Restrictive covenants (or deed restrictions) are becoming more popular today with the surge in construction of planned housing developments. These often are developed as full communities and have unique restrictions and conditions that need to be carefully considered before purchase. Because restrictive covenants can be rather complex, it is a good idea to consult with Bryan-College Station, Texas real estate attorney before purchasing property that is controlled by restrictions.
Typical Provisions of Covenants
Restrictive covenants—also known as CCRs—place limitations on property, generally within a subdivision or planned community. Many purchasers do not take adequate heed of these covenants until after the sale, thinking that they are of little consequence. However, these covenants can restrict an owner's use of the property in ways which are not conducive to his preferred lifestyle. Hiring a Bryan-College Station, Texas real estate attorney to review the covenants prior to purchase can prevent a person from making a mistake he might regret for years.
For instance, a typical restriction places a limit on the number and type of animals that may be kept on the property. If the owner wishes to have three dogs, the covenants may not allow for it. Among the more common restrictions are those limiting satellite dishes, lot sizes, color schemes and architecture, and landscaping.
Local Ordinances and Covenants
It is easy to confuse local ordinances with restrictive covenants. One difference is that the former are legislated by a local city council or similar entity, while the latter are contractually agreed upon. When ordinances differ from covenants, the issue of precedent may at times be complex, but generally speaking, whichever is more restrictive applies. For instance, if local ordinance allows for antennas on roofs, but the covenants prohibit them, the latter applies. A Bryan-College Station, Texas real estate attorney can explain in more detail the differences between ordinances and covenants.
Because restrictive covenants are based upon contract, they can be modified. Usually a vote of a majority of the property owners is necessary for this to occur. Other ways in which covenants are modified are through waiver and abandonment.
For More Information
To discuss matters of covenants and ordinances further, or for other property matters, call a Bryan-College Station, Texas real estate attorney today at the Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014 or fill out our online contact form.