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Its all in the comma...


Guest prl
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One of our covenants reads as follows:

"No tent, trailer, mobile home, or temporary type of structure of any kind shall be placed or used upon any part of the premises at any time. The grantee agrees to remove any such tent, trailer mobile home or temporary structures......"

Question is does the rule apply to trailers or just trailer mobile homes???

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I think it's more of a grammar question. I interpret the provision as prohibiting both trailers (of all kinds) and mobile  homes. The comma between "trailer" and "mobile home" is the key. 

Perhaps it's ultimately a legal question, but it involves the rules of grammar and punctuation. 

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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

I think it's more of a grammar question. I interpret the provision as prohibiting both trailers (of all kinds) and mobile  homes. The comma between "trailer" and "mobile home" is the key. 

 

Well, yes - and courts have decided several cases of misplaced commas in legal texts, not always in the way a grammar expert might. So I don't think our efforts to figure out the meaning from the syntax would be as useful as those of a lawyer experienced with what courts in the jurisdiction have done with misplaced commas in deeds. I think they'd likely be misleading, in fact.

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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

I think it's more of a grammar question

If the use of commas in the two sentences were consistent, I might agree with you, Richard (however, Google Oakhurst Dairy to see that even that can be an expensive legal issue).

But the fact that the two sentences are not consistent means I agree with Mr. Katz.

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1 hour ago, Atul Kapur said:

If the use of commas in the two sentences were consistent, I might agree with you, Richard (however, Google Oakhurst Dairy to see that even that can be an expensive legal issue).

But the fact that the two sentences are not consistent means I agree with Mr. Katz.

Ahhh, ok... I misread the original post and did not catch the fact that both sentences are part of the rule. However, my opinion remains the Same. Although it is ultimately a legal question, it depends mostly on the rules of grammar and punctuation. I think the rule was clearly intended to prohibit trailers and mobile homes. I think the emission of the   in the last sentence is a typographical or punctuation error. The rule makes sense only when interpreted to prohibit both trailers and mobile homes.

Edited to add:  if I'm on the board of directors of the homeowners association, my interpretation would be that trailers are prohibited. Take us to court if you disagree. Or if you refuse to remove your trailer we will take you to court. :)

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
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