Ligonier Township neighbors: Home rental has been no picnic for us
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 11:46 p.m.
An online advertisement described the 10-acre, four-bedroom Mount Abu mansion in Ligonier Township as the ideal weekend getaway.
A group of seven neighbors on Wicklow Lane thinks otherwise.
They have filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent John and Paragi Stewart from renting out their home to vacationers.
Attorney Jim Fox, representing the neighbors, wants a county judge to step in and enforce a restrictive-use covenant, signed by the Stewarts in 2009 when they purchased their home, that bars its use for rental purposes.
The neighbors are seeking an unspecified amount in damages for inconvenience, discomfort and the loss of privacy.
“It has been aggravating: people hiking through their yards, noise complaints. Attempts have been made through a lawyer to address it and there's been no response from the Stewarts,” Fox said.
According to the lawsuit, the property has been advertised online for renters. The ad was still online Tuesday, but it was removed by late afternoon.
Reviews from guests praised the picturesque home and its surroundings.
Fox said the Stewarts' deed restricts use of the property to a “single-family, country residence.”
The property — it includes a lighted tennis court, a gazebo and hot tub — is now listed for sale.
The Stewarts are seeking $699,000, according to advertisements on real estate websites. It tells buyers the home can be used as a “multifamily vacation home.”
Realtor Marcia Stahl said the property has been for sale since early January.
Through Stahl, the Stewarts issued a statement to say they have stopped renting out their home and are preparing to move out of the country.
“They didn't know what they were doing was offensive to their neighbors,” Stahl said. “They were spending a lot of time out of the country and are preparing to move. They rented the home out to some church groups to hold retreats.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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