Question: I want to be elected to serve on my homeowners association's board but my board won't let me nominate myself. They dominate election advertising, edit and control candidate statements and qualifications, limit access to the common areas during campaigning, and control the election in such a way that it favors incumbent directors. What's the law, and what can I do about this?
Answer: California law is clear, and association compliance is mandatory, not voluntary. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, Civil Code Section 1363.03 states that an association shall adopt rules, in accordance with the procedures prescribed in the Davis Stirling Act, commencing with Civil Code Section 1357.100 that do all of the following:
•Ensure that if any candidate is provided access to association media, newsletters or websites during a campaign, equal access shall be provided to all candidates, including those not endorsed by the board. The association shall not edit any content from these communications, but may include a statement specifying that the candidate, and not the association, is responsible for that content.
•Ensure access to the common area meeting space — if any exists — during a campaign, at no cost to all candidates, including those who are not incumbents, and to all members advocating a point of view, including those not endorsed by the board.