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A Guide to Transition

Common Interest Developments:

The keys to a successful transition from a Developer-Controlled Board to a Member-Controlled Board.

Association Transition

Over more than two decades, we have assisted thousands of directors manage their homeowner or community associations. Serving on a board is not easy; the challenges are great, especially during the early life of the association. The developer representatives on the board frequently have a great deal of experience serving on other boards while in the developer’s employ; the developer controls the board and the key association documents and its interest is usually in maximizing future sales. The homeowner directors on the other hand, only and always join the Board after the developer appointees have been in power, and homeowner directors typically have little experience serving on a board, no political power to get things done since they lack the votes to dictate board action, and may be “caught in the middle” between the demands of the homeowners and the developer’s sometimes less than cooperative behavior. Disputes can arise.

Some developments are built defect-free and easier to maintain and so the potential for conflicts with developers is limited. Some communities are smaller, sales are relatively fast and developer representatives do not serve on association boards very long. Some developers are very responsive to the needs of homeowner directors and work hard to maintain good relations. Other community associations – too many – are not so fortunate.

This booklet was written to assist homeowner directors in successfully navigating the early and critical time in the life of an association. The theme is simple: directors who educate themselves can do an excellent job representing the interests of their members; education requires getting the right documents and in regard to financing and maintenance, getting timely expert advice.

While based on our many experiences representing homeowner associations during the early – and in fact at all – stages of a community’s development, the information and legal analysis provided here is general. The legal, political and financial issues faced by each new board, and each community will vary based on their particular governing documents, the cooperativeness of the developer, the support of the members and many other considerations. Our book is a beginning and, we believe, will provide the directors the help they need in serving their community.

Leading with Exceptional Legal Talent, Extensive Resources and Decades of Experience.

Berding|Weil represents building owners, community associations, corporations, and real estate investors, throughout California and other states.

Our attorneys draw on many years of Community Association and Construction Law experience to provide creative and individualized solutions for our clients.

Above all, we focus on the long-term welfare of our clients, offering expert legal services and competitive fees.

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