What Are CC&Rs?
CC&R stands for Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. It is a list of mandatory requirements that apply to all who live inside the boundaries of a particular homeowner’s association (HOA). HOAs typically exist in covenanted and planned communities. Essentially, St George CC&Rs are lists of neighborhood rules. If you buy a home in a community like this, it is more than likely that CC&Rs will apply. Some of you may already live in such a community and are familiar with the types of statutes that St George CC&Rs tend to contain. Not only do they lay out general neighborhood rules, but they also describe the limitations of property ownership such as what you can and cannot do with your home and property.
The idea behind a CC&R is the prioritization of community property values. They act as a special effort to preserve and protect these values by creating a level of uniformity among homeowners. For the most part, requirements found in St George CC&Rs are sensible and logical and require very little effort to conform. Things that most homeowners do regularly anyway, such as weekly lawn-mowing and weed-pulling, are common examples. Some St George CC&Rs, on the other hand, contain rules that seem completely unreasonable and unnecessary. Examples can include being required to park your car in the garage even though you have a perfectly acceptable and functioning driveway, or being not being allowed to construct a fence around your property, or being limited to only certain sizes and/or breeds of dogs. Many St George CC&Rs even have restrictions on certain paint colors when it comes to painting your own home and other similar constraints. Basically, homeowners who live in communities with active CC&Rs need to always be in the habit of checking them to assure compliance even in the most seemingly ordinary activities such as gardening and remodeling.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
When you close on your home, you will sign a lot of paperwork. One of the documents that will require your signature is one stating that you agree to comply with the CC&Rs that your HOA has set forth (if applicable). Violating the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of your HOA will most certainly result in one of many potential consequences which can include a lawsuit against you, forced compliance, privilege suspension (pool, gym, etc), fines, and any other possible repercussion that your HOA has specified. To give an example, we’ve found that common CC&Rs that defiant homeowners often try to skirt are the ones relating to pets. If your HOA restricts pets to 30 pounds or less and you attempt to hide your Great Dane (somehow) and are subsequently found out, it is likely that the HOA will fine you and/or require you to get rid of Duke, or otherwise move out of the community.
Just make sure that before buying a home in a community with an HOA and St George CC&Rs that you’ve read them all. There very well could be something on that list that prevents you from moving in. Contrarily, there might be a CC&R that is so personally attractive that it persuades you to move there.
Assessments and Dues
St George CC&Rs are almost always associated with monthly or annual dues. Covenanted communities require all residing homeowners to pay these fees on a regular basis. The dollar amount varies between communities, as do non-payment penalties and other assessments that the HOA deems applicable. In situations of non-payment, homeowner’s associations can legally get a lien on your home and threaten foreclosure if the St George CC&Rs articulate such an outcome. Anyone who finds themselves in such a situation has the option to contact a lawyer if they feel HOAs are being unreasonable, hypocritical, or unnecessarily harsh.