How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
CalAttorney2 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We are leasing a upscale condo for 18 months. Our condo is

This answer was rated:

We are leasing a upscale condo for 18 months. Our condo is the only one on the 20th floor. We were told it was permissible to decorate in the lobby space by the elevators.
We put in, what we thought was a very nice decoration, an fully restored antique 19th C. Rik Shaw with an antique Chinese goldfish tub with plants. We checked with the local fire department to make sure it was not too large and not a fire hazard. No Problem.
We then then contacted by the residents on the 29th floor (they have a fire escape door on the 20th floor) but we almost never see them up here. We were then told that there is an
informal agreement" that all tenents on a floor have to be in agreement with any decorations placed. Three of the four owners have a two story condo and one phoned and said that he thought the docoration was beautiful but too large. We had the Rik shaw taken out to be refurbished as is necessary about every two years. Left was a teak bench, on which was placed the fish tub with a few plants. We also left two antique Chinese vases, one on either side of the bench.

We had not heard from our Landlords so e-mailed them and asked them their opinion--which was vague but supportive.

The next thing was that the three 19th Floor condo owners wrote to the board to complain. We were never contacted in person by our landlords, the condo owners, or the Condo Board. The condo board made a motion that the "informal agreement" should be amended to say that the total square footage of the objecting owners had to be the determining factor. Out condo is about 1890 sq. ft. which means we would only have to have two other condo owner to rule on our decorations.

We have read the Condominium agreement and there is absolutely nothing about decorations or informal agreements. It also says nothing about the ownership of the 20th floor by the 19th floor condo owners.

Thereafter, we found a paper by our door with the Minutes of the Condo Association with their decision highlighted in green (no signature), a week later we found the goldfish tub placed directly in front of our door. No one seemed to know who did it.

Last Thursday, we went to Boise to visit my brother who was terminally ill and "someone" took our whole decoration and put it in the trash room. "They left a note saying that we had not responded to any requests to remove our decorations and that all parties had to give approval to this act -- including the landlord. No signature. It was left in front of the door. Our housekeeper found it and retrieved our property. We are aghast at such behavior. We are not irresponsible kids, My husband is a 84 year old retired Professor and physician, and I am a 78 year old nurse.

We have owned many properties over the years, including a Condo, but have never met with such abusive behavior--and we don't even know who is is we should confront. We have asked to meet with the other parties but have heard nothing.

Please advise. We were planning to buy a condo in this building but this is absurd.

CalAttorney2 :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you today.

CalAttorney2 :

The situation you describe is one of an "arbitrary and capricious" enforcement of the governing documents. You may file a suit for declaratory relief against the Association (your landlord will need to file suit as the owner in this situation) to force the Association to allow you to either replace the decoration or to allow you to find a reasonable resolution that is compatible with the other units.

CalAttorney2 :

It appears that the Association is levying an unfair enforcement against you directly.


What type of lawyer do we consult? Real estate or Tenent Law?

CalAttorney2 :

I usually recommend a civil litigation attorney for these matters, finding one with experience in Homeowners Association matters is especially helpful.


I will follow you excellent, very helpful advice. Thank you!

CalAttorney2 and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you