Wednesday, August 06, 2008

California Association of Realtors: Pick a Lane!

California Association of Realtors: Pick a Lane!

The CAR that doesn't know what lane it's in

August 6, 2008

by Donie Vanitzian, J.D.

Assembly Bill 2259 is a farce, a contradiction in both terms and alliances.

Yes, it's no secret! I've written my share of letters to the legislature and to the California Association of Realtors (CAR) explaining problems with their sponsorship and introduction of assorted legislation pertaining to deed-restricted residential common interest developments, e.g., condominiums, co-ops, timeshares, and so on. As expected, I'm ignored with equal silence.

I laughed out loud as I read this August 4, 2008 quote from Alex Creel, Senior Vice President and Governmental Affairs Chief for CAR, a sponsor of Assembly Bill 2259, "This is a straight forward property rights issue." [FN4] Straight forward? Property rights? The article's author Gary Quackenbush speaks of "covering disclosures upon sale of property . . . to provide protection to owners who are opposed to leasing restrictions by giving them vested rights." Gee, I wonder where they all picked up THAT phrase?

Forget for a minute that in 2006, I mailed to the California Association of Realtors and to the L.A. City Council, and hand-delivered to Mayor Villaraigosa, and Congressman Rosendahl's office, a lengthy letter detailing that very problem and noting a decline in available rental properties and the lack of incentives for being a landlord. I demanded emergency legislation to effectively ban restrictions on rentals imposed by homeowner associations, namely prohibiting associations from amending, restating, rewriting or altering their governing documents and covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) in any way that would prevent titleholders from renting out their properties.

The concept of deed-restricted titleholders having a "vested interest" and "vested rights" in their property was first introduced in the book Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, by D. Vanitzian and S. Glassman, published in 2002. I delineated the "Vested Rights Dilemma" in greater detail in the reference book Common Interest Developments- -Homeowners Guide, Expert Series, by D. Vanitzian and published by Thomson-West.

In Villa Appalling! authors D. Vanitzian and S. Glassman, posit that "the solution to the tragedy of the commons can be found in what they term the 'Vested Rights Dilemma.' That Dilemma recognizes what the deed-restricted development purchaser believed all along, that is, the titleholder has certain rights which vest upon purchase. That deed-restricted titleholder cannot be deprived of his rights by covenant, rules, bylaws or any other folly of an association’s board of directors or even the legislature. Those titleholder rights were coupled with an interest, bought and paid for with legal tender. [FN1]

"The Dilemma is that the owner living inside the deed-restricted development believed he had all the rights of an owner living outside a deed-restricted development, namely, traditional home ownership. Not only are the rights of the one living inside severely limited or eliminated, those few remaining rights, which he believed were vested when he paid for his 'space,' [FN1,2] are revocable at will--the board’s will, not his. [FN1]

"What courts and legislatures do not want to recognize is that, at the time of purchase, those 'rights' became vested. The owner bought and paid for them. Either the owner has these rights or he doesn’t. If the owner has them, they are vested and they cannot be 'taken,' either by legislative caprice or covenant, i.e., by any means not applicable to all property interests. And a non-governmental homeowner association certainly could not take those rights away. [FN1]

"On the other hand, if the owner doesn’t have them, then they also cannot be 'taken' from him by a board or the legislature or the courts. [FN1]

"That’s the dilemma. Either the owner has them or he doesn’t. Either way, they should not be able to be taken away." [FN1,2]

Quite beyond coining the terms, I have fought to have titleholder interests not only recognized and respected but strengthened and codified, in contrast to and against CAR which fights to erode owner interests, to reduce them to pawns in the developer-realtor- management industries’ hegeomony.

Remarkably, Assembly Bill 2259 now contradicts provisions written into Assembly Bill 980 sponsored by none other than, the California Association of Realtors (CAR).[FN5] It didn't matter how many letters I wrote to the legislature and all the relevant Committees, and to CAR: all were ignored and none were listed in public Opposition to the bill despite the obligation to do so. Nor did it matter how many treatises I wrote, how much research I did on the laws and crossovers, how many requests I fulfilled to send them the underlying information- -except to maybe "borrow" some of my extensive research that did not appear in any of the earlier legislative drafts--CAR and the legislature paid attention to none of it. Thus, CAR excised ALL residential deed-restricted common interest development property transfers from the protections of fee disclosures mandated in Assembly Bill 980. What does this mean? Simply put: ANY property-related title issues for this now inferior sub-group of titleholders is exempt from the laws meant to protect all other "real" property owners. [FN 2,3] So much for CAR's being "straight forward."

But suddenly CAR and the California legislature want it both ways. They apparently believe that THEY -- not the board of directors -- can decide whether or not a homeowners association can amend, rewrite, and restate covenants, conditions, and restrictions as it relates to renters and rental property. "No" to transparency protecting owners from bogus transfer fees but lots of it lest deed-restricted property not be rentable -- hey, they want us to be able to rent out property out don't they? Gee, thanks for the break . . . that's really no break at all because it conflicts with a myriad of other laws. Just as CAR appeared to have failed in performing the vital due diligence in pushing Assembly Bill 980, so too, they failed to perform the proper due diligence with Assembly Bill 2259. The difference this time? I refuse to tip them off as to what conflicts exist.

Bad law forces consumers to pay higher prices, clogs our court system, and casts a pall over this type of property ownership.

But I digress -- Respectfully, it is this author's opinion that the only reason why Assembly Bill 2259 is now coming to the fore despite my years of writing about these problems for at least the past twelve years, obviously, in my view, it is because of the housing crunch. Agents and brokers are hard pressed for sales. Leases and rentals are the new market. With so much housing now within common interest developments controlled by homeowner association boards of directors who interfere with individual rentals . . . well, you get the picture. Apparently what CAR wants CAR gets, no matter how flipped their flops.

About the writer: Donie Vanitzian, JD, co-authors the Los Angeles Times’ Associations column and is co-author of Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living. She is author of Common Interest Developments- -Homeowners Guide, Expert Series. She can be reached by writing to Post Office Box 11843, Marina del Rey, CA 90295.

Works Cited

[FN1] D. Vanitzian & S. Glassman, Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, A Textbook for Understanding Common Interest Developments (2002).

[FN2] See D. Vanitzian & S. Glassman, Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, A Textbook for Understanding Common Interest Developments (2002); D. Vanitzian, Common Interest Developments- -Homeowners Guide, Expert Series ed. 2007-2008 (Thomson-West) ; www.vanitzian. com. See also Civil Code § 1351(f) (re: "space").

[FN3] S. Glassman & D. Vanitzian, What's Really So Bad About Rental Units in a Condo Complex?, L.A. Times, July 2, 2006.

[FN4] Gary Quackenbush, Bill Would Prevent Homeowner Groups From Banning Rentals, Aug. 4, 2008 No. Bay Bus. Journal.

( /706798998/ 1207/BUSINESSJOURNAL02)

[FN5] D. Vanitzian, Veto Assembly Bill 980 Before There's No More Gold in the Golden State, CentralValley Bus. Times, Sept.18, 2007.

CotoBlogzz Tagzz - use any number of social networking managers to share this (or any other articles in the Internet) with here and select social bookmarkings threads


Statutory Clarification and Simplification of CID Law. Request for Public Comment. The California Law Revision Commission seeks public comment on a ...

Homeowners Associations: California Law Revision Commission's ... I am also against the California Law Revision Commission's interference with ..... Clarification and Simplification of CID Law (Discussion of Issues)." ...

RCBA Online News and Notes: California Law Revision Commission Agenda MCLE: The California Law Revision Commission is a State Bar of California Approved ... Statutory Clarification and Simplification of CID Law [Study H-855] ...

Gone Delusional Real Estate Hunting- As Bob Hunt might say, SB528 was not controversial and there are no real estate problems!
According to Bob Hunt, director of the California Association of Realtors, ?SB528 was not controversial and it didn?t receive a lot of attention, But it?s a good law, and that?s good news, how refreshing?, as described in the Orange County Register?s...

Most Frequent HOA Complaints?: Dues Increases and CC&R Changes ? WSJ
So the number of people that lived in associations and complained about them is 69/75 = 92%. This is in stark contrast to Community Association Institute's (CAI) claim that 95% of the people living in associations love them

SB-528 and the HOA Volunteer Fallacy- Another wholly useless piece of UNENFORCEABLE feel-good legislation used to justify the Senate's paychecks and pension plans
While fully emerged in partisan politics and bickering about the 2007 budget, according to the Associated Press, ?California lawmakers on Tuesday August 21, 2007 ended one of the state's longest budget stalemates in 30 years, agreeing to a $145 billion...

So THIS is what the Senate calls an "Open Meeting." How many Open Meetings have THEY been to? Obviously not many. ROTFLMAO!

The CZ (Master Association) Lifestyle and the Volunteer Fallacy
The October 2007 CZ Master Association's Newsletter makes the argument that the CZ lifestyle is mostly due to efforts of volunteers and that it is ?very easy to overlook the tireless work and the thousands of hours donated? to benefit CZ residents.

News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Brian Collister is investigating the case of one family who's being evicted by their Homeowner?s Association. Full investigation is scheduled to run Tuesday night at 10pm on News 4 WOAI.

Mezger resigns from board ? an OCR Paraphrase
According to the September 28, 2007 issue of the CanyonLife, Jerry Mezger?s departure from the CZ Master Association board of directors is attributed to ??recent growth of his company and its increased demands on his time?.

The $1000 Fence for the $1 Horse - Or is it the other way around in your HOA?- $400 FENCE COSTS $83,000 IN HOA BATTLE
An example of what happens when volunteers do so for the wrong reasons??As reported by KING 5 News reporter Jane McCarthy on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 a battle over CC&R enforcement and decision making by volunteers created

Two of the Worst & Most Detrimental Laws to Hit California are Sponsored by None Other than: California Association of Realtors (R) The Gold is Gone --No more gold in the Golden State!
Dear Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,
SHATZI! PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR PROMISE TO US. Please listen to the people who support you and look to you to help us! When you first began buying property in California NO ONE told you what you could or could not do...

It apparently does not matter that titleholders with a vested interest in their property cannot get their legislators to carry legislation to help US, but, they can waste taxpayer funds by preventing the bills WE WANT and NEED by CHANGING *ONE* WORD in an...

CAN YOU OUTSWIM YOUR HOA SHARKS? or will you drown trying?
Owning, let alone living in an HOA is a tough JOB and requires you be physically fit, possess a certain sophistication of the processes, and have the character let alone stamina, that allows you to be persistent in a manner that indescribable to REAL...

(c) D. Vanitzian
May 16, 2007The Gray Panthers are on record as SUPPORTING A BAD BAD BAD BAD BILL: Senate Bill Number 948. SHAME ON YOU. Where the heck are you getting your information from?

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Legislation and HOA BOD Cause and Effect: Clueless in my CAR
Coming off a most improbable but successful campaign to defeat SB 670 author and HOA advocate Vanitizian thanks supporters making a connection between the quality of legislation being passed in Sacramento, and the quality of life in most homeowners...

Paraphrasing the LA Times on Defeat of SB670 & Wicked Twin Witches of the West - SB 127 & AB-980
Taking a page out of the OC Register?s ?paraphrased reporting?, an article written by LA Times staff writer Diane Weder titled ?Bill to limit transfer fee founders?, published appropriately on May 13, 2007, quotes the president of the statewide Realtors...

One More Near Miss Avoided - Clueless in My CID/HOA
The number one rule in the Australian Aviation Magazine?s list of Flight Rules is the one about airplane take off and landing: Every takeoff is optional, Every landing is mandatory!It is safe to say that most travelers know that takeoffs and

Private Transfer Tax - Good for the Common Interest Development (HOA/CID) Industry or Good for the Politicians?
When we received our copy of the report that the California Association of Realtors (CAR) used to Sponsor and help draft transfer fees, we were confused. Given that Vanitzian has become an icon in Sacrament (some say a thorn in the legislature's side),...

How to Communicate with the CZ Master Association (and other HOAs)
Recently a CotoBuzz contributor received a stupid lawyer letter stating that the CZ Master Association board would no longer accept his requests via email.

OCR Paraphrasing in Laguna Woods Village
The CotoBuzz Journal previously reported on a brewing scandal related to alleged misuse of credit card by property management company employees in an article titled Laguna Woods Residents Outraged by Use of Credit Cards Issued to Property Manager...

Homeowner Association (HOA) Lawyer FactoidsThe Davis-Stirling Act is a part of the California Civil Code. In the Davis-Stirling Act:

· The term "attorney fees" is codified/mandated: 22 times.

· The term "homeowner" is merely mentioned: 3 times

Lets spare each other the niceties of: ?there are good ones and there are bad ones,? because we already know that -- and -- this article is not about that. She then says with a cheeky little grin, ?ok, ok yes, there are some good lawyers out there.?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest gladiator of them all?
As I stood atop the Roman Colosseum during a recent trip, emotionally gripped by its horrific history, I couldn?t help but make the connection between the ancient gladiator and my role as in-house attorney,?.. For starters, lawyers are often referred to...

Management company's tape-recording tactic puts homeowners at risk
Question: Because our management company has been sued before, it has a policy of recording all incoming and outgoing phone calls. Before a management employee answers the phone, there is an automatic announcement warning callers they are being recorded....

Of Trial Lawyers, the AAJ and the Democratic Party
The National College of Advocacy and AAJ Education maintain two distinct programs that recognize AAJ lawyer member efforts in pursuit of advanced legal learning and professional development?the Achievement Recognition Program and Advanced Studies in Trial...

Laguna Woods Village CC&Rs, What CC&Rs? I Got Your CC&Rs Right Here!
Coto de Caza is not the only place where the board of directors consistently either disregard the civil code, governing documents (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions - CC&Rs) or even the moral code.

What is better in HOA Management? Transparency and Accountability or Feel Good?May 22, 2007
Mostly as a result of the Enron and Worldcom scandals, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 and commonly called SOX; was enacted to provide business executives with less wiggle...


Two of the Worst & Most Detrimental Laws to Hit California are Sponsored by None Other than: California Association of Realtors (R) The Gold is Gone --No more gold in the Golden State!
Dear Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,
SHATZI! PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR PROMISE TO US. Please listen to the people who support you and look to you to help us! When you first began buying property in California NO ONE told you what you could or could not do...

Private Transfer Tax - Good for the Common Interest Development (HOA/CID) Industry or Good for the Politicians?
When we received our copy of the report that the California Association of Realtors (CAR) used to Sponsor and help draft transfer fees, we were confused. Given that Vanitzian has become an icon in Sacrament (some say a thorn in the legislature's side),...

Lawyer seeking condominiums' business goes over the line
Question: I manage a large condominium project in Los Angeles. Unsolicited, an attorney sent me an invitation to meet with him over lunch. He then phoned me several times, including the day before the lunch, explaining the purpose was to speak only with...

About every two months I get a call, or a client comes in to ask me about condominiums. It usually starts off with, ?I bought this adorable little condo? and then the upstairs neighbor had a flood?. And then the Homeowners Association refused??

The Real Estate Sky Is Falling!
Inman News reports today, Tuesday July 24, 2007 that California mortgage defaults hit 10-year high and that more borrowers expected to lose homes in second half of year. ?Roughly half, 54.6 percent, of the homeowners in default emerge from the...

>CotoBlogzz Tagzz

Use any of the social networking managers below to share this or any other article with others....more bookmarking managers

Newsvine Backflip

Select Blogzz & click icon

Archived Issues

Advertising rates/info

CotoBuzz Classified

General Information

arbitration assessments associations CID's common interest developments Coto de Caza freeloaders HOA Islam judges Laguna Woods Village OC Sheriff ocda OCSD socal Southern California subsidies Vandalism Vanitzian Varo

Grab this swicki from


To subscribe/unsubscribe to the CotoBuzz Journal or send Letters to the Editor : click here or send email to:

The CotoBuzz Journal P.O. Box 154 Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 (509) 355-8895

Privacy Policy | Need Help? | Contact Us | Administrator:

No comments: