent. One reason for this is 
the Davis-Stirling law firm that wrote the update to the condo act called the 
Davis-Stirling Act effective in 2014.

The site is loaded with information. It has all the relevant California 
Statutes and Case Law. Reading cases is good way to understand where 
responsibilities are placed by the courts. Even reading a few  sort of sets 
your head to understanding legal requirements.

Even better the site is INDEXED. In the left column is a comprehensive list of 
subjects defined and discussed on the site. Many of the topics are raised here 
regularly — Airbnb rentals, Defibrillators, Pets, Grandfathering, Neighbor 
disputes, Nudity, OSHA, Parking, Right of first refusal. etc. Each entry 
usually start with a question, give an answer, and make a recommendation. Some 
give legal proceedings required and case references or other resources.

Animal sacrifice hasn’t come up. Bible study classes in the CH. Facebook. Love 
Notes. Mezuzah. Raffles. I didn’t look each of these up but I thought it was 
interesting that there is probably case law on these topics.

I haven’t seen the American Flag discussed here (yet) but there some states, 
California and Florida for example, that exempt the American Flag from other 
restrictions on hanging banners and displaying political and real estate signs.

> Federal Law. On July 24, 2006, HR42, the Freedom to Display the American Flag 
> Act, was signed into law. It prohibits restrictions on displaying the U.S. 
> flag on a member's unit, lot or exclusive use common area. Under the Act, 
> community associations:
> may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would 
> restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of 
> the United States on residential property within the association with respect 
> to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to 
> exclusive possession or use.
> California Law. The law allows community associations to establish reasonable 
> time, place, or manner restrictions necessary to protect a substantial 
> interest of the association. This is similar to California's Civil Code §4705 
> adopted in 2002, which allows owners to display the United States flag on 
> their separate property or exclusive use common area, regardless of any 
> association restrictions to the contrary.
> Allowable Locations. The freedom to display the U.S. flag comes with 
> restrictions. The flag may be displayed:
> in a window 
> from a staff or pole on owners' balconies, patios, decks
> in private yards 
> Material Restrictions. Associations may prohibit flags made from lights, 
> paint, roofing, siding, paving materials, flora, or balloons, or any other 
> similar material.
> Advertising Restriction. Associations can prohibit the display of the US flag 
> for advertising purposes. 

It’s a fun site to peruse while watching reruns of old movies or Law and Order.

(One more message if my fingers hold out and I don’t start feeling guilty over 
not doing my taxes.)

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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