Whether you’re looking to rent or buy a new home, it’s important to know if your dream home has any covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) attached to it. Why is that? Because, whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, you’re responsible for knowing and following those CC&Rs. You’re also responsible for addressing any CC&R violations – including the consequences or fines that you may incur for unknowingly violating the CC&Rs.
What are CC&Rs? And what are the most common CC&R violations?
What are CC&Rs? While many cities have rules (or codes) for building, maintenance, and usage of different types of properties, many people find that those codes aren’t sufficient for keeping a community (both public and private areas) looking and performing at its peak.
When that’s the case, these communities come together and draft CC&Rs – and usually enforce it via a Home Owner’s Association (HOA).
In other words, communities with an HOA (and CC&Rs) are usually more well-kept, more valuable, and more well maintained than communities without an HOA.
Many of the most common CC&R violations can relate to keeping your home and yard in tip-top shape. And it’s more than just getting a flyer saying that your yard is being overrun by weeds, although that can be a common violation!
Common CC&R concerns or violations can include:
- Overgrown foliage needing to be trimmed
- Lawn needing proper attention or over seeding in the winter
- Building projects for your home or yard without approval, proper permits and/or variances
- Home exterior, fence, or gate needing to be repainted
- Improper vehicle parking along streets
- Trash cans not being kept out of sight, except on trash pickup days
- Following other guidelines outlines within the CC&R
Now, this list is by no means exhaustive! Every community and HOA has its own CC&Rs – and its own set of consequences and/or fines for violations. That being said, there is a way to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Know your community – and your CC&Rs
When you’re looking at renting or buying in a new area, ask your Realtor if there is an HOA. They’ll be able to guide you towards the right resources, including a copy of the CC&Rs. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for – and what rules you’re agreeing to follow when you move into your new home.
But getting a surprise notice for a violation isn’t the end of the world. HOAs will typically first issue a warning, and may dismiss a subsequent violation if immediate action is taken to correct the concern. Again, be sure to read your CC&Rs – they’ll spell all of this out for you.
And, if reading the CC&Rs is overwhelming, be sure to talk to your Realtor, he or she can help you understand what you’re agreeing to or request clarification from the HOA. Consider it your due diligence so that you’ll enjoy your new home in peace – and avoid accruing those CC&R violations that are totally preventable.
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