Changes in CA Laws Impacting HOAs in 2023


Every homeowner’s association in the United States is required to follow state laws. Each state has its own HOA legislation and it can vary considerably from state to state.

In California, HOAs are regulated by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. We’ve written about this act before when discussing its annual reporting requirements.

In September of 2022, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1410, making several amendments to the Davis-Stirling Act. Those amendments go into effect on January 1, 2023.

How these amendments will affect your HOA depends entirely on how your HOA operates. Let’s take a look at what they involve.

Social Media

The new amendments prohibit an HOA from restricting or retaliating for social media discussions relating to the association. Your HOA may not, in any of its governing documents, require homeowners to refrain from social media commentary, even negative commentary, about the association.

Whether this was a truly necessary change is debatable. Social media is a pretty well-established free-speech territory in most cases. However, now that the law will be in effect, understand how it can impact your HOA.

You are certainly well aware at this point of how dicey it can be to discuss nearly anything on social media. Your HOA board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the community it serves. Bickering on Twitter can jeopardize the fulfillment of that duty.

Because social media can be so divisive, it may be tempting to add something to your HOA rules restricting the use of these platforms to speak about the official business of your association. As of January 1, it will be illegal to do so.

Homeowners have the right to voice their opinions on your HOA, positive and negative, on any online platform they choose.

The only place an HOA may moderate the speech of members is on its own website. You are not required to have a website. But if you don’t have an online home, consider creating one. Not to restrict the speech of your community, but to be responsive to issues and problems.

It is far more productive to have a conversation on your HOA’s website, where those involved understand your community.

People like to engage online. It’s convenient and they may feel more comfortable bringing up issues. By hosting a place for these discussions, you foster better communication and problem-solving.


Another issue addressed by the new Davis-Stirling amendments is that of long-term rentals. HOAs will not be permitted to prohibit a homeowner from renting a portion of their home. The rental must last for at least 30 days and the homeowner must live in the home for this amendment to apply.

This makes the HOA unable to prohibit homeowners from having roommates or boarders. It does not, however, require the HOA to allow short-term rentals such as Airbnbs

Check your governing documents for any mention of rentals. Make sure that your rules do not conflict with the new amendment.


The next amendment probably came about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes it unlawful for homeowner’s associations to enforce remediation of rules violations during a declared emergency.

For example, perhaps you have a homeowner in our community with a window air conditioner, violating your HOA CC&Rs. The homeowner is given two months to remove the unit.

If an emergency is declared that makes it unsafe or impossible to do so, the HOA may not take action. In our example case, a wildfire or flood resulting in evacuation could prevent the homeowner from remediating the violation by the deadline.

The only exception to this rule is overdue fees or nonpayment of dues. This amendment does not cover that circumstance.

Action Items for Your HOA

You may be wondering where HOAs are trying to restrict the free speech of their members, or trying to force an evacuated family to paint their house. You aren’t alone in questioning the necessity of these new amendments.

But the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter. Your California HOA is bound to follow these amendments and the rest of the Davis-Stirling Act.

The job of your HOA board now is to review your governing documents. They must make sure that there are no rules or regulations already existing that violate the new laws.

There may be a reference to social media, rentals, or any of these amendments hiding somewhere in your bylaws, CC&Rs, or other rules and regulations. Your board should be reviewing your governing documents yearly to make sure they reflect the current community. This year they have an extra incentive.

What happens if your HOA does have language in its governing documents that conflicts with the new amendments? Your board is obligated to change those documents to align with California law.

Your governing documents will have a set procedure for this type of change. Governing documents are not meant to be static and fixed. They need to be updated to reflect new information, technology, and yes, state law.

If you are a member of your HOA board, set those changes in motion as soon as possible. The last thing your organization needs is to conflict with Davis-Stirling. Even if the changes are small or the rule is never enforced and the process is a hassle, don’t mess with California state law.

Knowing and understanding new state and local laws and regulations is an important part of your HOA board’s job. They need to determine how new regulations affect your community and communicate any changes to homeowners.

Abiding by the new Davis-Stirling amendments isn’t really enough. If doing so affects your governing documents, the entire membership should be informed. This type of transparency helps build trust between the board and the community.

Homey’s document repository makes your governing documents available at all times to your community. If changes are made, you can refer homeowners to the specific sections so they can familiarize themselves with any new rules.

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