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How do I as a co-owner enforce CC&R's with co-owners tenant.They have ignored letters and requests to inspect specifically regarding the floorcovering

1 Answers. Asked on Jun 09th, 2017 on Real Estate - California
More details to this question:
We are ruled by the standard CC&R document with no written Bylaw's that I have ever seen. The CC&R's require 75% of floor be covered to prevent sound transmission to the occupied unit below. HOA consists of 2 parties and co-owner does not enforce. I have written letters, citing CC&R language to both co-owner & tenant, and no compliance. I have investigated small claims to get assessment fine of $5.00 per day since notice was given but unsure of legal aspects of HOA/Tenant relationship. Also have had issues of tenants repeated leaving front entry door unlocked and garage door wide open and personal property in Common Area. Obviously, no support from co-owner, not sure small claims is way to go, spoke to Community Mediation but unfortunately it's not binding currently looking into American Arbitration Assoc which brought me to this web
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Answered on Jun 10th, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Mr. Harris,

Sometimes (not always), a letter from a lawyer on law firm letterhead will be enough to get the other owner to at least talk to you. 

In a lawsuit or arbitration to enforce the CC&Rs, the prevailing party is entitled to recover all of its legal fees. I would include the story of a lawyer who installed a wooden floor, violating the CC&Rs, refused to cover them, lost the case, and one an appeal where the court reduced the legal fees he had to pay the HOA from $1.4 million to $800,000.00. That should convince him it's cheaper to meet and compromise than to go through the legal process, whether it's a lawsuit or an arbitration.

Small claims court cannot grant an injunction to force the other owner to obey the CC&Rs. Arbitration will be faster than a lawsuit, but it might not be cheaper. In court, your filing fee of $435.00 pays for unlimited use of a courtroom, judge, clerk and bailiff. Arbitrators charge $400-$600 per hour, and have an incentive to make it take as many hours as possible.

I always seem to have a CC&R dispute pending. I just finished two and have one pending, now.

Dana Sack


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Real estate attorneys can help individuals, families and small business with all property-related legal issues. Buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate should work with an attorney to negotiate the terms of agreement; draft and review the contract; review related paperwork (such as loan agreements); clear existing liens on a property; and attend the closing. Lawyers can also assist property owners with addressing zoning/rezoning issues and appealing property tax assessment. Landlords and tenants should work with real estate law firms to draft and review lease agreement, handle eviction proceedings and resolve landlord-tenant disputes.
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