ARTICLES & NEWS

EASEMENT & OTHER NEIGHBOR DISPUTES ARTICLES

Pool Deck

CC&Rs Must Be Followed Regarding Neighbor’s Pool Deck

By Christopher Combs | January 3, 2021

Question: We have owned a home in Chandler for over eight years. Our neighbor recently built a large wooden pool deck next to his swimming pool only five feet from our property line. We were in Colorado for most of the summer while this pool deck was being built. Our neighbors and their guests can now stand on this pool deck and look directly into our backyard. We never had any notice from the HOA or from the neighbor about the construction of this pool deck. Although we recently planted large ficus trees on our property line, this pool deck…

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Access Road

Five-Acre Lot Cannot be Landlocked

By Christopher Combs | December 20, 2020

Question: We own a home on a five-acre lot in Coconino County. A California buyer has just purchased the five-acre lot to the east of us, and plans to build a large home. The California buyer is landlocked, however, and needs access over our property to get to the main road. Do we have to give the California buyer access to the main road? If so, can we get compensation from the California buyer for this access? Answer: The California buyer cannot be landlocked. This principle of law goes back to medieval England when the King wanted to be able…

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small pool

Mediation and Arbitration, Not Litigation, Can Settle Many Disputes

By Christopher Combs | October 18, 2020

Question: At the time that we purchased our new Gilbert home six months ago, our landscaping plan provided for a swimming pool in the backyard. We now have the money to build the swimming pool. Due to an incorrect survey by our homebuilder, however, the boundary wall between our home and our neighbor’s home is in the wrong location. The boundary wall now has to be moved ten feet further into our backyard, and we can now only build a “large bathtub” in our backyard. Our homebuilder has refused to take any responsibility for the loss in value to our…

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Crazy Drivers

Can CC&Rs Be Enforced To Prevent “Crazy” Driving In Neighborhood?

By Christopher Combs | September 13, 2020

Question: We own a home in a small community of twelve homes in Camp Verde. Although we have CC&Rs, there is no HOA. One of the homes is owned by a Phoenix resident who on weekends comes up with his two sons, and they drive their trucks and motorcycles like crazy in our community. We have tried to talk reasonably with this homeowner, but he either gets angry or ignores us. Can we fine this homeowner? If not, how can we stop the uproar every weekend? If we have to hire an attorney, can this homeowner be required to reimburse…

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tree roots

Damage to Sewer Line from Neighbor’s Tree

By Christopher Combs | July 19, 2020

Question: We live in Ahwatukee. Our neighbor has a large ficus tree whose roots have grown into our sewer line, and have cost us $6,000 for repairs. Can we require our neighbor to reimburse us $6,000 for the cost to repair the damage to our sewer line? Can we cut the roots of the ficus tree that trespass on our property? Answer: First, your neighbor should be required to reimburse you for the $6,000 cost to repair your sewer line. Second, you are entitled to cut the roots of the ficus tree that trespass on your property. Under Arizona law,…

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hillside view

Deed Restriction to Protect Hillside View

By Christopher Combs | May 10, 2020

Question: Our Estrella Mountain home was one of the first homes sold in our development. The lot behind us has still not sold. If a home is built on this lot, our beautiful hillside view will be spoiled.  Our thought is that we would contact the developer for an agreement to limit to one-story any home built on this lot. Can we pay the developer some amount of money to limit this lot to one-story homes? How long could the time period be? Answer: You could pay the developer for a recorded deed restriction to get a view easement over…

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clothing optional

Deed Restriction With “Clothing Optional” Neighbor Could Be Recorded

By Christopher Combs | April 19, 2020

Question: My lady friend and I live in one of the older Phoenix subdivisions. Custom homes, large yards, mature vegetation, very quiet and peaceful. My neighbors are generally elderly people. During the summer I rarely see them outside their homes, which adds to the privacy we enjoy. Bottom line, the pool parties we host are “clothing optional.” Nothing lewd, just a group of naked adults enjoying life, lounging in the pool, playing lawn volleyball or badminton covered “only by the sky.” Younger neighbors will eventually buy the nearby homes, however, and they may object if they or their children peek…

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neighborhood plans

Amendment of CC&Rs to Prohibit Short-Term Rentals

By Christopher Combs | April 12, 2020

Question: In last week’s column you said that 51% of the neighbors in a Phoenix neighborhood could not agree to prohibit short-term rentals in their neighborhood. This Phoenix neighborhood had no CC&Rs. Therefore, many readers of your column might think that their Phoenix neighborhood cannot prohibit short-term rentals. In fact, most Phoenix neighborhoods have CC&Rs which can be amended by the homeowners to prohibit short-term rentals. The voting requirement to amend the CC&Rs can be as low as 51% of the homeowners. Our Phoenix neighborhood has CC&Rs that allow amendments by 51% of the homeowners, and we recently amended our…

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