Restrictive covenants and the benefits to homeowners

Buying a home is much more than finding a house you like and signing the documents to close on a home. There are more factors to consider, and when a homeowner’s association or HOA is involved, the new or potential homeowner should consider the covenants, condition and restrictions involved.

What is a restrictive covenant?

In simple terms, a restrictive covenant in residential neighborhoods is a set of rules designed to govern how the property is used. Additionally, it may also refer to the deed that includes how the land may be used. When they sign these documents, new property owners agree to these terms and to follow the restrictions.

If a covenant is properly recorded on a deed, then it is enforceable. In other words, a covenant is a binding legal document. In contrast, if neighbors sign a covenant privately, only those that signed the agreement are required to follow it.

The benefit of covenants

There are several positives for a properly drafted and enforced covenant. To begin, the usage of them have been shown to retain property value in comparison to those that have poorly enforced covenants. Additionally, neighborhoods with covenants tend to be safer, look better and are able to maintain better relationship with local governments. Finally, they assist with retaining or increasing the investments homeowners have made with their property.

Navigating restrictive covenants can be challenging, especially when one has specific ideas and needs for a home or property. Additionally, covenants, conditions and restrictions are not always known, could be overlooked or misunderstood. Therefore, it is important to consider legal options available when moving forward with the purchase or addressing these concerns following the completion of the sale.