Indiana Appellate Court decision (November 10, 2014).
A homeowner erected a rainwater collection system on his property located within a common interest development without first obtaining consent from the homeowners association. The system consisted of rain barrels and drainage pipes on multiple sides of the homeowner’s home. The governing documents for the homeowners association include a covenant that requires the association’s approval of any „additional structures“ or „additions“ that are added to a homeowner’s property. The homeowner never sought approval of the system and then ignored multiple letters from the association requesting that the unapproved system be removed. The association then filed a complaint against the homeowner and obtained a preliminary injunction to enjoin the homeowner from maintaining the system on his property. The homeowner appealed contending that the rainwater collection system did not constitute a „structure“ or „addition“ for which association approval was required.
The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision which found that the homeowner’s rainwater collection system did constitute a „structure“ or „addition“ for the purposes of the association’s restrictive covenant. The court commented that the residents of the subdivision have a collective interest in every owner abiding by the governing documents. Accordingly, it was in the public interest to uphold the associations restrictive covenant by enjoining the homeowner’s unauthorized alterations.
See case decision: Yi_v._Deer_Creek_Homeowners_