HOA Restrictions Must be “Reasonable, Clear, and Definite” to be Enforceable

This case involved a dispute between members of a homeowners association over the right of two owners of a property to construct a detached garage on their lot. Believing that the owners constructing the garage were doing so in violation of the association’s declaration, which contained restrictions on what property owners could do, three other association members who owned properties in the community commenced an action against the owners who were constructing the garage seeking an injunction to compel removal of the garage.This action was taken by the other owners because the association’s legal existence at the time was in doubt and the association was not functioning. The owners who brought the suit contended that the recorded declaration contained provisions that prohibited the construction of the detached garage being constructed by the defendant owners, and that they had a right to enforce the restrictions contained in the declaration. When the matter went to trial, construction of the detached garage had been nearly completed at a cost of approximately $50,000 to the defendant owners.