Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are rules and limitations that govern on a group of homes (aka a community). Typically they are established by the developer, neighborhood association and / or homeowner association (aka HOA) to protect, preserve and/or enhance property values within the community. They might, for example, prohibit owners from parking their cars on the street or watering the yard on certain days.
It’s an official document that governs every HOA and every homeowner agrees to these terms (whether they realize it or not) when buying in to the community. Even so, it remains a widely misunderstood topic. In light of this, we’ve put together a list of 7 facts to consider.
Read more: CC&Rs – What are they and why should I care?
Let’s jump right to it:
1) When CC&Rs are filed with the county recorder, they become public documents, meaning anyone can see a copy.
2) It does not matter whether you read or understand it, once it is recorded, a CC&R becomes a contract that binds all owners. The law only guarantees that it is available to you – it’s your responsibility to read and understand it.
3) CC&Rs are often distributed in unrecorded or “draft” format. The official CC&Rs will have a recording number from the county recorder on each page. Make sure you have read and understand the official, recorded document.
4) It does not matter how “unreasonable” you or a court finds the CC&Rs. They will be presumed enforceable by a court unless they are in direct contradiction with the law.
5) Typically, CC&Rs are amended by a vote of all board members and can be amended in three particular circumstances: To remove discriminatory language, amend developer access rights, and to update statute number references to the new Civil Code numbers. Such amendments are approved in an open meeting and must to be recorded.
6) Be aware – sometimes CC&Rs are labeled as as a “maintenance agreement”, “declaration of trust” or something else entirely. The title of the document is not important. Be sure that it is officially recorded on all of the properties in the association.
7) Modern CC&Rs either have no expiration date or automatically renew. In the past, developer attorneys would draft CC&Rs with expiration dates. Do not let your CC&Rs expire if they still have a set date – renew the document and then amend any expiration date out.