J. Patrick Sutton Cases & Issues Blog
balcones woods

Motion for Summary Judgment Filed against Balcones Woods Club HOA

Today, my client filed a motion for summary judgment immediately following Balcones Woods's answer. Balcones Woods is arguing that cases involving room rentals and without express leasing rights dictate that an owner with express leasing rights in the HOA declaration cannot rent for short terms. My client's motion puts those arguments to rest. A judgment in my client's favor would render it almost impossible for the Balcones Woods HOA to bully other owners as it did Mr. Cribbs.

The summary judgment is set to be heard by the court on November 1, 2013, in Travis County Court at Law.Content may continue . . .

Balcones Woods Club HOA bullies homeowner over short-term rentals

The Balcones Woods Club HOA in Austin just up and decided, with no justification, to send my client a cease-and-desist letter threatening litigation over my client's short term rentals. The Balcones Woods declaration not only authorizes leasing, but says NOTHING about limitations on leasing, and certainly has no minimum leasing term. My client specifically relied on that before purchasing.

The HOA has said that leasing is a "business use," in effect barring everyone at Balcones Woods from leasing. The overwhelming tide of cases addressing the question whether short-term renting constitutes a "business" have rejected the argument categorically. The HOA has not even tried to put a number to the minimum lease term -- what is it, Balcones Woods, 30 days? 10 days? 90 days? There is no principled basis for the HOA to impose a number short of amending its declarations, which it hasn't even tried to do.

My client sued Balcones Woods. Make no mistake: had my client not acted to protect their rights, the HOA would've spared no expense to bankrupt my client or dispossess them of their home. The only way to fight power-mad, bullying HOA's is to get judgments invalidating their actions so that NO ONE ELSE in the HOA can be victimized. In my past cases like this, the HOA directors who made these colossal goofs got the boot, as did the lawyers and property managers who enabled the misguided actions.

The case is Cribbs v. Balcones Woods Club, Inc., and the lawsuit is here. The Motion for Summary Judgment seeking immediate resolution of the legal issue is here. It is set to be heard by the court November 1, 2013, at 2:00PM.
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J. Patrick Sutton Cases & Issues Blog