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CCOC Decision Summary

#501-O, 519-G, Nazemi v. Bethesda Overlook Townhouse Condominium,Bethesda Townhouse Overlook Condominium v. Nazemi (February 14, 2002) (Panel: Hitchens, Bruce, Skobel)

The homeowner (HO) filed a complaint against his condominium association (CA) objecting to its taking photos of his home without permission, its letters to him about the storage of items on his patio, and its general oversight of his property, all of which he complained were violations of his privacy.The CA filed a counter-complaint, alleging that the HO stored exercise equipment on the patio in violation of the community rules.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the HO had installed a punching bag and portable basketball hoops on his patio, that the HO had not read the community rules before buying his home, that the storage of exercise equipment in backyards was a violation of the community rules, and that the CA had ordered the HO to remove the equipment and pay a $100 fine.The HO also introduced photos which attempted the show that the CA was not properly maintaining the common elements.The CA also took photographs of the HO's property to document the alleged violations.

The hearing panel ruled that the CA had the right to take photos as part of its obligation to enforce the covenants, and the CA's conduct in this case did not amount to a trespass.The panel further ruled that the rules developed in the handbook were reasonable interpretations of the bylaw restrictions against storing household items on patios and permitting only barbeque and outdoor furniture items.The panel concluded that the CA had acted properly to enforce the rules, that the HO had violated the rules, and that the $100 fine assessed by the CA was properly imposed.The panel denied the relief requested by the HO, granted the relief requested by the CA, and ordered the HO to remove the exercise equipment and pay the fine within 30 days.

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