Buying A Home With Conditions – CC&Rs

When you buy a home that belongs in a homeowner’s association, you will receive a document from your title company listing covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs). This document represents the rules of your subdivision that you are legally bound to follow.

Since the early 1830s, common-interest develops (CIDs) have been a part of our cultural landscape, and CC&Rs are essentially your subdivision’s bylaws for owning property in it.  CIDs are popular today with developers and municipalities, as they can contain costs, mitigate infrastructure expenses and provide planned common areas which help to drive home values up.

According to Mike Madson, President of MGM Association Management, “CC&Rs can be a bittersweet consequence of living in a community.  On one hand, the homeowners contribute by paying monthly dues in exchange for maintenance or operating services, for example, maintenance of the streets or landscaping, irrigation services, ponds or clubhouses.  On the other hand, CC&Rs legally bind every homeowner and everyone must abide by these bylaws.”  Mike states that even though CC&Rs are intended to maintain a certain standard, bylaws can often be outdated or may seem unreasonable.  Out of date bylaws can foster uncomfortable confrontations or disenchantment among the homeowner’s association.

Who is responsible to enforce CC&Rs?  CC&Rs are usually governed by the Board who also live in the association and volunteer their time to enforce these rules.  Unfortunately, many Board members lack the necessary expertise which often leads to a loss of objectivity and strained relationships with neighbors.  Nonetheless, the responsibility to enforce the rules, collect dues and issue violations rest with the Board.  Violating CC&Rs can result in fines or property liens which could turn into a foreclosure.  So, when buying a home in a subdivision, have a clear understanding of these CC&Rs.

CC&Rs are community rules.  CC&Rs list the basic rules that residents have agreed to, in order to get along with each other and to protect property values. They are intended to ensure a collective standard of living.  You may find rules on decorating, trash disposal, parking, flying flags, the type or number of pets, noise and other matters.  It may also impose fees or dues that association members are required to pay, and/or any limits on sub-leasing your property.

Read the fine print.  CC&Rs likely contain rules for how the Board is elected, as well as how the CC&Rs can be updated, revised, deleted or to add new provisions.

For the past 20 years, MGM Association Management has supported and assisted homeowner associations in a variety of community-interest developments.  MGM helps Board members to better govern their neighborhood, so that they can focus on more relevant issues to keep their community thriving.  To learn more about MGM Association Management, contact them at or call (208) 846-9189.