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Understanding the role of CC&Rs in real estate

Covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) are the rules and regulations that govern the use of real estate. The goals of CC&Rs are to maintain uniformity and preserve the property values in a community. A Homeowners Association (HOA) usually enforces CC&Rs for residential communities, but they can also apply to commercial establishments.

A potential tenant should read the CC&Rs before committing to lease or occupy a property. While the government does not enforce the guidelines of CC&Rs, these are still private and legally binding contracts.

What are the common conditions and restrictions of CC&Rs?

CC&Rs are usually sensible and reasonable. They are in place to regulate the “use, appearance, and maintenance of property” to protect the real estate and the surrounding community. Here are the common parameters outlined in CC&Rs:

  • Property maintenance
  • Pet restrictions
  • Parking restrictions and conditions
  • Architectural and aesthetic limitations and conditions
  • Personal conduct and noise restrictions
  • Business conduct
  • Restrictions on view obstruction
  • Monthly upkeep fees and association dues

Because of CC&Rs, tenants and real estate owners have a duty to maintain their property by mowing their lawns or taking their trash cans out of the street. CC&Rs prevent a property and others around it from losing value and deteriorating.

What happens when a tenant violates the CC&Rs?

If a tenant violates any rule in the CC&Rs, they should face the consequences of their actions by paying the applicable fines and accepting the penalties, such as the suspension of privileges. Otherwise, others may also disregard the rules and regulations.

If the tenant refuses to comply, the HOA or any individual or entity enforcing the CC&Rs may force them to comply and bill the tenant for the expenses. They may even file a lawsuit against the tenant for their noncompliance and breach of contract.