Masood Ghamaty owns a four-bedroom, three-bathroom condominium at the Colony Hill complex. He occupies his condo and rents rooms to individuals, charging $300 to $550 per month each.

Each renter has the exclusive use of a bedroom and a bathroom, and nonexclusive use of the living room and kitchen. One renter was a cousin of Ghamaty, but the other renters were unrelated to him.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

The rental agreements were oral, and Ghamaty did not notify the condominium homeowners association of the names of his tenants.

The Colony Hill CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions) state, “Each lot shall be improved, used and occupied for private, single-family dwelling purposes only, and no portion thereof nor any portion of the common area shall be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever.”

The CC&Rs also state each owner has the right to lease his or her unit, provided (a) each such lease shall be in writing and submitted to the condo association board if requested and (b) no owner shall lease his or her unit for transient or hotel purposes.

After several complaints about loud parties and the parking of excessive numbers of cars, the association sued Ghamaty for an injunction prohibiting room rentals, but Ghamaty argued a permanent injunction would violate his constitutional rights of privacy.

If you were the judge would you prohibit Ghamaty from renting rooms in his condo to individuals?

The judge said yes!

The Colony Hill CC&Rs provide reasonable limitations on rental of the condominiums, the judge began. Those restrictions required Ghamaty to have a written lease with his tenants and to avoid using the condominium for transient or hotel purposes, he continued.

The constitutional right of privacy does not include the right of owners in a condominium homeowners association to rent individual rooms in their homes under the circumstances such as in this case, the judge ruled. Therefore, a permanent injunction is granted, and Ghamaty is ordered to pay $29,988 attorney fees to the homeowners association plus $1,730 in other costs, the judge concluded.

Based on the 2006 California Court of Appeals decision in Colony Hill v. Ghamaty, 50 Cal.Rptr.3d 247.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

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