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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Homeowners' association members face lawsuits -- over paint

When moving into a California housing community, residents may have had to agree to follow certain rules and adhere to covenants, conditions and restrictions. Many homeowners' association members do, but over time, as new boards are voted in, they may find themselves in trouble with the new regime. Even though some aspect of their property may have been the same for years, a new board may take issue with it -- and then take legal action when a homeowner fails to bend to its will.

For instance, the owners of a townhome in another state received permission to paint their deck white around 10 years ago. When they recently repainted it the same color in order to freshen it up so that it continued to look good, the HOA told the owners they did not like the color. According to the townhome owners, the board insisted they make their deck a natural wood color and claims they failed to obtain permission to paint the deck white.

The Nebraska couple wonders why it is necessary to obtain permission every time they paint their deck and why this board feels that after 10 years, it needs to be changed. Because they refused to change it, the HOA filed a lawsuit against the couple, along with two other of their fellow townhome owners. They feel as though they are being singled out and intend to fight the lawsuit, which they say is now a matter of principle. 

There may be some California homeowners' association members facing similar issues with their HOA boards. Even though they agreed to be bound by the CC&Rs of the community, that should not necessarily give the board unchecked power to dictate to homeowners. Sometimes the only way to effect change is to stay in the battle and stand up for their principles.

Source:, "Homeowners sued over deck color", Mike McKnight, Feb. 26, 2018

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