Covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, are commonly put in place by homeowner associations. These CC&Rs state what homeowners can and can’t do on their property or in their home.
Homeowners agree to these rules in exchange for living their community. The communities often also require residents to pay monthly dues and assessments for large, unplanned expenses. These may include fees for repairs and maintenance of common areas.
CC&Rs are not zoning laws. Zoning laws are set by and enforced by the government. CC&Rs are accepted voluntarily and are agreed to between private parties which means they are sometimes more restrictive than zoning laws.
Types of restrictions
There are several types of common CC&Rs. These include restrictions on the color a house can be painted, how close a structure can be placed by a property line and the minimum and maximum areas the property can occupy. They often include prohibitions against establishing commercial businesses in residential neighborhoods.
They may also include restrictions on pet types, weight and breed and may prohibit livestock on residential properties.
If a homeowner violates a CC&R it can be enforced in court, however he or she may first be fined or lose privileges within the community. The homeowner will often have a right to a hearing with the homeowner association board and a right to appeal that decision before facing a lawsuit.
It’s important for homeowners to read and understand the CC&Rs before agreeing to abide by them. An experienced attorney can provide representation and advice.