Restrictive Covenants Questionnaire
For most people, a home is the biggest purchase of their lives. Before you make that investment, make sure you know the parameters of any restrictive covenants to your new property. A restrictive covenant is an agreement, usually set forth in the deed, that limits how you can and can't use your property.
- Are you restricted in the types of materials you may use to build a fence, chimney, addition, outbuilding, or roof?
- What color are you allowed to paint your house?
- Is day care allowed on the premises? Are there restrictions about swing sets or other children's play equipment?
- Must you submit building plans to your municipality or development association for approval before you build?
- Is there a height limitation imposed on your property in order to protect your neighbors' view?
- Are you prohibited from storing "junk" in your yard? What is the definition of "junk"?
- Do you need a permit before you add-on or re-roof?
- Are you allowed to have a clothesline?
- Is there a restriction regarding installation of air conditioning units?
- If you want to install a pool, are you allowed to choose to put it above-ground or in-ground? If it is above-ground pool, are you required to surround it with a certain type of fence?
- Are you allowed to dig a well for irrigation purposes?
- Are you responsible for controlling weeds, mowing your lawn, and landscaping according to certain standards?
- How many cats or dogs is too many? Are you allowed to keep pets other than cats and dogs?
- Is your home office allowed? Are there restrictions about the kind of home-based business you may have?
- When is a property considered "blighted"?
- Are you prohibited from erecting signs in your yard, or are signs allowed within certain size and subject restrictions?
- Is there a prohibition against storing motor vehicles on your property?
- Is there a restriction governing antennas and satellite dishes?
- Does a covenant restrict your right to cut down trees in your yard?
- Is there a start-to-finish limit on the length of time of your construction project?
- What restrictions are there, if any, on prefabricated, modular, motor, mobile, or manufactured housing?
- What kind of outside window treatments are permitted or prohibited?
- Are there any utility or maintenance assessments charged to your property?
- What does your deed say about driveways, garages, and parking spaces?
If you have any other questions about restrictive covenants or related topics, consider speaking with a real estate attorney in your area.