The Davis-Stirling Act allows a homeowners association to pursue claims in its own name without joining the individual homeowners.  But that act applies only to associations that are in a development with one or more common areas, which are defined as consisting of mutual or reciprocal easements appurtenant to the homeowners’ separate interests.  Here, there was no common area and no mutual or reciprocal easement.  Each homeowner had a unilateral easement in the recreational facility for the development, but the recreational facility had no easement on the homeowner’s property.  Similarly, each homeowner’s interest was burdened by a unilateral easement in favor of utility companies, but the companies granted no mutual or reciprocal right to the homeowners.  As there was no common area, the association could not invoke the Davis-Stirling Act or bring or compromise a claim without joining the homeowners.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 2 (Miller, J.); October 3, 2018 (modified upon denial of rehearing October 31, 2018); 27 Cal. App. 5th 1202