The Basics of Property Use and Maintenance Under the Davis-Stirling Act

Countless Americans dream of achieving homeownership. But when they do, many of them are surprised by the legal complexities of owning their own home. This is especially true if they become members of a homeowners’ association (HOA) or planned unit development (PUD). For these homeowners, the services provided by a knowledgeable lawyer can prove invaluable. Some common homeowners’ association issues pertain to the Davis-Stirling Act.

Keeping Pets

Pets are cherished members of the family, but keeping them may be subject to certain restrictions. The Davis-Stirling Act prohibits HOAs from prohibiting homeowners from keeping at least one pet, provided that pet refers to a:

  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Domesticated bird
  • Aquatic animal kept within an aquarium
  • Other pet agreed to by the HOA and homeowner

An HOA may impose rules regulating the total number of pets a homeowner can have. However, an HOA cannot require a homeowner to rehome pets that he or she already kept prior to the establishment of the rule.

Displaying Signs

The Davis-Stirling Act allows HOAs to issue some regulations regarding the display of noncommercial signs. A homeowner may not display signs that would jeopardize public health or safety, or that are in violation of federal, state, or local law. HOAs are allowed to ban noncommercial signs larger than nine square feet and flags or banners larger than 15 square feet. Under the law, an allowed noncommercial sign must not be made of any of the following components:

  • Paving, siding, or roofing materials
  • Electrical lights
  • Balloons
  • Flora

Applying Pesticides

HOAs applying pesticides to common areas and homeowners applying pesticides on their property must usually provide written notice to all other members who could reasonably be assumed to be impacted by the application. The written notice must identify the targeted pests, pesticide product, and pesticide warnings as specified by state law.

If you’re experiencing homeowners’ association issues, you can turn to The Law Offices of Jon Webster for sound legal guidance. Our law firm in Concord, CA routinely represents both homeowners and HOAs, and our lawyers can serve as mediators under the Davis-Stirling Act. Call us today at (925) 609-7600.

Categories: Property Management


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