Georgia Ct. Says Homeowners “Prevailed” in Action Brought by HOA and Were Entitled to Attorney Fees

Georgia Appellate Court decision (March 16, 2015).

A homeowners association (“Association”) sued homeowners for damages and to enforce a restrictive covenant contained in the Association’s governing documents that required garages to be used for parking vehicles and not for storage. The homeowners defended the Association’s case by contending that the restrictive covenant in question was invalid. The homeowners had owned their home in the community for approximately ten years prior to the Association adopting an Amended Declaration that contained the “Garage Use Covenant” which prohibited use of a garage for storage. Because the homeowners did not have a basement in the home, the used their garage for storage and parked their cars in the driveway. They did not vote for or give written consent to the amendment containing the “Garage Use Covenant.” The Association refused to grant the homeowners a permanent variance and when the homeowners refused to comply with the restriction, the Association began to levy daily fines, which the homeowners refused to pay. The Association then filed the subject lawsuit seeking damages, injunctive relief, and attorney fees. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Association on its claims for damages for nonpayment of fines, injunctive relief, and attorney fees.

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