California Appellate Court Orders Property

California Appellate Court Orders Property Owner to Reduce Noise Caused by His Installation of Hardwood Floors

In Ryland Mews Homeowners Association v. Munoz, a California Appellate Court recently required a homeowner of a condominium unit to address noise caused by his installation of hardwood floors. In Ryland, Ruben Munoz, an attorney, and his wife moved into an upstairs condominium unit in a complex managed by plaintiff. Immediately upon moving into the unit, he replaced the carpets with hardwood floors to address his wife’s severe dust allergy. His downstairs neighbors immediately began complaining of a noise transmission from upstairs. They described the noise at all hours of the day and night as “intolerable.” The defendant HOA sent a demand letter to Munoz requesting mediation. Munoz did not respond. The Association filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction and declaratory relief requesting that Munoz address the installation of the hardwood floor issue. The Association sought a preliminary injunction restraining Munoz from maintaining the hardwood flooring. Munoz opposed the motion, contending that the hardwood floors were necessary for his wife’s health. The trial court granted the preliminary injunction ordering Munoz to cover 80 percent of the floor area with throw rugs and to present the Association with a proposal for modification of the flooring to conform with Association guidelines. Munoz appealed and the court of appeal affirmed.

Shannon B. Jones, Partner,