Exclusive Use Common Area Maintenance Responsibilities
While it is not the intention to include the definition of every term found in the Davis-Stirling Act in this article, the following sections are critically important:
Civil Code Section 4095 “Common Area” Defined
4095 (a) “Common area” means the entire common interest development except the separate interests therein. The estate in the common area may be a fee, a life estate, an estate for years, or any combination of the foregoing.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), in a planned development described in subdivision (b) of Section 4175, the common area may consist of mutual or reciprocal easement rights appurtenant to the separate interests.
Civil Code Section 4145 “Exclusive Use Common Common Area” Defined
4145 (a) “Exclusive use common area” means a portion of the common area designated by the declaration for the exclusive use of one or more, but fewer than all, of the owners of the separate interests and which is or will be appurtenant to the separate interest or interests.
(b) Unless the declaration otherwise provides, any shutters, awnings, window boxes, doorsteps, stoops, porches, balconies, patios, exterior doors, doorframes, and hardware incident thereto, screens and windows or other fixtures designed to serve a single separate interest, but located outside the boundaries of the separate interest, are exclusive use common area allocated exclusively to that separate interest.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of the declaration, internal and external telephone wiring designed to serve a single separate interest, but located outside the boundaries of the separate interest, is exclusive use common area allocated exclusively to that separate interest.
Civil Code Section 4775 General Maintenance Obligations
4775 (a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), unless otherwise provided in the declaration of a common interest development, the association is responsible for repairing, replacing, and maintaining the common area.
(2) Unless otherwise provided in the declaration of a common interest development, the owner of each separate interest is responsible for repairing, replacing, and maintaining that separate interest.
(3) Unless otherwise provided in the declaration of a common interest development, the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining the exclusive use common area appurtenant to that separate interest and the association is responsible for repairing and replacing the exclusive use common area.
(b) The costs of temporary relocation during the repair and maintenance of the areas within the responsibility of the association shall be borne by the owner of the separate interest affected.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.
Following are some critically important points:
- In 4145, the words “designated by the declaration” are critically important.
- Section 4775 (3) creates a conflict between the owner of the separate interest and the association. Since the failure to maintain leads to repairs and placements, a dispute is likely to take place between the owner of the unit and the board. Legal counsel should be consulted when the occurs.
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