Restrictive Covenants

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One of the most common deed restrictions is a subdivision's restrictions or Restrictive Covenants.


Usually prepared by the developer when the subdivision is developed
Usually restrict every building in the subdivision
Recorded at the court house and referred to in the deed
May be amended if provided for in the covenants or by 100% of the owners


When a subdivision is developed, the developer usually includes Restrictive Covenants.  These restrictions are binding on the original buyers and all subsequent buyers.


Restrictive covenants are also called subdivision restrictions.


Examples of subdivision restrictions:


Just about anything legal can appear in subdivision restrictions


Size of house
No bird feeders
No recreational vehicles
All cars must be parked in the garage
No recreational vehicles may be parked in front of the setback line
All doors must be painted of a color approved by the homeowners' association


The setback line is the distance that a house must be set from the road.


The setback line can be defined by zoning or by restrictive covenants or both.  If both define the setback, the most restrictive is adhered to.


If zoning and subdivision restrictions provide for a similar restriction but to varying extents, the more prohibitive prevails.  By adhering to the most stringent restriction, both zone and subdivision restrictions have been satisfied.




Subdivision restrictions require that houses must be at least 1,800 square feet of heated living area. Zoning requires only 1,600 square feet of heated living area.  The smallest house that can be built is 1,800 square feet.  It's not that the subdivision restrictions prevail, but 1,800 square feet satisfies both requirements.

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