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Does the Davis Stirlling act of California grant and protect the rights of renters in apartments to use of common areas?

Manhattan Beach, CA |

I live in an apartment development where half of the residents are given access to the entire property, and the other half are not. There is no mention of common areas in the lease, and no mention of who has use of them. When we moved in, we were told to use the stairs and sidewalks to walk to the beach, which is logical, since the hillsides and streets are very steep where I live. A 12 percent grade, or 33 degree angle. There are no public stair cases nearby, so it's not unreasonable to use these stairs. Denying people who live on this property, the use of these stairs would appear to be unreasonable to any person who sees the property. After all, the stairs were originally installed to go up the hill from below, and conversely, to go down. If applicable, how do I enforce this statute?

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Attorney answers 1


Unless there is something unusual in the CC&Rs or HOA Rules, as a renter, you are entitled to use of the HOA common area to the same extent as the owner from whom you rent the unit. If there is some limitation on use by renters of the common area, your landlord should have disclosed that to you. I would ask your landlord about this. If the HOA documents do not treat renters differently, the landlord should demand the HOA allow you use of the common area. If the HOA documents purport to limit the rights of renters' use of common area, the documents should be examined to see if the restriction is illegal or unreasonable. If the HOA documents do properly limit tenants' use of the common area, you should discuss a rent adjustment with your landlord. If the restrction on you use of common area is improper, and the HOA fails to respond to a demand that it allow you full use of the common area, youcan jse to HOA fto obtain an injunction requireing that it so so. YOu should be able to recover your attorneys fees inthat process. Before suing , ou and your landlord must tender a Demand for Resuluton under the Davis Stirling Act, seeking to resolve the disute before an action is filed.