In January 2020 several new laws will take effect affecting Homeowners Associations and their residents. Here are three legislations that may affect you:
NEW LEGISLATION ESTABLISHES THAT PERSONS WORKING FOR HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTITIES ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE CONSIDERED TO BE EMPLOYEES THAN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
AB5 (Gonzalez) establishes that persons working for a homeowners association or other business entity will be more likely to be described as an employee than an independent contractor. This legislation states that a person providing labor or services for compensation is considered to be an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the employer proves all of the following:
1. The worker is free from the control of the hiring entity;
2. The worker performs work outside the scope of the hiring entity’s business; and
3. The worker has his or her own independent business.
A gardener hired by the homeowners association to do routine gardening work might be considered to be an employee of the association rather than an independent contractor even though the gardener’s company is a separate legal entity, particularly if the association controls the work performed by the gardener and part of the association’s responsibility includes gardening.
NEW LEGISLATION REQUIRES THE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS TO ALLOW DOORS AND DOOR FRAMES TO CONTAIN RELIGIOUS ITEMS
SB652 (Allen) requires homeowner associations to allow residents to place religious items on doors and door frames of residences if the items meet certain reasonable size and other criteria established by the association, provided the items are installed based on a sincerely held religious belief. The legislation does not define what is meant by a “sincerely held religious belief.” Also, the legislation does not define what is meant by a “religious item.” The legislation allows the association to require the resident to remove the religious item, as needed for routine maintenance, such as painting the doors and door frames.
NEW LEGISLATION CLARIFIES THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ALLOWED IN FAMILY DAY CARE FACILITIES
AB234 (Skinner) expressly states that dwellings, such as condominiums, must be allowed to provide family day care facilities. This includes large family day care (up to 14 children) and small family day care (7-14 children). The legislation allows the association to apply general rules and restrictions to child care uses. For example, the association may have rules relating to noise, parking and insurance that apply to other property owners, which would also apply to family day care facilities.