CC&R stands for “Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions.” The term refers to any document, contract, or agreement that restricts the usage and enjoyment of real property. It is an agreement between property owners or between a property owner and an association. CC&R’s are frequently imposed in order to:
- Allow property owners to enhance or maintain the property’s value
- Allow property owners to make the enhancements in such a way that does not damage, destroy, injure, annoy, distract, or offend adjacent property and property owners
Covenants, conditions and restrictions are regularly used in connection with organizations such as condominiums and homeowners associations. They are particularly useful in situations such as condominiums, where the property of each individual owner is in very close proximity to another’s. CC&R’s can also dictate the rights of property owners in relation to the condo or homeowner’s association.
Covenants, conditions and restrictions may cover a variety of different concerns in connection with the usage and alteration of property. Some of the more common subjects covered include:
- Maintenance, Fences, and General Appearance: This is probably the most common type of restriction for homeowners. Homeowners are often required to maintain their property so that it is appears well-kept and presentable. These covenants may also include natural fences such as bushes, trees and hedges
- View: Property owners generally may not construct buildings or walls, or plant trees that obstruct the view of a neighbor.
- Noise and Pets: Noise and pets can often be the grounds for a nuisance lawsuit. Thus, many housing associations place restrictions on noise levels and the types of pets that are allowed on the premises.
- Business and Personal Conduct: Due to various zoning laws and noise level concerns, residents typically cannot conduct home business operations if they will be a disturbance in the neighborhood. Also, any personal conduct that is offensive or distracting is prohibited by CC&R’s.
In addition to these types of covenants and restrictions, property owners may be restricted with regards to construction and building projects. Also, even without a condominium association or homeowner’s association, an entire neighborhood may seek to impose a covenant as they deem necessary. These are known as “voluntary neighborhood covenants.”
Covenants, conditions, and restrictions are basically contracts between property owners or between a property owner and a home association. Thus, if you have a dispute over any types of property restrictions, you should review the contract or covenant documents. If you feel that any of the contract provisions violate your rights as a homeowner or resident, you may wish to contact a lawyer for advice.
In particular, you should examine the contract provisions and check if they violate and statutes or laws. For example, many CC&R provisions may involve several zoning ordinances. The provisions may also touch upon various health and safety codes. If any of the CC&R provisions violate local laws, they will not be enforceable.
CC&R agreements often dictate what a property can or can’t do in the neighborhood. If you have any questions or complaints about a covenant, condition, or restriction on your property, you should contact a real estate lawyer for advice. Your attorney can help determine the legality of any agreements formed between you and other parties. Changes to CC&R agreements can affect an entire neighborhood.