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CAI Legal Forum: California Exceeds Expectations

baycen events legal forum Oct 06, 2020

In September 2020, the Community Associations Institute’s (CAI) eight California Chapters came together to host the first-ever statewide virtual event. Anyone who lives in, works for or provides services to a California community association left the event more informed, more engaged and better able to contribute to a successful community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us into an even more digital world, allowing larger groups of people to gather. These unforeseen circumstances provided the gateway for the eight CAI California Chapters to host a virtual Legal Forum, allowing more members to participate than ever before.

The goal was to reach 400 attendees, the amount of people that joined the CAI Legal Forum in person last year (either in northern California or southern). The event exceeded all expectations! More than 535 attendees joined us virtually and surpassed the goal for homeowner leader and managers. Nearly 400 of attendees were managers and homeowner...

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California Wildfire Disasters: The Interpretation and Implementation of Our New Insurance Laws

By: Amy Davis

On a Thursday morning, I received the call that no daughter ever wants to receive. It was from my mom and her car was surrounded by fire. At the same time that I was taking my mom’s call, my dad and stepmom were sending me videos of several fires on the opposite side of town from where my mom was located. This was Paradise, California, November 8th, 2018.

November 11, 2018, I flew to Chico to be with family and friends and to help them with their insurance claims. Almost immediately, the question arose, “Can we just cut our losses and move?” The answer was an easy “yes.” Fortunately for survivors of the Camp Fire and future wildfire victims, California has passed several laws aimed at protecting persons whose interests are covered under insurance policies following a declared disaster.

Insureds whose homes are a total loss can now use a greater amount of their policies’ coverages to purchase an existing home or rebuild elsewhere....

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Marijuana in HOAs

By Melissa B. Ward, Esq.

BEFORE RECREATIONAL AND expanded medicinal use of cannabis products became legal in California, handling issues related to cannabis was relatively easy: since its use was largely illegal, associations typically prohibited all cannabis products, except for limited exceptions for medicinal use. Now that use of cannabis products is legal for adults in California, associations are forced to consider new interpretations of existing restrictions.

This article looks at ways HOAs can approach effective enforcement of existing restrictions pertaining to smoking, nuisance and disability accommodations in the context of use of cannabis products.


Regulating smoking has always been a challenge for HOAs. Common area components including ducts and vents can allow smoke and vapor of all kinds to travel from the separate interests onto the common area or other units. In condominium projects particularly, association complicity in allowing...

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Zoom Meetings Connect Members During COVID-19

With California’s shelter in place order, many are learning new ways to stay connected remotely. Businesses are quickly adapting to virtual meetings in order to continue business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We understand these are uncertain times and don’t want technology to add to our members’ stress. Whether your business is new to video conferencing or an experienced practitioner, engaging virtually with each other will continue to be the future of business planning.

To help jumpstart members that are new to video teleconferencing, we’ve outlined five benefits of Zoom – one of the most affordable and best video solutions on the market.

#1 It’s Easy To Use

With Zoom, there's no need to combine various video conferencing solutions in order to achieve great results for online business meetings. Zoom's Meeting Connector is free and provided as an Open Virtualization Format (OVM), which can be installed (and distributed globally) in...

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2020 Legislation Update

By Nathan R. McGuire, Esq.

October of last year marked the end of the legislative session in California and Halloween was a fitting backdrop for some of the year’s nightmarish results. While there was good mixed in with the bad, some of the legislation passed this year could turn out to be the most challenging ever to community associations, including SB 323 and AB 670. CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee (CAI-CLAC) fought hard and had great success in light of overwhelming political obstacles. Believe it or not, the horrific aspects of SB 323 would have been doubly dreadful if not for staunch opposition from CAI-CLAC.

Senate Bill 323 – Elections and E-mail Address Disclosure
Last year I talked about the defeat of SB 1265, which sought to interfere unnecessarily with community association elections. Governor Brown vetoed the bill, stating:

“California has over 50,000 common interest developments varying in purpose and size. Each...

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2020 LeadHERship Conference: Finding the Balance

conference leadhership Mar 07, 2020

By Laura Ravazza, PCAM, CCAM-PM, CAI BayCen Director

Several of our CAI Bay Area and Central Board of Directors and volunteer leaders attended this year’s LeadHERship Conference on February 26 and 27, 2020 in Westlake Village, California. This year’s theme was “Finding the Balance: Mind, Body, Self.

CAI BayCen attendees included: Laura Ravazza, PCAM, CCAM-PM with HMC Property Management Co., Mandi Begley-Newton, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Varsity Painting, and Janet Quinn Dennis with Quinn Dennis Mediation and Consulting and Pro Solutions, Betina Hunt with HMC Property Management Co., and Betina’s daughter, Molly Schessow.

Balancing the demands of a rapidly changing business environment and a hectic personal life requires nerves of steel – and a strong set of business skills. Yet many leaders, especially women, find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities without the professional experience, self-confidence or organizational...

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Some Very Basic Things to Know About HOA Income Taxes

By William S. Erlanger, CPA
Levy, Erlanger & Company LLP, CPAs 
(This article was previously printed in The Communicator, Volume 12, Issue 3

Not all homeowner associations file the same federal or state income and/or information returns. A homeowner association might be filing its federal income taxes on a Form 1120, Form 1120-H, Form 1120-H as a timeshare, Form 1120-C, Form 990 and/or Form 990-T. If that is not confusing enough, California also has different returns that a homeowner association might be using: Form 100, Form 199, and Form 109. 

California requires that homeowner associations electronically file all returns, while the IRS permits electronic filing, but only for certain returns. Oddly enough, while it requires electronic filing of returns, the state does allow mailing of checks for balance due or estimated taxes. The IRS, however, requires that almost all payments be made electronically.

Since Congress set about to tax corporations back in the...

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2019 Annual Awards & Holiday Party

Thank you to everyone who attended our 007 Awards Dinner: Secret Agents. It was a wonderful evening celebrating industry members and recognizing Nick Berg, incoming CAI Agent......we mean, President!

A special thank you to our Annual Dinner Committee and to all our sponsors for an exceptional 2019 holiday party. 

Cheers to our Annual Awards winners and to our 2020 team! Please join us in congratulating all our 2019 Annual Awards winners. You can view and download our event photos on Flickr here or click on our album below.

2019 Annual Awards & Holiday Party

 2019 Annual Awards Winners

Management Company of the Year: Associa Northern California

Rising Star: Elliott Harwell, CMCA, AMS, Homeowners Management Company

Portfolio Manager: Tracy Richardson, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Common Interest Management

Best Sponsor Video: Socher Insurance Agency

Chapter Volunteer of the Year: Betina Hunt, Homeowners Management Co, LLC

Homeowner Leader of the Year: Ann Marquis Fisher, Deer Oaks Association

On-Site Manager of...

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2019 CAI Legal Forum NorCAL

The CAI Bay Area & Central CA and CAI Northern CA Chapters hosted the Second Annual CAI Legal Forum NorCAL on September 12-13, 2019 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. 

This two day event provided community managers with up to 7 hours of continuing education credit towards re-certification for their CAI Professional Credentials (including PCAM). There was truly something for everyone with 17 topics presented by 40 Industry Professionals and Homeowners.

Thank you to our sponsors, engaging speakers, and business partners for an outstanding exposition that took attendees "Up & Away" on Flight 2019 with Connections to Education, Networking and Fun!

Click below to view all our photos from the event. Please feel free to download and share. We're looking forward to seeing everyone next year! 

2019 CAI Legal Forum NorCal

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7th Annual Texas Hold'em Tournament: Caddy CLAC

caddyclac events Aug 30, 2019

Thank you to all our sponsors and our Chapter members for joining us at the seventh Annual Texas Hold'em Tournament this week on August 29, 2019 at the Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville!

We hope everyone had a blast and enjoyed the Caddy Shack fun filled night with Blackjack, a DJ & Dancing, Cigar Bar, Raffle Prizes and more! Here are a few of our favorite photos from the evening. 

7th Annual Texas Hold'em Tournament: Caddy CLAC

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Please make your nominations no later than October 1st.