My HOA Wants me to Remove my Drainage Pipe Located on an Easement, Should I?

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“My covenant states the following:

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Article Five Easements of the Declaration of Restrictions states,

Easements for installation and maintenance of utilities and drainage facilities are reserved as shown on the recorded plat and over the rear ten (10) feet and side five (5) feet of each lot. Within these easements, no structure, planting, or other material shall be placed or permitted to remain which may damage or interfere with the installation and maintenance of utilities, or which may change the direction of flow or drainage channels in the easement, or which may obstruct or retard the flow of water through drainage channels in the easements. The easement area of each lot and all improvements in it shall be maintained continuously by the owner of the lot.

I elevated my back lot with dirt and installed a six inch drainage pipe across my lot to drain water across my lot instead of it gathering in the middle. The pipe is six feet from the property lines and it is 75 feet from the rear line and 100 feet from the front property line. I even got a certified engineer to review it and he stated that “the capacity of the drainage piping appears adequate to carry storm water from the drainage swale.” This report was issued in October and there has been no water observed today. However we received a letter almost four months later stating that we will be fined if we do not return the easement to its original condition. We have been in several disagreements with the next door neighbor and he is the president of the HOA for our section of the community, but not for the whole governing community. What are my options, I have even offered to obtain the permits from the city and install a 12 inch pipe. This seems like a vendetta and not justice.”

Homeowner’s associations have sometimes, and in some seriousness, been described as constitutions with no bill of rights. I would consult with an attorney before you take any further steps, just to know what your rights are in your state. Don’t be surprised, however, if the cost of fighting the HOA is more than the cost of doing what they’re demanding.

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Author: House Attorney

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