Facts: An owner of an upstairs condominium unit replaces their carpet with hardwood flooring to accommodate health issues without obtaining the approval of the homeowners’ association (HOA). After installation, the owner of the downstairs unit experiences noise transfer through the floor and files a complaint with the HOA. The HOA notifies the upstairs owner their flooring alterations violate noise and nuisance restrictions and request an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to modify the flooring. The upstairs owner does not respond.

Claim: The HOA seeks an order demanding the upstairs owner modify their flooring consistent with HOA rules, claiming the flooring was installed without the HOA’s approval and violates HOA noise and nuisance regulations.

Counter claim: The upstairs owner claims they did not violate the HOA’s rules and do not have to modify the flooring since their health is at risk and the ADR was improperly served.

Holding: A California court of appeals holds the upstairs owner violated HOA rules and thus is required to modify the flooring to conform to the HOA’s regulations since they did not seek the HOA’s approval of the modifications, regardless of how the ADR was served. [Ryland Mews Homeowners Association v. Munoz (2015) 234 CA4th 705]

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