WAYNE HOLLOWAY, ET AL.
TANASI SHORES OWNERS ASSOCIATION, ET AL.
Assigned on Briefs March 1, 2019
from the Chancery Court for Sumner County No. 2014-CV-107 Joe
H. Thompson, Judge Sitting By Interchange
Holloway and Jerry Brewington ("Plaintiffs") appeal
the April 20, 2018 order of the Chancery Court for Sumner
County ("the Trial Court") finding and holding,
inter alia, that Plaintiffs, not Tanasi Shores
Owners Association and Timmons Property, Inc.
("Defendants"), are responsible for maintenance and
repair of decks connected to their respective condominium
units. We find and hold that Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-27-303
applies and that, pursuant to the declaration, decks and
porches are part of the condominium unit, not common areas,
making Plaintiffs responsible for maintenance and repair of
the decks connected to their respective condominium units. We
affirm the Trial Court's April 20, 2018 order.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed Case Remanded
N. Oldham, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellants, Wayne
Holloway and Jerry Brewington.
M. Braun and Nathaniel T. Gorman, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellees, Tanasi Shores Owners Association and Timmons
MICHAEL SWINEY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which FRANK G. CLEMENT, JR., P.J., M.S. and KENNY W.
ARMSTRONG, J, joined.
MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE
Shores condominium community was created in April of 1984 via
a Master Deed of Tanasi Shores Phase I ("Master
Deed") in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. §
66-27-101, et seq. In pertinent part, the Master
Deed provides: "Additionally, each Family Unit has a two
car garage, a deck and porch, and Building #2 will feature a
small courtyard." In August of 1984, a second phase of
Tanasi Shores was created via Master Deed of Tanasi Shores,
Phase II, which also contains the language "each Family
Unit has a two car garage, a deck and porch." The Phase
II Master Deed was incorporated into the Master Deed of
Tanasi Shores Phase I in September of 1990, by language
stating, in pertinent part: "The independent existence
of the Phase II Master Deed shall hereby terminate in
accordance with Grantor's original intent, so that the
only remaining effective Master Deed with respect to the
entire Tanasi Shores development shall be the Phase I Master
Deed, as previously amended and as expanded by this
2006, the bylaws for Tanasi Shores were amended via a
document titled Tanasi Shores Owners Association Amendment to
By-Laws and Restatement of Entire Bylaws as Amended
("2006 Bylaws"), which provides, as pertinent:
"Additionally, while driveways, porches, decks, and
appurtenances to a Unit shall remain 'common areas',
each Owner of a unit shall have an exclusive easement to use
the driveways, porches, decks and other similar appurtenances
to his/her Unit for as long as his/her ownership is
retained." The 2006 Bylaws defined decks as "wooden
structures with floors attached to Single Family Units used
for outdoor activities whether they are screened or
covered." Porches were defined as "the exposed
aggregate or wooden area immediately surrounding the Front
Entrance to a Single Family Unit."
many years both before and after the enactment of the 2006
Bylaws, Defendants repaired and maintained the decks and
porches of the Tanasi Shores condominium units
("Units" or "Unit"). In 2012, however,
Defendants reevaluated the pertinent documents and determined
that decks and porches were part of the Unit and that the
maintenance and repair of decks and porches was the
responsibility of the Unit owner. Upon a petition from the
Unit owners, Defendants called a special meeting to discuss
the issue of deck and porch maintenance. Ultimately,
Defendants maintained the position that such maintenance and
repairs were the responsibility of the Unit owner.
April of 2013, letters were sent to some Unit owners
including Plaintiffs informing them of work needed on their
decks and advising them of their obligation to have the
repair work performed. In July of 2014,
Plaintiffs sued Defendants alleging that the policy
change requiring owners to maintain and repair the decks
connected to their respective condominium units violated the
Master Deed and 2006 Bylaws. Plaintiffs sought, among other
things, compensatory damages for costs incurred in repairing
their respective decks.
trial without a jury, the Trial Court entered its order on
April 20, 2018 finding and holding, inter alia:
The court notes that there is an apparent conflict between
the 2006 Bylaws, which provide that decks and porches are
common areas to which unit owners have an exclusive easement,
and the Master Deed, which provides that decks and porches
are part of the Family Unit. The court finds that this
conflict is governed by Section 303 of the ...