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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    1

    Default Easement Violation by HOA

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: CALIFORNIA

    Our backyard is a road side slope easement that per our 40 year old CCR’s, our HOA is supposed to “manage” and “preserve.” All homeowners along our street that share this easement have historically managed it themselves to their own liking. Recently, our HOA and Mgmt company clear-cut all existing trees without consulting the homeowners. During an emergency meeting, they admitted fault to the screw up, but would not provide a solution. Each homeowner has lost 20% in value of their property as a result per a local RA agent. QUESTION: Can we sue our HOA and/or management co to replant to our satisfaction?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,279

    Default Re: Easement Violation by HOA

    Understand that suing the HOA will be suing yourself and you'll be paying legal fees on both sides. Best would be to see if you can (with the assistance of an attorney) achieve some reasonable negotiated resolution.

    You don't present enough details to really tell you much more. Your best bet would be to band together with the other affected properties and chip in together to get a lawyer.

    You'll definitely need a realistic valuation. You'll also need to determine who caused the damage to occur and whether they indeed acted in an actionable way. Just because you perceived damage, doesn't mean you have a legally recoverable one. What is the nature of this easement?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,771

    Default Re: Easement Violation by HOA

    Sure you can. Anyone can sue anyone for anything, although I doubt that's really what you intended to ask.

    If you were looking for some sort of analysis of your chances of succeeding, that's quite impossible without reviewing the CC&Rs and other relevant documents. I suggest you and your affected neighbors seek out one or more consultations with local attorneys.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,497

    Default Re: Easement Violation by HOA

    Quote Quoting Kwellz
    View Post
    Our backyard is a road side slope easement that per our 40 year old CCR’s, our HOA is supposed to “manage” and “preserve.” ?
    What is the actual written wording of the CC&R's that says manage and preserve? Is manage or preserve defined?


    Quote Quoting Kwellz
    View Post
    All homeowners along our street that share this easement have historically managed it themselves to their own liking.
    That doesn't obviate the right of the HOA to manage and preserve the easement in a way they see fit unless it is contrary to the CC&R's or the easement grant. But I suspect that this easement was created by the subdivision plat so there would be no express grant to specify what manage or preserve means.

    Quote Quoting Kwellz
    View Post
    Recently, our HOA and Mgmt company clear-cut all existing trees without consulting the homeowners.
    Who owns the land that the easement is on? Your post does not make that clear. Are the individual properties the servient estates or is the HOA the servient estate? If the HOA owns the property, then you (and the other properties) are the dominant estates. On the other hand, if the property owners own the property then they are the servient estates and the HOA is the dominant estate.

    Either way, in most cases these types of easements are non-exclusive and both the servient and dominant get to use the land in anyway they wish as long as it doesn't impede the use of the easement for the other estate(s). So the fact that the HOA didn't consult the homeowners doesn't mean that you have something that is actionable.

    Quote Quoting Kwellz
    View Post
    [During an emergency meeting, they admitted fault to the screw up, but would not provide a solution.
    What solution would you like to see? Do you want the HOA to plant trees? Do you want them to reduce your fees? Did they give you a reason why they clear-cut the easement? How did it happen?

    Quote Quoting Kwellz
    View Post
    [QUESTION: Can we sue our HOA and/or management co to replant to our satisfaction?
    Suing your HOA and the HOA suing the management company are two different things. As has be pointed out by other posters, suing the HOA is like suing yourself. How many members are there in the HOA and how many properties are effected by the cutting of the easement? These things have to be voted on by the membership. So if you are in the minority, you may not be able to compel the HOA to sue the management company if they are indeed responsible without the direction of your board.

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