A deed restricted community is a development where a Homeowners Association (HOA) or Condominium Association (COA) has restrictions in place that prohibit certain actions. These rules are established and enforced by a private entity (the community HOA/COA), not a local government. The goal of these bylaws is to maintain a neighborhood’s aesthetic and support property values. Potential restrictions could prevent you from:
Most of the restrictions you’ll encounter will regulate how your home appears. Failing to abide by your community’s rules first results in a warning of non-compliance and then a daily fine until the matter is resolved.
It’s important to review any community deed restrictions prior to buying your home, as these restrictions dictate what you cannot do with your home/lot. It will also be rather difficult to remove any of these rules; even extremely strict deed restrictions are typically upheld by the courts. Your Community Association Manager will be able to assist you in determining what restrictions are in place within the community.
Part of the monthly fees that are paid to your HOA/COA go towards the enforcement of their deed restrictions. The rules operate much like a “social contract” amongst residents, where each homeowner sacrifices certain uses of their land in order to guarantee the beauty of the neighborhood.
Any deed restrictions will be specified within a home’s deed. If you are unable to locate your own deed, you can request a new copy from the recorder’s office where it was initially filed. The regulations can often be over 100 pages long and filled with complex legal jargon. The HOA/COA community association manager can also send them to you via email.
Deed restricted communities tend to work best when the rules are fair, and enforcement is proactive. Nobody wants to drive through their neighborhood and see overgrown grass and garbage strewn across lawns. Likewise, home buyers won’t pay top dollar to live in a blighted community. Deed restrictions can ensure that your neighborhood stays beautiful and prevent property values from plummeting.
Living in a deed restricted community means that you can enjoy certain community amenities. Such amenities could include a golf course, swimming pool, or community clubhouse. These amenities work in combination with the regulations to enhance property values and add value to residents.
An HOA will also help you deter any nuisance activity. Imagine you have an inconsiderate neighbor who decides to run a dog kennel out of his home. Without an HOA, you would have to engage with your local government to try to resolve the issue, potentially dealing with bureaucracy and inaction. This contrasts an HOA, which is usually more responsive because it’s comprised of homeowners within your community whose properties are also hurt by such nuisances.