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  • Aida Ingram

Understanding the Davis-Sterling Act: A Complete Guide for Homeowners and HOAs Need to Know

Updated: Mar 17

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, also known as the Davis-Stirling Act, is a California Civil Code section that regulates communities with condominiums, cooperatives, and planned units. It was established in 1985 and applies to all community associations, regardless of when they were developed. The act aims to protect members of community associations and allow them to self-govern through elected boards. It also establishes procedures for HOA elections, including nomination processes, voting rights, and the use of secret ballots. The act also gives HOA members the right to access records, such as accounting books, minutes of proceedings, and records.


The Davis-Stirling Act establishes financial safeguards, disclosures, insurance protections, and reserves. It also requires association boards of directors to make reasonable inquiries about rules violations, maintenance issues, reserve components, and association finances before making decisions. 


If a board violates the Davis-Stirling Act, remedies include:


  • Voiding the results of any election of directors or action taken by the board of directors

  • Injunctional relief requiring the association to conduct new votes, hold new meetings, or distribute documents

  • Monetary awards for damages or “restitution” 

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