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Deed Restrictions and the Building Official

September 27th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Often I get questions about deed restrictions and the role of the building official.  Deed restrictions (also known as restrictive covenants) may prohibit a number of things including the building of certain structures such as fences, swimming pools or sheds on the property of the homeowner.  When such a restriction is disregarded,  the building official  should not get involved unless a code violation has occurred, for example, building without a permit. The proper party to bring an action is the homeowners’ association.  This happened in Horn v. Huffman, a Kentucky case, where the homeowners built a ground pool in violation of the restrictions.  Eventually the association brought a lawsuit to force the owners to remove the pool.  The association won in court.

It is even possible that a building official might have to issue a building permit for something forbidden by the deed restriction if the application is proper.  While the building official may want to bring the applicant’s attention the fact that such a restriction exists, the building permit cannot be withheld based on the deed restriction alone.

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  1. Kelly Anbach
    November 3rd, 2010 at 06:23 | #1

    Excellent post Linda.

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