Three Recent Rulings Supporting Homeowners Associations

In Cadam v. Somerset Gardens Townhomes HOA (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 383, the Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which overturned a jury award of $1.3 million to an elderly tenant who tripped on a defect in a common area sidewalk and suffered injuries.  Both the trial court and Court of Appeal found the defect in the sidewalk to be a trivial defect which the HOA was not negligent for failing to repair.   For a copy of this case, click here

In Tesoro Del Valle Master Homeowners Assn. v. Griffin (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 619, both the trial court and Court of Appeal found that an HOA can impose reasonable restrictions on a homeowner which in this case occurred when a homeowner installed solar panels in spite of being restricted by the HOA Committee from doing so.  The homeowner was ordered to remove a portion of the solar panels as it had been advised to do by the HOA and the HOA was awarded its attorneys’ fees.  For a copy of this case, click here.

In Salehi v. Surfside III Condominium Owners Assn. (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 1146, a homeowner sued the HOA for failing to maintain common areas (among other things) and then, one week before trial, dismissed her case.  The HOA filed a motion for attorneys’ fees, which was denied by the trial court.  The denial was reversed by the Court of Appeal, which ruled that pursuant to Civil Code § 1354, a prevailing party shall be awarded its attorneys’ fees and costs in an action to enforce CC&Rs.  The HOA’s award in this case was for $250,000 in attorneys’ fees.  For a copy of this case, click here

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