Covenants, Contracts and Restrictions

Covenants, Contracts and Restrictions. CC&R’s

Good Golly, Miss Molly!  If you live in a subdivision that has covenants and restrictions you may be severely limited in what you can build even if the jurisdictions approve your plans and issue you a building permit. In this article, I will provide a quick overview about what CC&R’s are, why landowners get them, how long they last, and if need be, how to try to change one.

CC&R’s: What is it?

CC&R stands for Covenant, Contracts, and Restrictions. With a property this refers to how tenants and future landowners, can use the property. They differ from zoning laws in how the property relates to the local governments. With zoning codes, planning departments decide how a property is used, but zoning for a property can change. Heck! Here at Permit Place we specialize in Change of Use Permits (CUP’s) in commercial real estate projects. But don’t be mislead into thinking CC&R’s are not legally binding, because they definitely are!

Why do Landowners Use CC&R’s?

Like I mentioned in the “CC&R’s: What is It?” section, zoning for properties can change. This leaves landowners unprotected from having a project that could, possibly, depreciate their property’s value. CC&R’s help protect subdivisions, divisions, and properties from not only athestic attacks, but alterations and repairs that would deter future value.

Not only do CC&R’s tell you how you can use the property, many areas have limitations on what you can build and do on your property. So, check with your local home owner’s association or go to the county assessor’s office and get a copy of the covenants and restrictions recorded on your deed.

This will tell you what the limits are. It may be you must build a home of a certain size or can only use certain types of exterior finishes such as brick or cedar siding.

How Long do CC&R’s Last?

CC&R’s “lay with the land,” in other words, CCR&R’s stay with the property. Many homeowners and new landlords buy properties but do not fully read or understand a CC&R, and later on get penalized or even sued for violating the CC&R!

How Can I Change a CC&R?

The best way to learn the CC&R process and find ways to take on a CC&R is to get a real estate attorney. Be warned: generally, CC&R’s trumn a new landowner.


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