articles by barry A. Ross

Can an association convey common area to a member?

There are several circumstances by which an association may convey common area to a member. These circumstances include the following:

(a) Unless the CC&R’s specify a different percentage, a membership vote of 67% of the members, followed by an affirmative vote of the board of directors;

(b) To eliminate or correct engineering errors in documents recorded with the county recorder or on file with a public agency or utility company;

(c) To eliminate or correct encroachments due to errors in the construction of any improvements;

(d) To permit changes in the plan of development submitted by the real estate commissioner in circumstances where the changes are the result of topography, obstruction, hardship, aesthetic considerations or environmental conditions;

(e) To fulfill the requirements of a public agency;

(f) To transfer the burden of management and maintenance of any common area that is generally inaccessible and not of general use to the membership at large of the association; or

(g) To accommodate a disability; any grant in connection with an expressly zoned industrial or commercial development.

(h) To assign a parking space, storage unit or other amenity designated in the CC&R’s, but not specifically assigned;

(i) To install and use an electric vehicle charging station;

(j) To comply with governing law; or

(k) To comply with a detailed plan of phased development.


See also: Harvey v. Landing Homeowners Association (2008) 162 Cal. App. 4th 809, where the court approved Association’s authorization to fourth floor owners to have exclusive use of the common area attic space above the fourth floor and Haley v. Casa Del Rey Homeowners Association (2007) 153 Cal. App. 4th 863, where court authorized the association’s decision to allow patios to encroach on common area.