Case #763-O, McDowell v. Cloverleaf Center II Condominium (Stevens, Gannon, Vergagni).
Shortly after buying her townhome in 1997, the homeowner (HO) installed security bars on several windows, claiming the homeowner association (HOA) gave her oral permission to do so. In 2004, the HOA formally demanded that she remove the bars and in 2005 the HOA board ruled that the HO was in violation of the rules and fined her $150 plus $10 per day until she removed the bars. After a public hearing, the Commission ruled that: 1. the rule against security bars was valid and enforceable; 2. the rule required that the HO receive written permission to make changes, which the HO did not have; and 3. the HO must remove the bars from the exterior of the home. However, the Commission also determined that because the HOA had not taken any action on the violation for 7 years, it was unreasonable to charge the HO any fines and it ordered the HOA to refund all fines she paid. The Commission further denied the HOA's request for attorney's fees because the HO had a right to appeal the board's decision to the Commission.