Homeowners May Have Cause For Suit

Question:  Several years ago, we purchased a home in a subdivision near Tucson with an airstrip. The developer’s sales agent told us that, after all of the homes in the subdivision were sold, the airstrip would be deeded to the homeowners by the developer. We had nothing in writing, and all of the homes in the subdivision now have been sold. The developer, however, has apparently sold the airstrip to a California company, and this company is now demanding rent payments for the use of the airstrip. Do we have to pay rent payments to this company for the use of the airstrip?

Answer:  Probably. Although you and the other homeowners may have a claim against the developer for any misrepresentations by the developer’s sales agent, you probably have no legal interest in the airstrip. You should, however, contact an attorney to review the purchase documents, especially the subdivision public report. Many purchasers of homes in a subdivision wrongfully assume that any open space in a subdivision always will be open space; for example, a golf course running through the subdivision. This assumption is frequently reinforced by indirect or direct misrepresentations by aggressive sales agents.

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