Friday, November 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Neighbor seems to run a boarding house. What can be done?

By
From page C2 | January 12, 2013 |

Q:  Dear Mr. Jones:  I own a home in a single-family neighborhood on the west side of Fairfield.  Last year a new family moved next door; a man, woman and pre-teen little girl.  They had two cars.  Their house has a three car garage, at least a three car driveway and room for two cars in front of their home.  A few months after they moved in, more cars started to turn up daily.  There are now at least five visible cars parked in front of the house. It appears that they are running a boarding house. I know this is of interest to others who are also encountering this issue – the takeover of street parking of their neighbors. This is especially annoying when they park in front of the mail box making access difficult.  I know street parking is public.  My question is: Can more than one family live in a single family home? This is causing a negative change to the character of our nice neighborhood. Can anything be done?
A:  This type of problem is one of the myriad reasons why, for the past 20 years, new developments have adopted CC&R’s;  rules homeowners must abide by.
It only takes one guy who paints his house yellow, red and purple to make a neighborhood unsightly, and wall-to-wall parked cars on the curbs to make it unnavigable.
In your case, the simple answer to your question regarding asking if there’s anything you can do is “probably not.”  But maybe.
First off, you’re right about the streets. Public streets are open to the public, regardless of whether it’s a homeowner or a stranger. As long as they are legally parked there’s not much you can do.
There are local ordinances regarding how long a car can be parked without moving, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem.
So let’s break down the issues.
Street parking we talked about.  Not much you can do.
If the house is being operated as a boarding house, there are laws that come into play. First, if it’s a commercial enterprise the city can get involved. Commercial lodging is a regulated business with zoning, as well as health and safety laws that come into play.
Generally, a homeowner can have a boarder or two without a problem. More than that and there are permits that are required and which this homeowner would likely not qualify for. To do so they would have to get a zoning variance. That would require notice to the neighbors. Your objection to the variance would all but kill it. So check with the city’s code enforcement office to get the specifics.
The building code also comes into play, at least potentially. Houses have occupancy limits, just like the signs you see on the wall in commercial buildings. The occupancy depends, at least in part, on the number and size of bedrooms and bathrooms.
However, and this is a big however, before you do anything you need to know if these people are all related, especially to the first degree.  Like parents, grandkids, etc.
Every lawyer studied cases in law school where ma and pa lived in a two bedroom house they bought as a young couple and eventually had nine kids. The city came in and declared that the living conditions were unsafe and unsanitary and the folks had to decide if they were going to move or get rid of some of the kids. Shockingly the courts have ruled that the city can’t make you get rid of your kids. Or, for that matter, move because you had them.
There is dispute about how close the relatives have to be to qualify to avoid all the codes, but the city is unlikely to get involved when everyone is related.
However, the biggest problem you face is enforcing any laws that do apply. A homeowner can have as many guests as they want. The problem is trying to determine when a “guest” becomes a “resident.” There may be ordinances that limit guests to 30 days. But try to prove they’ve been there, consecutively, for more than 30 days.
To reiterate; if this is a commercial enterprise a call to code enforcement may be enough to get the ball rolling. Or at least they can refer you to the proper city office. But if they’re related or deny that they actually live there, you may be stuck.
In newer subdivisions, with giant sets of CC&R’s, parking on the street after a certain time of night is prohibited and cars can be towed.
If this continues to be an issue the only solution may be to contact your favorite Realtor.
Tim Jones is a real estate attorney in Fairfield. If you have any real estate questions you would like answered in this column you can contact him at SolanoScene@TJones-Law.com.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Frustrated As WellFebruary 28, 2013 - 12:21 am

    The situation seems to be happening as economic difficulties continue. Two neighbors violate homeowners association rules to place tent trailers on their driveways. Both also decorate the driveway with multi colored garbage cans which are not placed behind their side yard fencing. Though nobody likes it, everyone sits quietly. One has a broken garage door, which is not repaired. They go on vacation. They asked the other to take care of the house. The other's friend parks a large truck and a very large utility trailer for three days on the small, quiet, otherwise well kept court, in front of the driveway. After three days, the truck didn't leave. Frustrated, one neighbor called Vacaville Police Department who responded, but when hearing the truck and trailer was illegally parked in front of the driveway for "security purposes," the officer called the owner of the property, who states she doesn't mind the vehicle being there and speaks to the person who violated the law--finally determining it was okay to violate the law for "security purposes." Now, what would happen if everybody determined to illegally park large trucks with large trailers hitched to them in front of their homes and driveways for security purposes--for long periods of time? How about parking motorhomes---maybe a semi? How about putting up a fence all around the property for security purposes? Neighbors again called and police responded. The violator of law tried to intimidate the neighbor who called by glaring at her, while the police issued a citation. However, the car was not removed. Nor is it believed the police issued a citation, but merely a 48 hour removal notice instead. Who benefited? The police department who finally ended up possibly getting revenue from the citation (if it wasn't a 48 hour removal ticket, the violator who wanted to park the vehicle there, despite the annoyance and nuisance to the other neighbors and the person who didn't fix their garage. Certainly not the homeowners in the area who had to look at the unsightly truck and trailer for almost a week. You see, when people can't afford to fix their garages or store their camping trailers, neighborhoods decline as we are seeing in Solano County...and police simply ignore the law, which further encourages its violation. And good people lose trust in their laws, societal rules and in their police.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano high school students bring robotics to Shanghai, China

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hanukkah Festival added to Holiday in the Park

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Holidays present seasonal entertainment

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Fairfield on film celebration set Saturday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Memories of Thanksgiving Days gone by

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
 
Man shot at Suisun City apartment

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 8 Comments

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Nov. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Emotions rise as people hear immigration plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 38 Comments

Congress can’t ‘de-fund’ Obama on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
A look at the numbers in Obama’s immigration plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

California sheriff criticizes Obama on immigration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
California tuition hike fight shifts to Sacramento

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

PG&E fined over alleged secret dealings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant’s costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Feinstein: Drought relief bill out for this year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
GOP’s success in House races ends in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Insurance sign-ups outpacing first year enrollment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man who killed co-worker, cut out heart released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

St. Louis region prepares for Ferguson decision

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Union: Ferguson officer does not expect charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Florida State shooter was well-liked but troubled

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Officials downplay debates over Ebola aid response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NOAA: Globe sets 5th hottest-month record of 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Roofs collapse as New York clobbered by more snow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Hearing draws apology, admission in air bag mess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Protesters, police clash in Mexico before marches

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Egypt acquits doctor in female genital mutilation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Slain beauty queen, sister buried in Honduras

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Boko Haram said to kill about 45 people in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Israeli mayor’s ban on Arab workers ignites uproar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Nov. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A11

 
Thank you to businesses that support veterans

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
 
Thank you for saving my purse

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Why are we still changing clock times?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 17 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

I have several part-time jobs and have no time or money for a personal life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Nov. 21-27, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Mike Nichols, crafter of films, plays, dies at 83

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hollywood pays tribute to Mike Nichols

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Five memorable movies from Mike Nichols

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Highlights from Mike Nichols’ multi-genre career

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Revolution gathering in ‘Mockingjay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Handler apologizes for watermelon joke at awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
O’Keeffe painting sells for record $44.4M in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TV Land pulls ‘Cosby Show’ from lineup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3, 1 Comment

 
Mysterious sculpture recovered from River Seine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Nov. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
How a ‘tiny hamster’ video gets made

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
James Nesbitt as a father whose child disappears

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Intense Boldin keeps making big catches for 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Bulldogs, Wildcats into SJS quarterfinals

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

Raiders snap 16-game skid with 24-20 win vs. KC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Giants confident they’re in Pablo Sandoval chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Bills’ home game against Jets relocated to Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

AP source: Bermuda to host 2017 America’s Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
FIFA to review World Cup corruption report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Union appeals Adrian Peterson’s suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Lewis in range of big prize at Tour Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Hendrick gives Kahne 3-year contract extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
NASCAR: Johnson says Harvick was correct winner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Jared Goff growing into role of Cal’s ‘Golden Boy’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
JC volleyball: Falcons have 4 players earn all-BVC honors

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Manfred given 5-year term as baseball commissioner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This week in sports history for Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Cousins, Gay lead Kings past Bulls, 103-88

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Bjugstad leads Panthers to 3-2 SO win over Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Prep football capsules: Week 12

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

LaCrosse rides Buick’s high reliability rating

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Ford gets the aluminum F-150 ready for prime time

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
US home sales rise in October

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

US unemployment aid applications fall to 291,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Country of origin label for meat cuts endangered

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Polls: Employers still prioritize health coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
New Mexico lawmakers grill spaceport boss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Family gets $6.75 million in Botox treatment case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Gap names heads of namesake brand, Banana Republic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

AT&T pays $23.8 M to settle hazardous-waste case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9