If you live in a planned, single family home subdivision in North Carolina, more than likely, you are subject to restrictive covenants (sometimes called protective covenants). When your subdivision was first laid out, the original developer put forth a set of rules for the types of structures that can be built in the neighborhood along with limitations of the kinds of activities that can go on and other things such as maintenance requirements. These covenants are recorded in the office of the register of deeds of your county. All purchasers of homes in the neighborhood are then put on notice as to the covenants and are legally bound to abide by them.
Restrictive covenants run the gamut from a couple of pages of the most basic rules to comprehensive regulations of everything from the kinds of cars you can park, the color or your shutters to the height of your grass. Understanding and being familiar with the covenants of a particular neighborhood is a very important bit of research to do prior to purchasing any home.
Most homeowners live contently day to day and never give their covenants a second thought. Where people do run into problems with covenants is typically when they are contacted by their homeowners association with a complaint about violations or when a neighbor is committing violations that are causing trouble in the neighborhood.
Normally, covenants provide for a Home Owners Association to enforce them. The individual homeowner is also usually granted an independent right to take legal action to enforce them. An underlying concept for all covenants is protecting the property values of all homeowners. The courts have also ruled that private property ownership is such a fundamental right, that any covenant that seeks to restrict a person’s free use of their property is to be strictly interpreted in order to protect citizens’ free use of their property. It is easy to see how conflicts can arise with restrictive covenants.
Our law firm has 20 years experience in Real Estate and helping clients deal with restrictive covenants. We have represented developers in drafting restrictive covenants, we have represented Home Owners Associations and individual home owners in litigations to enforce covenants and we have represented homeowners defending against allegations of violating restrictive covenants. Our broad based expertise is brought to bear for all our clients no matter which of these circumstances you face.
Let us help you with your restrictive covenant issue. Please call The Doyle Law Offices today at (919) 228-4487 or fill out the form below.