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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27629
Experience:  JA Mentor
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I putchased a home from Lennar in the Great Parks community

Customer Question

I putchased a home from Lennar in the Great Parks community in Irvine CA in Orange County. The home came with a " California Room" which is a covered patio attached to the house. I enclosed my outdoor patio with walls, doors and windows with the proper permits filed with the city. In addition, other homes sold by Taylor Morrison in the same community that fall under the same restrictions also had enclosed their CA Room as an upgrade by Taylor Morrison. Taylor Morrison claims that HOAs do not have jurisdiction over the footprint of the home. Now my HOA is demanding that I restore my CA Room to its original condition. Can my HOA require that if me?
Thank you. Pat Lau ***@******.***
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your dilemma.

When a person moves into a community that has a homeowner's association, they agree to abide by the rules of the HOA. So, the answer is really in the CC&Rs for your community. If it says that the board has to approve changes to the exterior of the property (even the back), then you needed to get their permission before you made the changes and they can demand that you restore the property. But if the CC&Rs don't say anything about a uniform appearance, or if it only applies to the front, they can't. Read through all of the documentation you have very carefully. If your board is claiming that they DO have a right to tell you to put the room back the way it was, ask them to show you the piece of paper that says so.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was disappointed with the response because the response is standard verbiage regarding what is already known about HOA bylaws, etc. I was hoping the legal response can clarify whether HOAs do or do not have jurisdiction over the footprint of the house as stated by Taylor Morrison. In addition, I felt the legal response should have included that HOAs cannot apply their laws unevenly amongst its residents. The answer provided was of zero help to me and not worth the money spent
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

HOAs DO have jurisdiction over the footprint of the house if the bylaws say they do. It is impossible to provide a more specific answer without reading your bylaws, which is beyond the scope of this site.

It is not a defense to a violation of a rule or bylaw that other people have also broken the sale rule unless there's evidence that you're being discriminated against because of your race, ethnicity, religion, etc. But that's not an argument you ever have to make unless it can be established that they have the right to tell you what to do in the first place. Which takes us back to what I said - read your CC&Rs. I can't tell you what's in a contract I've never seen. No one can.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your clarification. I sincerely ***** ***** v
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome. Hopefully, the documents will be clear that they don't have this authority, and then you can keep your room.

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