Should you be prohibited from smoking in your own yard? And should homeowners’ associations be held responsible for any damages?

This is the case of second-hand smoke.

The Chauncey’s live in a California condo neighborhood. Their son has asthma, and they believe it is aggravated by their next door neighbor smoking on the patio and on the sidewalk in front of the condos.

The smoke comes in through open windows and doors, and it also wafts across their backyard living area, where their son plays and where the family spends time.

The Chauncey’s complained to their homeowners’ association who did nothing to resolve the issue.

So, they decided to move and sue the homeowners’ association citing rules in the bylaws, which state that “no activity shall be permitted that interferes with the quiet enjoyment of a resident.”

In California, the Chauncey’s won their lawsuit. They were awarded economic damages and damages for stress.

What is your recourse if you ask, and your homeowners’ or condo association won’t do anything about a problem you’re having in your neighborhood?

The homeowners’ association’s inaction is the deal breaker. You have the right to do something; contact an attorney and file a claim. The Chauncey’s took action and won their case, which is what anyone has a right to do.

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