Condo Homeowner Sued by HOA for Hardwood Flooring

REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE: September 10, 2015

If for any reason you wish to review a law update for a case that has previously been cited,
law updates for the past year are on my website, Enclosed herewith for your review are brief summaries of new cases.

Homeowners Association Successful in Obtaining An Injunction Against Owner

In the case of Ryland Mews vs. Munoz, 234 Cal App. 4th 705, the HOA sued Munoz for
Injunctive Relief and Nuisance among other causes of action when Munoz, without the HOA approval, installed hardwood floors in his condominium. The condominiums in this building all had carpeting rather than hardwood floors in order to mitigate sound transfer through the floors.

Munoz claims that his wife has a disability that requires hardwood floors because she has
a severe dust allergy. The owners claimed she cannot live in an atmosphere that has dust. They argued that the carpets collected dust. Therefore, it was a requirement based upon her disability and health that the hardwood floors be installed.

The downstairs neighbor could not handle the sound transfer through the floors claiming it
was a nuisance and the sound and noise became “greatly amplified” and “intolerable”. The
downstairs neighbor further claimed based upon the noise that it was difficult to relax, read book, watch television or sleep.

The HOA sued seeking an Injunction and Declaratory Relief declaring that the CC&R’s
prevented the Munoz’s from installing hardwood floors. The homeowner lost at the trial level and appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The court agreed that the HOA was reasonable in requiring that the Munoz’s mitigate their
sound damages. A modification/stipulation of the HOA to the owners to accommodate her claimed disability was to install throw rugs to be placed on 80% of the floors outside of the kitchen and bath areas.

The Appellate Court affirmed the Trial Court’s decision by allowing for the modification intermin solution by placing 80% of the area throw rugs. The Appellate Court determined that was not abuse of discretion by the Trial Judge.

Comment: Seems like the Munoz’s spent a great deal of oney being forced to comply with rules that were running with the and when they purchased their condominium. The only parties/entities that made out on this case was the condominium association’s attorneys and the Munoz’s attorneys.

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