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condominiums & cooperatives Archives

How CC&Rs can be enforced or modified

If the covenants, conditions and restrictions within a homeowners association are violated, there may be a variety of penalties assessed. However, homeowners living in associations in California can ask for permission to break a rule. A variance may be granted when a covenant would create an undue hardship on a homeowner. For instance, a variance may be ceded if a resident has trouble seeing or wants an animal larger than community rules permit.

HOA dispute drags on after appeal

California homeowners who live in communities governed by an HOA may be used to disputes with association leadership. However, one case involving Kansas HOA Avignon Villa Homes Community Association has been going on since 2013. Legal fees in the case are expected to hit $1 million after Avignon Villa appealed a January ruling by a judge in Johnson County. The ruling found that both sides were at fault in a battle related to a landscaping project.

Dealing with HOA rules during the holiday season

As the holidays approach, homeowners in Orange County may begin thinking about their holiday decor and how they would like to adorn their homes with lights, garlands and more. However, when they are part of a homeowners' association, there may be some restrictions and limitations on what they can do to show off their Halloween frights, Christmas delights or New Year's cheer.

Resident sells property after HOA dispute

Homeowners in California and throughout the country understand the importance of a properly constructed roof. One man got a notice from his HOA after making repairs to the one on his home after a hail storm. The resident was told that permission was required prior to making repairs and that the shingles were the wrong color. According to the association's rules, they needed to be an earth tone color.

Homeowner sues HOA alleging age discrimination

Many homes in California are part of homeowners associations. One homeowner in Phoenix is suing after a property manager stated that the association had changed its rules to prohibit children under the age of 16 from living in the neighborhood. The plaintiff was renting his unit to a family with two children.

Seeking a variance from a homeowners association

Many homeowners in California live in communities with a homeowners association. When they purchased their properties, whether a condominium in a building or a free-standing house in a town, the deed was accompanied by CC&Rs, or covenants, conditions and restrictions. These neighborhood covenants include procedures for dealing with identified violations of the CC&Rs, and they also provide procedures for seeking variances or exemptions from their provisions. While homeowners associations have a right to enforce these covenants, they are not landlords; they cannot evict homeowners, steal their personal property or violate their rights.

Secondhand smoke and condo conflicts

Most condo owners in California genuinely want to get along well with their neighbors. This means that they understand the importance of courtesy in an environment where people share walls and common areas. In some situations, however, conflicts arise.

What happens when upstairs floors are noisy

California residents have the right to a quiet and peaceful living space. Therefore, they have the right to complain if a neighbor is making excessive noise. A noise complaint may arise if the floors in an upstairs unit are not properly covered. In some cases, units that had carpeting are remodeled into having wood or tile floors.

What can be done when HOAs violate the law?

In California, homeowner's associations must comply with multiple laws, including the Davis-Stirling Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. The latter two laws mostly are concerned with discrimination in housing. The Davis-Stirling Act is a comprehensive law that governs in great detail how HOAs are operated.

Determining who is liable for maintenance in an HOA

Those who live in a condominium or planned unit in California may be confused as to who is responsible for maintenance. As a general rule, the homeowners association is required to maintain all common areas while individuals are responsible for maintaining their units. Features such as porches or balconies may be labeled as exclusive use common areas, and the owner of a unit is generally responsible for their upkeep.