CC&Rs or covenants, conditions & restrictions, is a term most people probably are not familiar with. If you are planning on purchasing a home or condominium that resides within a planned community, you need to be aware of the declaration of covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&R).
What Are CC&Rs?
Covenants, conditions & restrictions are legal terms that refer to the rules of a community that you must live by in order to reside in that community. CC&Rs are typically utilized by co-ops and condominiums to aid in regulating the use, appearance, and maintenance of a property. Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) commonly use CC&Rs as a way to regulate what homeowners can and can’t do on their property.
It’s important to know what CC&Rs are and how they can impact your day-to-day life before you move into a place that has them. Not knowing the requirement and limitations could negatively impact your lifestyle and also your wallet.
Examples of CC&R Provisions
- Exterior aesthetics – They may only allow certain paint colors and trim. They require this to help maintain a cohesive aesthetic within the community.
- Interior aesthetics – If you plan on doing a big design change like changing up your flooring or paint color, you just may need to get permission.
- Landscaping – This looks like keeping a well-manicured landscaping. They may also restrict the planting of certain trees and bushes.
- Fencing – If you plan on installing a fence, that may or may not be allowed. Furthermore, it may need to be a certain type of fence with a certain height.
- Parking – The community may require residents and guests to only use designated parking spots. In addition, they may limit the number of cars allowed as well.
- Pets –The community may only allow certain dog breeds along with restrictions on size and weight. Furthermore, certain types of animals may be restricted.
- Business – If you run a business from your home that could disrupt the neighborhood, that may be restricted.
- Parties – There may be restrictions on where and when you can have a party or get together.
Who enforces CC&Rs?
How CC&Rs will be enforced and who will do the enforcing, will be laid out in the Declaration of CC&Rs. Typically, it will be the neighborhood association or the homeowners association that will reinforce them.
What Penalties Can You Expect?
CC&Rs are legal, binding documents. When it comes time to close on a home, you will be asked to sign a document stating that you have read the CC&Rs and are in agreement with them. Once you sign the document, you are legally bound to it. If you violate the agreement, you can face penalties such as these:
- A verbal or written notice – The association will send out a verbal or written notice requesting for the offense to be corrected.
- Issuing of a fine – This can look like a one-time fee, a daily charge for each day the offense goes unresolved or a fee for what it would cost for materials and labor to fix the problem themselves.
- Suspending privileges to amenities – If you live in a community with amenities like a pool or gym, your privileges may be suspended for a period of time or until the issue is resolved.
- Filing of a lawsuit – If you refuse to comply with the rules, the association may file a lawsuit that will require you to resolve the issue. Keep in mind, any legal fees incurred by the HOA might fall on your shoulders.
- A lien on your property – If you have unpaid dues or fines, the association has the right to put a lien on your property . Eventually, this could give the association the opportunity to foreclose on the home.
Always review the CC&Rs