General Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Can this subdivison covenant really be enforced?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6737 points ) November 20th, 2010

My subdivision has a rule in our covenants list that we cannot rent out our house to someone else (renters are more likely to not keep up with the appearance of the property). Someone is moving soon and plans to do this, and I want to know if our subdivision group could actually stop them from renting it out. If so, how would we? I live in Mississippi if it matters. Thanks!!

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10 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

CC&R’s are so convoluted that even judges often can’t sort them out. You could see if they have been overthrown by any local ordinances. Our original, nearly 40 years old, CC&R’s are no longer valid, based on the incorporation of our city and a whole new set of laws which override them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If the appearance is what concerns you, there could be a clause in the lease for the landlord to include all exterior property maintenance. That’s what my neighbor does.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes. If the covenant prohibits renting the home the court will most likely uphold the convenant unless it was drafted with a serious defect or any part of it is against public policy. . It’s not unusual today for subdivisions to require that properties only be owner occupied. Some subdivisions allow renting but the tenant must be approved by the board.

This is my personal opinion; not legal advice.

JLeslie's avatar

In Florida definitely. Rental rules according to covenants and condo docs are a very big deal when selling property actually, because so many people rent out their property. The subdivision can have a vote to change the covenants, which people might go for since it is difficult to sell right now. A common practice in FL is to have a reqirement in the covenants that an owner own the property a minimum of one year before they are allowed to rent it, to keep investors out who are more likely to behave as absentee owners, and not keep up with maintaining the propert, and to help prevent the community from turning into a “rental” community.

iamthemob's avatar

There’s nothing to indicate that the covenant isn’t enforceable on the face. However, it sometimes depends on whether the covenant was intended to “run with the land” (meaning meant to bind new owners of the subdivision rather than simply the initial one), and whether or not it’s been enforced regularly.

Property law varies state by state, so it’s not really possible to say yes or no with any certainty unless you practice in that state.

ItsAHabit's avatar

We successfully enforced our covenant against renting.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@ItsAHabit Please explain how you enforced it if you don’t mind! I need help on this subject.

JLeslie's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Is there a consequence for people who break the rule? Lien on their property? Forced to sell? Something? I guess you can sue? The owner broke a contract. Ask a real estate lawyer I think.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@JLeslie The only consequence is take them to court and they must pay the costs

JLeslie's avatar

@BBSDTfamily The costs of court time and the lawyers? And, then will there be a court order for them to evict the tenant? Or, is that tricky maybe, possibly the tenant has some legal protections and you would have to wait until the end of the lease. Maybe if you just have a lawyer draw up a warning and send it to the owner. It might scare them enough.

Is the tenant terrible? Can you simply address whatever behavior they are doing that is troubling?

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