Restrictive and protective covenants cover both restrictions on your use of the property as well as imposing obligations on owners.
Restrictive covenants limit by contract your free use of the land you purchased. For example, if you purchase a lot in a neighborhood, you may find that your lot and those around it are restricted to residential use only. Sometimes, these restrictions limit property owners further to single-family detached dwellings.
Building or moving into the historic district of your town, of moving into a planned community, can mean your plans are subject to architectural review. The goal of this review is to ensure your new home or planned improvements fit in with the overall plan of the development.
Business-owners should look both at restrictive covenants as well as zoning for the property as the more restrictive of the two will control. Purchasers looking to move into an industrial park may want to check restrictions on everything from buffer between facilities to smell. The first tenant in an industrial part often gets the advantage of drafting those restrictions.
Affirmative obligations require you to take action, for example, to maintain your yard to a certain standard or pay dues to your home owners association. Dues are used to maintain common areas such as entry-ways and community amenities such as pools. Property owners are required to pay these dues even if they don’t take advantage of the common areas.
In Minnesota, restrictive covenants can be enforced in a variety of ways. First, since these covenants are rules set up by contract, they can be enforced in court through contract law. Home owners associations and individual property owners have the ability to enforce covenants and may sue for remediation, meaning that you fix the problem and comply with the covenant, or monetary damages, in the case of outstanding HOA dues.
In addition, if HOA dues are outstanding, these groups have the ability to levy finds or levy mechanics liens on the property. In Minnesota, groups are not even required to file the lien in order to perfect it, so make sure you’re up to date on dues and assessments with your HOA.
One advantage of having an attorney on your team when purchasing real estate is that the attorney will review any restrictive covenants early in the process and bring issues to your attention before it is too late to easily step away from the deal. For experience and thoroughness, contact the attorneys at Virtus Law Firm by calling 612.888.1000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We assist in residential, commercial, and industrial purchases and leases and will look out for your best interest every step of the way.