One of the most common Home Owners Association (HOA) issues involves nuisance complaints. Typically, a neighbor will bring action, alleging that certain activities or conditions constitute a public or private nuisance. If the HOA does not act quickly to enforce the nuisance provisions in their governing documents, the court may grant injunctive relief to correct or minimize the disruptive behavior at issue. The Towson real estate lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are experienced in handling such HOA disputes, as well as assisting landlords to comply with property law.
Types of Nuisance Lawsuits
Neighbor disputes are common when tenants live in close proximity to one another and such disputes may lead to nuisance lawsuits. There are two types of nuisance suits – public and private.
A public nuisance suit may be brought when a condition of the property interferes with the health, safety, or well-being of the general public. To constitute a public nuisance, the condition must substantially and continuously cause an unreasonable disturbance to the whole community or a considerable number of persons therein.
A private nuisance is a condition that interferes with an individual’s, rather than an entire community’s, use or enjoyment of his or her property. Many HOAs have a covenant protecting owners’ or lessors’ right to live free from noxious or offensive activities. If an HOA does not promptly attempt to enforce its nuisance provisions, it may lose the ability to enforce them in the future. Therefore, HOAs should review, investigate, and act upon any nuisance complaints as soon as possible.
Common HOA Nuisance Issues
It is important to note that not every annoyance constitutes a nuisance. The courts have noted that individuals living in organized communities will face annoyances and inconveniences as a part of day to day life. They are therefore hesitant to impose liability on reasonable human activities that may cause interference. To rise to the level of a legally actionable nuisance, the condition must be injurious to an individual’s property rights.
Some common causes of nuisance actions pertain to:
- Health – Smoking directly outside a housing unit, such as on a balcony, patio, or other common areas can lead to private nuisance complaints regarding secondhand smoke. Owners who maintain unsanitary conditions that attract insects or rodents may also be subject to enforcement.
- Noise – Noise is probably the most common type of nuisance complaint. Upstairs neighbors, children, pets, music, and television can all interfere with an owner’s quiet enjoyment of his or her property.
- Visual – This type of nuisance involves visual eyesores that interfere with an owner’s enjoyment – typically hanging laundry, stored items on balconies, and inoperable vehicles left in the parking lot.
Towson Real Estate Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Skillfully Handle HOA Disputes
If you are involved in a property dispute, contact a Towson real estate lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Our experienced attorneys assist landlords in drafting solid contracts and help tenants file suit when the terms of those agreements have been violated. For over 30 years, we have helped resolve HOA disputes through mediation and litigation. From our offices conveniently located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Columbia, Freeland, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks, Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. Please complete our online contact form or call us at 443-589-0150 for a free consultation.