Inches Matter in Homeowner Restrictions

Homeowner ordered to remove completed construction, despite government variance.
In a Louisiana case, a homeowner constructed an addition to his home. However, the addition did not meet either the subdivision side setback requirements in the restrictions or the limits required by the local government. Serious and costly consequences followed for failure to abide by the subdivision restrictions.

The addition violated the subdivision setback restrictions by 1.5 feet and the government setback by 4.5 feet.

Although the subdivision restrictions required homeowners to submit plans to the HOA for approval, the homeowner did not do so. He did submit the plans to the local government.

The government granted a variance, but warned the homeowner that its ruling did not absolve him from obtaining HOA approval. Ignoring this warning, the homeowner completed the addition without HOA approval.

After completion of the addition, the adjoining landowner sharing the property line with the setback violation filed a lawsuit alleging violation of the subdivision restrictions, and he won.

The offending homeowner was ordered to remove enough of the construction so as not to violate the setbacks required under the subdivision restrictions.


1.  The neighbor had a right of action in his own right to sue the offending homeowner.

2.  Homeowners in deed restriction developments must take all restrictions seriously.  Inches matter.

Lafargue v. Barron, 2012 WL 602173 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2012, writ den. 90 So. 3d 437 (La. 2012)

Alford & Alford represents homeowners associations and home owners. Contact us for a consultation.

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Lydia J. Alford

Lydia J. Alford

Alford & Alford is a father-daughter law partnership of William C. “Neil” Alford and Lydia J Alford. Over his 43 years of experience, Neil has handled simple and complex, residential and commercial real estate matters. Lydia’s 26 years of experience gives her the ability to offer well-rounded pragmatic solutions to varied civil legal issues.
Lydia J. Alford
Lydia J. Alford

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