What to do if our backyard neighbor added an outdoor chimney which is obstructing our view and the HOA board approved it without letting us know?

Is the HOA board in the wrong for failing to notify us (adjacent neighbors)? The view is affecting our property value and the board is not willing to do anything about it.

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Did the HOA board have to notify you and provide you an opportunity to object or be heard? If they were supposed to do this, under the HOA rules, agreements, etc. and failed to do so, then it is possible you might have a cause of action against them, seeking some monetary compensation in regards to any dimunition of value (though you'd have to be able to prove an actual monetary dimunition of value, such as with an appraisal--not just the fact that you consider the view to be impaired). However, if they were not actually required by any agreements or rules to which you are a party (or which are incorporated into any agreements to which you are a party), you would not likely have a cause of action against them--i.e. if they did not have a duty or obligation to provide you notice, they did nothing wrong by failing to do so.

If you neighbor did everything he is supposed to and the HOA board erred, it is not likely that you would have any cause of action against him; if he violated any building codes, HOA rules, etc., you may be able to take legal action against him, and should consult with an attorney.


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