Restrictive covenants recorded in the public records limit the use and occupancy of real property. A restriction can take many forms. For example, a covenant might limit building sizes, building types and architectural styles. Other covenants might actually mandate a minimum home size, the minimum number or location of trees or the minimum square footage of lawn required on a lot. A covenant might prohibit uses allowed on the property. Many residential developments have covenants prohibiting commercial or business use of any kind. In fact, during the past 50 years, such restrictions have become very common and highly detailed. In fact, such covenants now affect almost all residential developments and even agricultural lands in the State of Colorado.
Restrictive Covenants can sometimes enhance the value of real estate, but they sometimes may diminish value. Furthermore, such restrictions can lead to misunderstandings and disputes among affected property owners and Home Owner Associations.
In Colorado, common law and various statutes strictly regulate the creation and enforcement of restrictive covenants. For example, the Common Interest Ownership Act mandates specific procedures that an HOA must follow when attempting to enforce covenants. The applicable laws are in some cases are quite extensive and detailed. Misinterpretation of these rules or simple ignorance about their existence often leads to difficulties among affected owners.
Weaver & Fitzhugh, PC advises numerous Homeowner Associations and individual homeowners regarding restrictive covenants. We can help you determine whether certain covenants apply to your property, and, if so, how they affect your legal rights. We can also help individual land owners or HOA’s create, modify or revoke covenants. If you manage or sit on an HOA governing board, we can help you develop appropriate covenants that benefit the entire community. With our assistance, individual owners can decide how best to enjoy their real property without creating covenant issues for themselves. If you need assistance with creation, modification, compliance or enforcement of restrictive covenants, please to call us for detailed advice about your situation.