Renting rooms draws wrath of homeowners association

Masood Ghamaty owns a four-bedroom, three-bathroomcondominium at the Colony Hill complex. He occupies his condo and rents roomsto individuals, charging $300 to $550 per month each.

Each renter has the exclusive use of a bedroom and abathroom, and nonexclusive use of the living room and kitchen. One renter was acousin of Ghamaty, but the other renters were unrelated to him.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

The rental agreements were oral, and Ghamaty did not notifythe condominium homeowners association of the names of his tenants.

The Colony Hill CC&Rs (covenants, conditions andrestrictions) state, “Each lot shall be improved, used and occupied forprivate, single-family dwelling purposes only, and no portion thereof nor anyportion of the common area shall be used for any commercial purposewhatsoever.”

The CC&Rs also state each owner has the right to leasehis or her unit, provided (a) each such lease shall be in writing and submittedto the condo association board if requested and (b) no owner shall lease his orher unit for transient or hotel purposes.

After several complaints about loud parties and the parkingof excessive numbers of cars, the association sued Ghamaty for an injunctionprohibiting room rentals, but Ghamaty argued a permanent injunction wouldviolate his constitutional rights of privacy.

If you were the judge would you prohibit Ghamaty from rentingrooms in his condo to individuals?

The judge said yes!

The Colony Hill CC&Rs provide reasonable limitations onrental of the condominiums, the judge began. Those restrictions requiredGhamaty to have a written lease with his tenants and to avoid using thecondominium for transient or hotel purposes, he continued.

The constitutional right of privacy does not include theright of owners in a condominium homeowners association to rent individualrooms in their homes under the circumstances such as in this case, the judgeruled. Therefore, a permanent injunction is granted, and Ghamaty is ordered topay $29,988 attorney fees to the homeowners association plus $1,730 in othercosts, the judge concluded.

Based on the 2006 California Court of Appeals decision in ColonyHill v. Ghamaty, 50 Cal.Rptr.3d 247.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2007 Inman News

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