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Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions May Limit Your Fencing Options

If you are getting ready to install a fence, you have probably already decided upon your design, location, and height of your fencing. But before you contact your fencing contractors at a place like Harco Exteriors  LLC to begin your installation, you may need to check the covenants, conditions, and restrictions that are in place in your location. What you may find may make you have to change your plans. What are covenants, conditions, and restrictions, and why should you worry about them? Here is a little information you may need to know. 

What Is A Covenant?

In simple terms a covenant is nothing more than an agreement that governs the behavior that you agree to abide by. It is a verbal or written agreement or contract. When used in conjunction with real estate it can govern what can and cannot occur on the property no matter who owns the land.

Many times as a homeowner, you agree to participate in a covenant when you join the homeowner's association (HOA). When you purchase the property within the community, you agree to abide by the rules and conditions that have been put into place to govern the community on a whole. Many times these can be very restrictive in nature. Your HOA covenant may govern a or some of the following:

  • What colors you may paint your home
  • Types of chemicals you may use on your yard
  • Types of landscaping that are acceptable
  • Whether or not you are able to use solar power and much, much more

This includes what you can and cannot construct on and around your property, which may impact if you can have fencing and if so, what type of fencing you are able to have.

What Are Deed Restrictions?

If you have a deed restriction it too can govern what you can and cannot do with the property. These too can limit and restrict what the property can be used for, or what activities can take place on the property. The difference between these and your homeowner's covenants is that these restrictions are actually recorded on your deed and are filed in the real property records in the county where your property deed is recorded in. These are often used by builders or developers of the community to maintain a certain sense of uniformity within the community 

An example of a deed restriction that may not be a part of your homeowner's covenant is that you may only be able to use underground, or invisible fencing, as a means to keep your pet in your yard and no other kind. This language may not be included in your homeowner's covenant because it is already a deed restriction. 

What Are Conditions?

Conditions are the least formal of the three. Although they are also often found within a HOA contract, they are not as tightly dictated as the terms of the covenant are. Conditions often fall within the realm of "if this occurs, then you will be able to do that."

For example, a condition of you erecting fencing on your property, may require you to have the agreement of your neighbors whose land is directly adjoined to yours. Although you are erecting the fencing on your property, you may be required to send them a letter letting them know what your intentions are and getting their response in writing. 

In addition to these three, you must also make sure that you are aware of any property and zoning ordinances in your area. These too may impact your choice of fencing. You can get a copy of these at your local zoning office, or ask your fencing contractor what they are. If your contractor is local, they will be aware of the rules and regulations that pertain to your location.