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HOA common area questions, need advise.

Sunnyvale, CA |

Got a mail from HOA board stating that I should replace the bulb attached to my house since it is already busted and not working. They further said, since it will be dark in the common area, it will increase HOA liability. Now, that bulb has been not working for years and before, HOA did the maintenance including bulb change, etc. We recently changed HOA management ~2yrs back. Can HOA legally force me to replace busted bulb attached to my home? Note that this bulb is at the very end of my house and it is in front of a guest's parking which is being used as an extended parking of another homeowner 24/7. I do not see it being common area anymore if that homeowner will use the guest's parking 24/7 forever. Please advise CA atty since I wanted to make sure I'm not missing anything on my rights

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Attorney answers 2


Your relationship with the HOA is governed by your CC&R’s. You need to carefully read your CC&R’s and see what the ability your homeowners association has to assist in you maintaining light bulbs. I’ve drafted many CC&R’s for developments over the years and I don’t remember any of them going into such finite minutia as to light bulbs. I think if the homeowners association wants to illuminate the common area the burden would be on them to do so. Ask the homeowners association to point out the specific authority they have to command you to replace your light bulb

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That seems like an unusual request. I don't know how the HOA can require you to provide lighting for a common area, unless there is some provision in the CC&Rs or the rules and regulations. If the light and electrical supply to the light are yours, the only way I can see the HOA telling you to put in a new bulb is if it is visible and is some sort of eyesore or blight. I don't see them having the ability to force you to provide exterior lighting for common areas.
If it is a light fixture attached to the HOA's electrical supply, then the HOA is free to maintain it.

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