Featured News 2015 Retired Couple Settles Bitter Dispute With HOA

Retired Couple Settles Bitter Dispute With HOA

A retired couple who accused their homeowners association of denying the disabled husband, a former Marine pilot, access to the community pool out of retaliation settled their case for $109,000, providing the couple moves out.

A. and C. Campbell, of South Natomas, a community outside of Sacramento, have agreed to a settlement against the Sonora Springs Homeowners Association.

Mr. Campbell and his wife are being forced to move out of their home by nine months as a part of the settlement, marking the end of a two-year-long battle with the HOA.

It was a major victory for the Campbells when the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing determined that the HOA had denied the couple handicapped access to the community pool as their way of retaliating for the couple's complaints.

Complaint Cited 'Illegal Discrimination'

The settlement was signed in September 2015, two years after the Campbells filed a complaint with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing, claiming that the HOA illegally discriminated against Mr. Allen by failing to fix the pool's broken chairlift, despite his multiple complaints dating back to 2011.

Marjorie Murray, president of the Center for California Homeowner Association Law in Oakland, told the Sacramento Bee that homeowners should be encouraged by the DFEH ruling and by the size of the damages in this case.

Murray said that the ruling and penalty send a clear message to homeowner associations that they are legally obligated with state and federal housing laws to protect the disabled.

According to the Sacramento Bee, about one in four Californians live in communities with homeowners associations, which don't have a government entity that regularly oversees them.

Mr. Campbell was a former HOA board member who had a falling out with the HOA and subsequently filed complaints with various government agencies, which explains their failure to fix the chairlift.

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