A Homeowners Association is governed by CCRs
April 1, 2013
A homeowners association governs a single-family, planned development made up of lots. Typically, these lots are shown on a plat. The plat will subdivide a larger parcel of real estate into individual lots which are improved and sold. The plat may also include common areas. Typical common areas are entrance features, private roads, walkways, ponds and lakes, pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, and guardhouses. These common areas should be designated as common areas or similar common open spaces on the plat. Generally, it is the association’s responsibility to maintain these common areas pursuant to the terms and provisions of the CCRs. In some cases the plat may also contain such language, as well. Thus, one of the functions of a homeowners association is to maintain common areas that benefit all of the owners in the development. Each of these owners are members of the association and are required to contribute to the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the common area through assessments levied by the association pursuant to the CCRs.
CCRs also contain restrictive covenants. Restrictive covenants can best be described as restrictions on a homeowners use of his or her property which they agree to by their acceptance of a deed to the property. Again, when you buy property bound by restrictive covenants, you are deemed to have accepted the protective covenants that encumber that property, whether you are aware of them or not. The intent behind restrictive covenants is to prohibit certain uses of the property in the development in order to preserve home values. Some protective covenants may seem relatively common sense in today’s world. For example, many ban chicken coops and the raising of farm and commercial animals. Others are more controversial, such as parking restrictions. Some may seem relatively innocuous at first, but prohibit certain uses. For example, a common restrictive covenant is that all homes will be used solely for single-family residential purposes. This covenant precludes certain home businesses like home day care centers. It is always advisable to be aware of any restrictive covenant impacting your property.
Another form of restrictive covenants found in CCRs are architectural covenants. Architectural covenants prohibit the development or improvement of any lot without the approval of the association, typically through its Architectural Control Committee. The intent of this restriction is to preserve home values by maintaining a certain aesthetic motif in the development.
Through the CCRs the association controls and maintains the common areas and enforces the restrictive and architectural covenants. The association is governed by its members pursuant to its bylaws and charter. The association funds its annual budget through assessments, as provided in the CCRs.
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