Restrictive Covenants, also known as a Real Covenant, is a legal obligation imposed in a deed by the seller upon the buyer of real estate to do or not to do something. Such restrictions frequently “run with the land” and are enforceable on subsequent buyers of the property. Examples might be to maintain a property in a reasonable state of repair, to preserve a sight-line for a neighboring property, not to run a business from a residence, or not to build on certain parts of the property.
Some covenants are very simple and are meant only to protect a neighborhood from homeowners destroying trees or historic things or otherwise directly harming property values. Some go to an extreme and try to dictate absolutely everything a homeowner can do to the exterior, including the number of non-familial tenants one may have, or needing permission to re-paint the home unless it will be exactly the same color. Other extremes include dictating exactly when holiday decorations are allowed up, prohibiting the raising of a hood on any car (even to check it for safety), even prohibiting any car from being parked outside a garage at all.
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