Joint Tenancy Votes in HOA Elections in California

Question:

After extensively researching our HOA CC&R’s, ByLaws, and Davis Stirling Act, etc. on various websites, I think that perhaps there could be a disconnect with our HOA governing laws on elections.
We have CC&R’s that define what “members” and “membership” mean, “every unit owner”. However if there is a joint tenancy (husband and wife), that would constitute 2 owners, correct?
Our ByLaws state that “each owner shall be entitled to no more than 1 vote for each unit owned”. Not one ballot, one vote. We are being told that we will be provided one ballot that my husband and I must vote 5 times on for the 5 officers we would like to support. Is this normal practice?

– Dana

 

Answer:

Hi Dana,

According to Corporations Code ยง 7612, ” If a membership stands of record in the names of two or more persons, whether fiduciaries, members of a partnership, joint tenants, tenants in common, spouses as community property, tenants by the entirety, persons entitled to vote under a voting agreement or otherwise, or if two or more persons (including proxyholders) have the same fiduciary relationship respecting the same membership, unless the secretary of the corporation is given written notice to the contrary and is furnished with a copy of the instrument or order appointing them or creating the relationship wherein it is so provided, their acts with respect to voting shall have the following effect: (a) If only one votes, such act binds all; or (b) If more than one vote, the act of the majority so voting binds all.”

As such, an HOA can give a unit with a joint tenancy only one ballot, with one person casting the vote on behalf of that unit.

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers. The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice.

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