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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7305
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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Can a HOA stop the city from issuing a permit sidewalk

Customer Question

Can a HOA stop the city from issuing a permit for a sidewalk repair that is causing a trip hazard. I went to the city and they are saying any type of work has to be approved the HOA before they can issue a permit. I was a little confused; isn't it the building departments job to enforce code not HOA rules.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.
Who actually owns the sidewalk. Is it a city sidewalk, or is it part of the common area of the subdivision. If the city says that the HOA must authorize the repairs, then the sidewalk is probably part of your common area and not a dedicated city sidewalk. Also, who, if not the HOA applied for the permit that the city is refusing to issue?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I own the sidewalk it is on my property and attaches the driveway to my home. It is not a common area and is owned solely by me. The HOA is saying I don't have approval from them and they are asking the city to put a stop work on me. The inspector stopped out and is will to let me perform the work. It's the HOA that is making things difficult. The HOA member even went as far to ask the inspector to fine me.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.
You have to remember that when you bought into a subdivision Homeowners Association you gave up your absolute right to control your property the way you wish. You have relinquished control of that to the HOA, which has the legal power in the CC&Rs to stop residents from doing things to the exterior of the property which might be contrary to the rules and regulations that govern all property owners. The city isn't bound by the CC&Rs, but you are. Therefore, your only remedy at this point would seem to be to file A formal application to the Association for approval of the work that you wish to do. If they refused to grant approval than you will have to file suit against the Association and bring the issue of your request to court before a judge who can review the legal issues and order the Association to cease interfering with the city issuing you the permit.
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