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LSC: Be the Change

By Janet Quinn-Dennis

This article first appeared in The Communicator, Winter 2021. To read more, click here

Early in my career I realized that I was frustrated with many of the laws that affected the CID industry. Case law, as well as legislative law, seemed ineffective at holding back the tide of special interest groups that wanted to have a say in the way our homeowners and directors lived their lives.

Then, sometime in the mid-1980s, I was introduced to a mentor who would show me ways in which I could legislatively direct my passion for this industry. This person was the one and only Beth Grimm. She was heavily involved in CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC). Beth served as a delegate for the Bay Area/Central Chapter, as well as the PR chair on the Executive Committee. She encouraged me to participate on the local Legislative Support Committee (LSC) at that time and introduced me to other statewide delegates.

The hook was set during...

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HVAC Maintenance, Defects, and Disclosures in the Coronavirus Era

By Ritchie Lipson, Esq., Brittany Grunau, Esq., and J. Scott Friesen, P.E.

This article first appeared in The Communicator, Winter 2021. To read more, click here

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the population and the scientific community is still researching the many unknowns of the virus, it is vital that managers and boards of directors are diligent in their maintenance of buildings so as to keep occupants safe as well as to avoid potential liability. An open letter supported by 239 scientists, dated July 6, 2020, stated that there is a "real risk" that the coronavirus can be airborne. (Morawaska L, Milton, D. It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19, July 6, 2020). While there is little information known on ventilation and filtration requirements and the impact on the spread of COVID-19, it can be reasonably inferred that knowledge of how your system works and reacting accordingly could be an important mitigation factor....

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2021 Legislation: Insight and Legal Update

By Nathan R. McGuire, Esq.

This article first appeared in The Communicator, Winter 2021. To read more, click here

For the last two legislative sessions, we have faced some of the most historically significant bills since the Davis-Stirling Act. And that’s saying a lot considering the Davis-Stirling Act has probably been amended more than a hundred times since it was enacted in 1986. This year was especially challenging on legislators, advocates, and citizens wishing to engage in the process, given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the legislative process. It has also demonstrated the need for modernizing the Davis-Stirling Act by allowing for the use of mainstream technology, which has become commonplace in our everyday lives.

Because of the pandemic, the legislature shifted its focus to the coronavirus, economic recovery, and housing affordability issues. Other bills, like the ones pushed by CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee...

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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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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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