The sign can clearly be seen from Terranova's neighbor's master bedroom window and several other vantages that are bound to catch prospective buyers' attention. The Realtor attempting to sell the home, Renee Lalonde, is at her wit's end.
"We have no legal recourse," Lalonde told AOL Real Estate. She says that she has emails that show previous buyers have turned down the property because of the neighbor's sign, but worries that the case would not hold up in court.
How Homeowners Can Fight Back
But there may be hope, according to James Benjamin, a Denver real estate attorney. If it can be proven that Terranova is causing intentional emotional distress, he says, it's "akin to someone walking up and hitting you in the face."
Because Terranova's antics may be causing real damage to the homeseller's chances of unloading the property, the sellers may be entitled to not only monetary compensation, but also an injunction against their boorish neighbor's signage. In effect, the sellers could seek a "mandatory injunction" to force Terranova to remove the warning, and a "prohibitory injunction" to prevent him from putting up a new one.
If Terranova were to be shown to have sabotaged a closing on the property, Benjamin notes, the sellers could sue for interference with contract. If, for instance, the home would have closed for $400,000 without Terranova's alarming signage, but later sells for just $300,000, the sellers could seek the $100,000 difference. And in today's anemic housing market, there's a very good chance of lost home value.
Finally, a jury could add punitive damages to the mix. In Colorado, Benjamin says, these damages can equal the amount of actual damages done -- essentially doubling the judgment against Terranova. And from the looks of this video, he hasn't done much to endear himself to his community members.