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Subject: Multiple Family Violation?
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05/18/2006 4:48 PM  
Our HOA specifies that the houses are single-family, and cannot be used as boarding houses and such. The neighbor in House A has complained that there are "multiple families" living next door to him in House B, because the family in House B has many work vehicles parked in the driveway and in the street.

Our property manager spoke with the owner of House B's son, and the situation is somewhat unusual. House B is owned by an elderly woman who is not in good health, and her son set it up so that a married couple would live with her, the wife being her nurse. As it happens, nurse's husband does construction, and so do their two grown sons who also live with them. And their other grown children visit frequently and sometimes stay overnight with the grandkids.

The complaining neighbor in House A has threatened not to pay dues until the situation is resolved, which seems to mean getting rid of the occupants (or at least some of them). A part of the issue seems to be cultural, since the family in House B hangs out together with kinfolk, and the young men like to work on their cars together listening to music on the weekends. Except for storing a work vehicle on the street (which they have said they will remove), we don't have any other specific violation to charge against House B. They are not technically paying rent, as there is some sort of exchange going on where the family will acquire the house at some point. What is the Board's obligation in this case? How do we define a "single family"? Any help would be welcome.


05/18/2006 7:48 PM  
Deena, if House A fails to pay assessments they are the ones in violation. House B may be in violation if the music is so loud it creates a nuisance which is documented independent of the complaintant. I think it would be a losing cause for the Board to force the issue of a multiple family violation against an elderly woman who needs live-in help.


05/18/2006 8:10 PM  
Thanks, Roger, it helps to have an outside perspective. I'll forward to our Board.


05/19/2006 6:40 AM  
Single family housing is used to describe a free standing home as opposed to attached housing (i.e. duplex, townhome, condo). It is typically a 'zoning' term to describe the type of housing.

The number of people living in a home seems to be an increasing concern and in Georgia, a number of counties are addressing this issue by implementing local ordinances as to the number of people allowed to live in a home, usually related to the number of bedrooms, kitchens, etc. If the number of unrelated people living in a home becomes a concern, then the association can look to the city or county for help.

This type of living is the norm for a number of cultures and it wasn't uncommon to have several generations living in one home here in the US. If there is an issue with vehicles, loud music, etc., then address them with the homeowner. A 'single family home' doesn't mean only 'one family' can occupy the house.



05/19/2006 6:49 AM  
Another way to look at this issue is from the view of the local Health Department standards and how they address occupancy based on septic systems. This is how we base our standard for a UR-4 single family dwelling housing complex. Our septic systems are not for full-time use up to a certain year of construction and after that the County permits and Health Dept. started requiring full-time septic system installations and any remodels to be upgraded.
So many bathrooms/so many people to use them.


05/19/2006 6:58 AM  
Thanks, Swan and Julie. These are good things to keep in mind as well.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Multiple Family Violation?

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