If you live in homeowner’s association, you are subject to the regulations listed in the Covenants Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs).
What are Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
Covenants, conditions and restrictions are a set of rules that govern your neighborhood. They describe the requirements and restrictions about what you can do with your property. These restrictions can include the color of your house, fences, trees, noise and your pet’s breed.
They are contained in legal documents that regulate how the community functions. Once you buy a home in a community with a homeowner’s association and sign the relevant documents, you are agreeing to follow the rules stated in the CC&Rs.
CC&R’s can extensively govern what you can do to your property. These regulations can include:
- Fences, trees and freestanding outbuilding or sheds
- Mowing your lawn and keeping it weed free
- Whether you can park your car in the garage or on the street
- The breed or size of your dog
- The color you paint your house
- The color of blinds or curtains visible from the street
- Installing pools, swing sets or basketball hoops
- Outdoor lights or satellite dishes
- Noise restrictions
While most CC&R’s are in place to keep the community looking fresh, uniform and maintained, make sure that they align with your needs before you make a purchase. Some regulations can be difficult or unreasonable for homeowners who want to enjoy and improve their property, such as if you plan on painting your house, have a Great Dane, or want to install a pool.
Penalties for Violating the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
When you close escrow on a home in an area regulated by a homeowner’s association, among the documents you sign is one that states you have read the CC&R’s and agree to abide by them. If you violate the CC&R’s, then the penalties can include paying fines, forced compliance or court action.
Alleged violations are generally handled progressively. HOA’s will often send out written and verbal warning, which are followed by hearings if compliance is still not met. When alleged violations are not resolved, the HOA may decide to take legal action against a homeowner.
Courts of law may:
- Award damages
- Impose injunctions
- Impound vehicles
- Enforce the regulations of a covenant
- Empower the HOA to take action through the local police
There are circumstances where you can submit an application for a variance. These often are lengthy processes that can involve getting your neighbors permission, having a hearing with your HOA and getting formal permission.
Read the CC&R’s carefully before deciding on buying a home in that neighborhood. If you don’t understand something, seek legal advice for help.
Ijames Reno Business Lawyer
Heather Ijames has represented numerous HOA Boards and their respective homeowners, and is well-versed in the particular homeowner association laws that govern these communities.. Whether you are a homeowner disputing a claim made by your homeowner association, or an HOA who wants to make sure they aren’t overstepping their bounds, a Reno business lawyer can offer legal advice and guidance through these complex laws and regulations.
It is crucial that both HOA Boards and homeowners consult with an attorney when it comes to interpreting and enforcing CC&R’s. If you believe that the covenants, conditions and restrictions set forth by you HOA are violating your rights or have a negative effect on your property, then contact me today for a consultation.