Question: Our next-door neighbor recently completed the construction of a mini-garage for his recreational vehicle. This mini-garage is 7 feet from my side wall, which is a violation of the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for our community. When I complained to my neighbor, my neighbor said that Mesa had issued a building permit for this mini-garage. When I contacted the building inspection division, I was told that the building permit had been properly issued under the building code for the city of Mesa. Even though the CC&Rs prohibit the construction of this mini-garage, my neighbor says that the building code of Mesa overrules these CC&Rs. Is my neighbor right?
Answer: No. The Mesa building code is public regulation of the use of property. Individual owners of property can agree among themselves to more strictly, not more loosely, regulate the use of their property, generally by adopting and recording CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Therefore, if your neighbor’s mini-garage is in violation of the CC&Rs, you should review the CC&Rs to determine what enforcement methods are available to you. Most CC&Rs authorize individual homeowner to go to court to enforce the CC&Rs. If you know of the construction of this mini-garage, and did nothing until after completion of the mini-garage, however, you may have waived the right to enforce the CC&Rs.