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A Blog about Real Estate, How it Can Be Damaged, and Disputes Over its Transfer

This blog is a personal blog written to discuss legal issues affecting Georgia property, and how it is damaged, transferred, and fought over. I write this partly to keep abreast of the law, and partly to offer a forum for my writing. In order to find content, I often analyze Georgia Supreme Court decisions. I try to update this blog as I can, but writing is a time consuming process.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Laches Prevents Associations and Neighbors From Stopping Construction

The principle of laches is an equitable legal doctrine that states that a person cannot stand by while another person spends money or effort and then complain later about the result.   In Waller v. Golden, Appeal Case No. S10A1598 (Ga. Supreme Ct., Feb. 28, 2011), the Georgia Supreme Court issued an opinion in which it addressed the application of this principle to the Eagle Ridge Homeowners Association neighborhood.   In Waller, neighbors filed suit to enforce restrictive covenants in a neighborhood after the property owners association failed to prevent a lot owner from building a swimming pool in the side yard of a lot.

The appellate court upheld the lower court's denial of the plaintiffs' request that the trial court enjoin the removal of the pool through a permanent injunction.  The courts found that laches applies when a neighborhood or its association wait to enforce covenants until after a lot owner has spent considerable money and effort in building a structure on a lot.

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