While looking for the perfect home, many factors will impact a buyer’s decision. Education and property taxes are usually the biggest. However, covenants enforced by a community association will play a pivotal role in the homeowner experience.
Buying a house or condominium in an organized community means joining a homeowners association (HOA). HOAs are fueled by a set of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions or CC&R’s.
These ordinances explain requirements, limitations, and guidelines for the property. Covenants are advantageous to a neighborhood as a whole. They are enforced to retain high property values. In turn, these serve everyone involved in the community.
So, what are the most common regulations you’d find in HOA covenants? Check out the list below.
A great view can massively improve the value of a property. Because of that, it is common to come across covenants mandating unobstructed views for neighbors.
It is common to come across CC&Rs that will prohibit a homeowner from blocking the view of a neighbor by constructing a structure on neighboring property or someone changing the view of their own home to something different than what existed at the time of their acquisition. Restrictions usually include trees, fences, and sheds.
While pets are not usually prohibited by community association covenants, there are often guidelines. Most of these edicts regarding pets pertain to dogs as they are the most common pets in neighborhoods.
You will come across rules that prohibit specific breeds, the weight of, and the number of dogs one can own in that neighborhood or condominium community. HOA’s do not have the right to enter a home and remove pets, but violations can lead to a legal battle over whether or not specific pets can stick around.
The appearance and maintenance of a property is the most common and controlling covenant for homeowners. It directly affects property value and will cause many headaches for negligent parties involved.
In condominium complexes, you will find strict rules prohibiting any altering of exterior structures. In more conventional communities with single homes, you might find limitations on specific exterior home renovations or the color someone can paint their house. There are also usually guidelines on landscaping and trash removal.
It is common for a community association to have covenants regarding common areas. These bonds will have limitations of visitors and parking spaces, which are two things that can disrupt harmony in a community.
You will also find rules that prohibit crowd size, modification, and time of use of such common areas.
Covenants concerning noise are prevalent and usually welcomed by all members of a community association. No one wants to deal with loud neighbors who disrupt sleep or disturb a pattern of peace.
Noise must usually be kept to a minimum in the evening into early morning hours in a community. While a violation complaint is in store for someone breaking the rules, a visit from the local police is usually more imminent.
Personal conduct covenants can seem vague and outright illegal; however, agreements are voluntarily accepted by homeowners, so particular actions are subject to restriction.
Most restrictions are common sense laws like entering another home in the community without permission or causing an inconvenience for a neighbor with a big party. Other rules can be complicated like which type of door lights you can apply, or whether or not the car or motorcycle in your driveway is a blemish.
When concerning community association covenants, it’s essential to know that you will find similar local zoning ordinances that will prohibit the same behavior by homeowners.
CC&R’s are different because they are willingly accepted by the homeowner and are designed in the interest of the specific community tasked with enforcing them.
Having properly drafted and enforced covenants is crucial to the long-term future and property value of a community. If you or any board member of your HOA would like assistance in this process, contact EMS to address and facilitate your needs.