Monday, November 21, 2005

Regency Homeowners' Association has sued resident Jeff Shrier for putting an asphalt roof on his subdivision home, in violation of Homeowners' restrictive covenant; Court of Appeals ruled in favor of another homeowner association earlier this fall on identical issue The Regency Homes Association is serious about shingles. The Regency Homes Association has sued homeowner Jeff Schrier for putting asphalt composite shingles on his house in Eastern Regency. The association maintains in the lawsuit, filed last week in Douglas County District Court, that installing asphalt composite shingles violates the area's covenants - its rules and regulations. The association amended the covenants in 2002. They state that as of that date, roof improvement projects should use "wood shakes or wood shingles, tile or slate, or other approved materials. Asphalt and woodruff products are specifically prohibited." Schrier, a longtime owner of Omaha-area car dealerships, said that he never received the covenants after taking ownership of the house and that an association office staffer admitted having failed to send them to him. According to the lawsuit, Schrier's parents deeded the house to their son in April 2005. He had lived there at least seven months before that, the lawsuit says. The roof work was done around December 2004, the lawsuit says, through an agreement made by Schrier and his father, Stanley. Jeff Schrier said he had no desire to upset his neighbors. Nevertheless, he said, he is willing to go to trial over the matter because he was not informed. The lawsuit says the association notified the Schriers of the problem in December 2004 and February 2005. The shingles have not been removed, despite "frequent and repeated demands," the lawsuit says. Bruce Brodkey, an association attorney and board member, said the association seeks uniformity in roof materials to protect the neighborhood's property values. Values of homes in Regency start at $300,000, and many homes are worth far more. The subdivision is northwest of 96th and Pacific Streets. The covenants were on file when the house was conveyed to Jeff Schrier, Brodkey said, and notice of the existence of such covenants is on title insurance documents. He said it is incumbent on a homeowner to familiarize himself with neighborhood covenants. The association's board approved filing the lawsuit, he said. "It's nothing that we took lightly." This year the Nebraska Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of the Windridge Estates subdivision against a resident, Victor Ajlouny, who had placed asphalt shingles on his roof, also contrary to that association's rules. See Hoff v. Ajlouny, 14 Neb. App. 23 September 20, 2005. No. A-04-204. The Court of Appeals found summary judgment proper where the Defendant had no evidence of prior acquiescence to coventant violations and further recording of the covenant established notice to the defendantof the restrictions on roofing materials the association would allow

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