Master deed restrictions with no homeowners association

4 Replies

I've been looking into a vacant lot to purchase and build on.  I've been provided with the master deed which was filed with the county in 2001.  In 2009, the home owners association voted to lower dues to $0 and dissolved.  So there is no association to review architectural conformity and other restrictions contained in the document.  I spoke with an attorney in the area that informed me the Master Deed is still enforceable by individuals.  From driving the neighborhood, I don't think there are any "deed police" but that could always change with a new owner moving in.  There are gravel driveways, log cabin style homes etc.  This tells me, no one really enforces these.  Our two issues are;

1-Square footage 

2-Exterior finishes

As for square footage, I think we can get pretty close with a "bonus room" (unfinished for now) above the garage.  It would also probably be fairly hard to prove.  There are no restrictions about it being livable, a bedroom, plumbed, electric or anything of that sort. It does say patios, breezeways, porches etc cannot be included in the calculation.  It does say exterior walls can be included (not sure why they wouldn't be)

As for the exterior finishes it says 50% must be brick or natural stone.  My hope was to have the whole exterior of my future home to be Hardie Board.  It looks just like wood, but it keeps much longer.  The restriction states no more than 10% of the exterior can be "man made material" and I would classify hardie board as this.  This seems like it leaves me with the following choices, wood, stone and brick.  I would think this would be an easily disputed item for a "Deed police" neighbor, should one come around.  

My question to you all; have you ever run into a situation like this where there is a mater deed on file with the county but no association to enforce them or to approve architectural conformity?  I'd love to conform to the "T" everything it says, but it may take us out of our budget.  I'm trying to decide if its worth "getting close enough" or not.

I doubt it, but it’s possible the building permitting dept may adhere to any deed restrictions.

When the homeowners association voted to dissolve did they also remove the deed restrictions?

That’s a great question. The realtor on the property (that also lives there), only said they voted to bring dues to $0 and dissolve. I’d have to check court records (maybe?) to see if they’d voted on anything else. 

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

I doubt it, but it’s possible the building permitting dept may adhere to any deed restrictions.

Wayne we deal with quite frequently out here in the west coast with deed restrictions that date back to the turn of the century.

cities wont adhere to deed restrictions just zoning.. at least in our areas.. 

this would be a civil matter between other owners.. would take a lot for another owner to sue.. now if you had other owner who was an attorney or very wealthy that can happen seen that. 

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