Let’s talk about property restrictions.  What are property restrictions you might be asking yourself, why should you care about them and what kind of homes have them.

Simply put property restrictions or deed restrictions as they are sometimes called, limit what you can and can not do with the land or home you have purchased. There can be restrictions placed on rural tracts of land as well as urban tracts of land.

In the urban setting most, property restrictions will be recorded in a separate instrument declaring the covenants, conditions and restrictions for a certain subdivision. This document may also contain the Homeowners Association information and the Architectural Control committee. This could have specific requirements as to the size of home that will be on the lots, the type of material the home will be constructed with and even the type of landscaping that is allowed on the property. Some subdivisions have more in depth restrictions than other subdivisions.  An example of the common things for most subdivisions are:

  • No livestock animals or poultry of any kind will be raised bred or kept on any lots, except dogs, cats or other household pets provided that are not kept for breeding or maintained for any commercial purposes.
  • No pre-manufactured homes.
  • No temporary living quarters.

Property located in a rural setting that has restrictions is a little different. Since the tract of land isn’t part of a subdivision, the restrictions will be found within the chain of title. The restrictions for rural land can be just a simple one or two items or can contain a multiple of things. Some of the common restrictions found on a rural tract of land are:

  • No pre-manufacture homes.
  • No junkyards.
  • No swine.
  • Limiting the amount of certain livestock per acre.

You might be wondering who enforces the restrictions on the property. If the property is in a subdivision, then the homeowners association would be the ones enforcing the restrictions.  For example, if the restrictions state that your fence must remain in excellent condition at all times and you haven’t stained it this year, you could receive a notice from your homeowners association and if action isn’t taken you could receive a fine from them.

Can restrictions be removed? Whether or not a deed restriction can be removed depends on the restriction itself.  Some restrictions do come with expiration dates but rarely are they removed. Deed restrictions that are prohibited by law include restrictions that:

  • Pose a serious public safety hazard.
  • Violate fair housing laws.
  • Violate federal regulations designed to prevent discrimination, such as the American With Disabilities Act.

If you are concerned that there are property restrictions, the time to address it is prior to purchasing the property. When purchasing a tract of raw land or a home you can always ask your Realtor if the property is subject to any restrictions or if the seller is planning on putting restrictions in the deed to the new owner. When the title work is done on the property you are buying you will receive a copy of any restrictions found for that property when you receive a copy of your title commitment. If you have any questions regarding property restrictions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Red River Title Company.