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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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Property Owner Entitled to Business License to Continue Nonconforming Use

In the opinion in Haralson County v. Taylor Junkyard of Bremen, Inc., Appeal No. S12A0200, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling upholding a land owner's rights to continue a nonconforming use of a junkyard in a residential zoning district because the prior owner had started the junkyard before Harlason County adopted the zoning ordinance prohibiting it.  

The Court held that the property owner was entitled to the business license following an appeal of a denial of the license to the Board of Zoning Appeals, that the plaintiff had not abandoned the nonconforming use and possessed "grandfather rights," and that the proper procedure for taking the case to court was in the form of a writ of mandamus, and not an appeal or writ of certiorari. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Construction on a Property Without Owning It

In an opinion issued on July 2, 2012, the Georgia Supreme Court addressed an instance in which a would be property owner built a house on the wrong lot.  The Court also addressed the issues that arose when a holder of a tax deed and quitclaim deed to the lot sought to quiet title the lot. 

The opinion indicated that even where a person has not established adverse possession to a property for the statutorily required period of 20 years, that person may still have a claim to title if the value of the improvements he made exceeds the value of the property and other due rents, and if the legal title holder does not elect to pay for the improvements.  The case in which this opinion was addressed was Small v. Irving, Slip Op., Appeal No. S12A0182 (Ga. Sup. Ct., July 2, 2012).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Association Required to Follow County Maintenance Code

Teague & Chambless, LLLP is representing homeowners against an association in a lawsuit and companion case.  The main case is styled and known as John Rymer, et al. v. Polo Golf & Country Club Homeowners Association, Case No. 10CV-0415 (Superior Court, Forsyth County, Georgia).   The case involves the Rymer's claims for damages due to flooding of their home.  The Rymers contend their damages are connected to failures of under ground pipes and a detention area in the Polo Subdivision.  The corrugated metal pipes in the subdivision were installed twenty five years ago, and are failing due to rust and age.

On July 3, 2012, the Superior Court of Forsyth County entered an order enforcing Section 4.2.2 of a Post Development Storm Water Code, which is a part of the county's development codes.  (Order of July 3, 2012.)  The relevant code section provides that in Forsyth County subdivisions that have homeowner associations, associations are responsible for maintenance and repairs to components of the storm water system that service the subdivision's residents.