The Florida Supreme Court has held that cities cannot be compelled to enforce zoning laws. In City of West Palm Beach v. Haver, 2021 Fla. LEXIS 1572 (Fla. 2021), a neighbor sought a court order to force the city to enforce a zoning prohibition on a group home. The court ruled that it would exceed the legitimate role of the courts to order city officials to comply with local zoning laws when the decision in question is one that has traditionally been discretionary on the part of public officials... Read more about Neighbor cannot compel city to enforce zoning ordinance
Construing a state statute, Wash. Stat. §49.60.227, the Washington Supreme Court held that racial covenants cannot be completely excised from public records. The court determined that the statute allowed a court order to be filed with the recorded title voiding the covenant but did not authorize excising the covenant from the public records entirely. This result occurred despite the fact that the statute provided that courts should “strik[e] the void provisions from the public records.” Wash. Stat. §49.60.227(1)(b). The statute did provide that the original record “shall be separately... Read more about Washington Supreme Court holds racial covenants in public records must be retained but can be marked void
he Arizona Supreme Court has limited the powers of homeowners associations to amend covenants retroactively when those amendments would unfairly surprise buyers who were not on notice of them when they bought their properties. Kalway v. Calabria Ranch HOA, LLC, 506 P.3d 18 (Ariz. 2022). In this case, the homeowners association adopted new restrictions...
The Texas Supreme Court has held that covenants that prohibit all restrictions on leasing cannot prohibit short term rentals, finding that a lease is still a lease if it only lasts for one day. JBrice Holdings, LLC v. Wilcrest Walk Townhomes Ass’n, Inc., 2022 WL 1194364 (Tex. 2022). In addition, short-term rentals were held not to be “commercial” or “non-residential uses.” The court noted that the covenants provided that they could be retroactively amended through a 75% vote of the owners.
A Georgia court has ruled that residents of extended stay hotels should be classified as tenants with the protections granted by landlord-tenant law. That means they can be removed only by court eviction procedures rather than self-help. Efficiency Lodge, Inc. v. Neason, 870 S.E.2d 549 (Ga. 2022).
A California appellate court interpreted a conveyance to include both a fee simple subject to condition subsequent with a right of entry in the grantor and a conservation easement limiting the property as “natural open space.” While it is not clear the court interpreted the conveyance correctly, it is significant that the court found that an easement (or covenant) can coexist with a right of entry. If structured correctly, such a conveyance would mean that a grantor can both require title to be forfeited to the grantor (or its assignees) if the current possessor violates a conservation... Read more about Covenants can burden future interests, at least where environmental protection is concerned
Re-affirming a longstanding common law rule, a Maryland court has held that land use that interferes with a neighbor’s desire for unobstructed light and air neither constitutes a nuisance nor can the neighbor acquire such rights by prescription. Gestamp Wind N. Am., Inc. v. All. Coal, LLC, 2021 WL 3612747 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2021). A neighbor whose wind turbines were losing effectiveness because the neighbor was piling coal remains on its property could not get a remedy for the change in wind to run... Read more about No prescriptive easements for light and air