Managing a community is challenging enough when all is going well. Keeping a community running smoothly can be accomplished only by staying ahead of the curve on all fronts: maintenance and reserve items, landscaping, finances and delinquencies, CC&R violations … the list goes on.

A critical dimension to prevent problems before they arise is board member education. Just like computers and phones need regular and timely system updates and patches for trouble-free operation, your board members need “downloads” of the ever-evolving legal code that impacts common interest developments. New statutes can create traps for an unwary board when outdated procedures are utilized in an altered legislative landscape. Continuing down the wrong legal path can lead to unnecessary legal fees and embarrassment for board members.

Keeping board members apprised of new laws affecting their communities will empower them to make the right decisions (or, at least, legally defensible decisions) and avoid expensive, uncomfortable, and/or time consuming pitfalls. CAI offers a number of courses to help keep board members up-to-date.

The CAI course entitled Fundamentals of Board Education provides the basics for board governance including many of the new California laws that affect Common Interest Developments. Everything from the font size required in the notice for the costs of obtaining association records; rights of an owner to make changes to their separate interest; conflicts of interest that may disqualify board members from voting on certain matters; elections and voting; standards for the retention of records; release of liens recorded by the association in error; parking (oh yes!); the physical presence of one board member during a teleconferenced board meeting; the process for a mortgagee to provide certain information in a timely manner to the HOA; service requirements for certain association legal actions; to filing of association records with the Secretary of State. We encourage board members to attend this class to make the most of their board tenure and provide a firm and educated guiding presence to the membership.

Deborah M. Kornheiser is a partner in the law firm of Wasserman Kornheiser, LLP. Wasserman Kornheiser’s practice is focused exclusively on the representation of community associations. Deborah can be reached at




Craig L. Combs is an associate attorney with Wasserman Kornheiser, LLP. The emphasis of Craig’s practice is community association dispute resolution and litigation. He can be reached at