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This is a question about real estate law. We've been troubled by our condo neighbor for the past 7 years in many ways. One of his tactics is to try to get our legitimate parking in the garage away from us. We are a 3 unit condo with parking in the garage for 2 cars (us), 2 more cars (the topmost neighbor) and 1 car (this fellow, and it's a small spot - but it's the one he signed on for when he bought the place 7 years ago). He claims that he needs to paint a white line 3 feet from the storage closets on the right side of the garage to allow access to the garden (and he says a fire lane, though the fire inspector says that is not a fire lane). He is rather fat (about 300 lbs), but he can easily get by our cars into the garden, though when he has trays of food it is tricky sometimes.
The problem is that if he paints the line where he says he wants to, our parking would be impossible since there is already a line on the left of us, dividing us from the topmost neighbor. Actually that line was painted in the wrong spot, in the middle of the entire space between the west wall and the storage closets, not in the middle of the space between the west wall and the storage closets minus the 3 feet he wants to shrink the space down to. But the owner of the topmost unit does not want the line repainted, though that obviously would be fair. She has a whole lot of trash junk on the west wall, so she has to park her SUVs over to the east to allow driver and passengers to exit.
Can we stop him from painting the line there? Can we get an injunction? How do we go about getting an injunction?There is another wrinkle to this situation: both my husband and I have permanent handicap placards. He is 81 and I am 79. Lucy Esq, with whom we were dealing before (I guess she's not there any more) sent me once when this flared up into a major issue the text of the Federal Fair Housing Act (or the California Fair Housing Act) that said he could not threaten or harass us about our parking or face a fine of up to $16,000. When I read that law to him at a meeting, his response was "That's your opinion," dismissing it. We live on Russ***** ***** in San Francisco, where street parking is very very difficult, especially at night. If we cannot park in our garage, it would mean carrying heavy loads of groceries to our place from wherever we could find street parking, sometimes blocks away, or walking a long way after a night out to get home. He doesn't see a problem for us, doesn't care about us at all in fact. Can you find the text of that law? I seem to have misplaced it and cannot find it, and now we are facing his painting the line without our permission, illegally it seems. If you could send me the text, I would greatly appreciate it. And if you would tell me how to actually stop him, I'd love it. Thank you.
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Answered in 1 day by:
10/16/2017
Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,545
Experience: Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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I don't know what you saw in federal or state statutes, but I doubt that such a specific statute exists. However, you don't need that. You have your original purchase documents, which you say includes the two parking spaces. That purchase agreement can be enforced in court against both of the other condo owners. You might even consider using "self-help", and repainting all the lines in the garage yourself. Also, check into the title insurance coverage that you obtained when you purchased the home. I'm not sure that there is anything there that will help you, but it doesn't hurt to check it out.

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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,545
Experience: Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Oh, this is frustrating. "Lucy Esq" sent me a copy of the law (Federal - or California - Fair Housing Act), which said that people with permanent handicap placards are ENTITLED by that very thing to park in the garage in their building. If spaces are already taken by other owners, one of them has to make room for our cars (2, one for each of us). That wouldn't be necessary here since we've been parking in a space that has fit both our cars. However, the owner of the middle unit, who has a single space and a Queen Mary of a car to fit into it, has been drooling over our space since he moved in, claims we do not have the "deeded parking" I was under the assumption we had from the CC&Rs, and besides he wants to paint a line that somehow will alleviate his "problems" getting into the backyard when our larger car is parked what he considers too close to the eastern wall of the garage. We park as far over to the west as we can, but the line in the middle of the garage prevents us from parking any farther over. The fact that the line was painted in the wrong spot doesn't seem to matter to him, and the woman whose spot it is has a lot of junk on the western wall which keeps her from being able to park her 2 large SUVs over farther. I don't know if that's clear; it's hard to describe in writing. She is nasty and adamant about it, even though she never uses the stuff alongside that wall and hasn't even been in the building more than 10 days in the past 4 years (she is in New Jersey). Her children have taken turns sleeping in her condo to make sure it isn't burglarized, I guess, and they each drive an SUV. In any case, if Matt, the guy in the middle, paints a line 36" from the eastern wall, a row of storage closets, and Joanne (the woman in NJ) doesn't agree to repaint the line in the middle of the garage so that the remaining space is actually equally divided between the two of us, we wouldn't be able to park our larger car there. I don't understand at all what Matt is thinking because he wouldn't be able to park his very large Audi, the Queen Mary, there either - no one would be able to park there except my Smart car, which is narrow. I know this is long, and I apologize, but there is a law protecting people like us with handicap placards and I just want to know what it is. It does exist. So where do I find it? I lost the copy of it that I printed out from Lucy Esq's answer of a couple of years ago, and cannot find it in my computer.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I won't be home today or tomorrow, so no point calling. But no point calling me to tell me there is no such law anyway. Do you work in California?

The law that you mentioned is the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). I do not believe that it applies to your situation. You have a private property rights dispute over the precise location of your deeded(?) parking spaces. As you already know, waiving legal texts at people does not work. Of course all of this should have been established before you closed on the condo. The spaces should have been separately striped and numbered, and that's what I suggest you do now. You might even preface the actual painting with a letter from your attorney telling them exactly what you are going to do, and threatening them with lawsuits if they try to interfere. I can be available for a telephone conference when you have time. I do not practice in CA. My son is in SF though.

BTW, I thank you for the positive rating.

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