A Homeowner Leader Perspective and Testimony on AB 1458 (Ta)

By Betty Roth, CMCA AMS LSM PCAM, Homeowner Leader, CAI-CLAC Treasurer

Assembly Bill 1458 (Ta) addresses member elections and is one of CAI-CLAC’s sponsored legislative bills this year. This bill has been amended since introduced and passed in the House.  In the absence of a quorum, this bill would authorize a common interest development to adjourn a membership meeting to a date at least 20 days after the adjourned proceeding, at which time the quorum required for purposes of a membership meeting shall be  20% of the voting members present in person, by proxy, or by secret written ballot received unless a lower quorum is authorized by the association’s governing documents.  This bill would amend CC Sec. 5115 and Corp. Code 7512 for purposes of community association meetings to elect directors.

In April, I traveled to Sacramento, CA to testify in front of the Assembly Housing Committee in support of AB 1458 and urged them to pass this important legislation. As a homeowner leader, it is extremely important to me to help save homeowners money and improve community association governance.

CAI-CLAC Advocate, Louie Brown, encouraged me to share my community association’s story. Our association has been trying to secure votes for the Board of Directors without success because a quorum cannot be obtained. Sadly, we are one of many associations facing this challenge because our association’s quorum requirement is extremely high.

In the hearing, I detailed several reasons why it was important to reduce quorum for the election process. The most important reason is that community associations do not always want the same individuals continuing to serve as directors, and they must do so if an election cannot be held due to the Association’s inability to achieve a quorum. This is especially true in very large community associations where a quorum may be 51% or more of the membership. There are many community association members who would be able to bring new and fresh ideas to the board for the benefit of the association if given the chance.

Additionally, I brought to the committee’s attention that this is not how the state or national elections are held. State and National elections do not have any type of quorum or minimum number of votes required for an election to be valid.

Finally, as in my community association, less and less homeowners vote each year because they lose interest in the process. One of the main reasons for this is that the process comes to a halt because there is lack of quorum. When homeowners are asked to vote for directors over and over with no changes made to the board due to the association’s inability to achieve quorum, homeowners often feel that their votes do not matter and also often become more and more disenchanted with the process and the association’s governance in general. Often homeowners feel that the process is “rigged” to keep incumbent directors in their seats.

The Assembly Housing Committee passed the bill. AB 1458, which has moved to the Senate, and was amended in committee. This bill has not yet been passed by the Senate.

It was very exciting to know that my voice was heard and that I was given this great opportunity. CAI-CLAC looks forward to continuing to advocate for California community associations. To learn more about CAI-CLAC’s 2023 Legislative Session Hot Bills, click here. You too can get involved! CAI-CLAC encourages constituents to meet with their elected officials to discuss their community association advocacy priorities. Face-to-face interaction with lawmakers is critical. You can learn more on our Current Campaigns page.

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