Owners’ Unapproved Construction Results in Judgment to Restore Property, Damages, a Restraining Order, and $318.426.00 in Attorney’s Fees

This case involved a dispute between a homeowners’ association (“Association”) and husband and wife owners (“Owners”) of a home within a common interest community located in California over unapproved construction activities on Owners’ property.

After obtaining the required consent from Association to construct a pool and related equipment in their backyard, Owners commenced construction that revealed the relocation of a fence and the placement of the pool equipment in an unapproved area that encroached into the common area. After being advised of the possible encroachment by a neighboring owner, Association’s property manager contacted Owners to inquire about the location of the fence and the pool equipment. After Owners ignored the manager’s initial inquiry, Association sent Owners a cease and desist letter that applied to improvements other than the pool and notice was given to schedule a hearing on the matter.

Following an executive session meeting of Association’s board where the issues with Owners were addressed, Association sent Owners a letter which demanded completion of the following items within 45 days: (1) returning a slope where the fence was located to its original condition; (2) the retention of an engineer to ensure the slope was properly returned to its former condition; (3) relocation of the fence to its original placement and height; (4) relocation of the pool equipment to within Owners’ property; and (5):

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