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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I sent my HOA plans for a shed and concrete driveway along

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I sent my HOA plans for a shed and concrete driveway along with a question about a retaining wall. the agent came to my house with the approved shed docs and told me that i didnt need the plans for the driveway approved, she answered a few questions about landscaping and the retaining wall. before she left i re-iterated that i planned to widen the existing driveway and concrete it. she said no approval was needed (she had my detailed drawing in her hand), so i ordered the $10K job and within 2 weeks i got a letter saying that i had to remove it and that i was in non-compliance, signed by the same person who was at my house. do i have any choices?

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Yes, you do have a big choice. Once approved, the HOA cannot rescind that approval. Thus, if the person who came out and approved the improvements is now trying to rescind that approval, you have the common law defense of waiver, since they told you no approval was needed and they had the plans and you reasonably relied on their approval and did the work.

You need to send a letter to the HOA board as well as this woman and explain that you provided her detailed drawings and also explained the improvements to her and she approved and stated the driveway needed no approval and you were reasonable to rely on her approval and do the work. Thus, you are now claiming that by her telling you no approval was needed for the driveway when she was told and actually had the plans, the HOA has waived their right to now demand removal and if the Board does not grant a waiver based on her conduct, you will proceed to court against them based on her approval.

This is the only option you have, as you do not want to remove something the HOA is going to be forced by the court to grant you a waiver on if the HOA board is not smart enough to know that their agent was the one who caused this and cannot now try to force you to remove what they said you could install.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you

i am hoping that my wife can resolve this over the phone but i need some back up just in case. i have the e-mail that we sent to them with the plans to the concrete. and i am hoping that this doesn't go any further. i know now that my ccr's say that i cant park in front of the house but it is just barely and i dont want a court case. they took pictures. what proof do i have other than the e-mail and my word that she was here?


Thank you for your response.

The fact is that she had the plans and approved the project or you would not have been able to start. Once she gave you the go ahead, she is stuck with that approval and while you may not want a court case, it would be cheaper than losing the money you paid for the improvements. But before you get to court, you would still file an appeal to the HOA board arguing for a waiver based on what occurred. Most boards will grant such a waiver (unless they are just real complete jerks, and there are many of those on HOA boards) in this type of situation.
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