Most homes in a subdivision or development, as well as most condominiums existing today, are subject to CC&Rs. If the legal description of property contained in a deed refers to a certain “lot,” especially if followed by a number, e.g., “Lot No. 24,” that lot is most likely part of a subdivided plot that is subject to CC&Rs.
The declaration of covenants filed by a developer for a particular subdivision project will generally contain language that delegates control and enforcement authority to a newly-formed homeowners’ association or an architectural control board. Until all the homes in the subdivision are sold, the builder may retain control and enforcement of the CC&Rs, or may delegate it to the association. In any event, once the developer has sold all the homes and no longer has a vested interest in the subdivision or project, overseeing the CC&Rs will transfer directly to the homeowners. The newly authorized association will continue the existing covenants but may eventually create new ones, depending on the specifics contained in its bylaws.
Importantly, purchasing a lot or existing home may require that the purchaser pay dues or fees for membership in a homeowners’ or condominium owners’ association. Bylaws for these associations generally provide for the election of officers and outline voting rights of the property owners affected by the adopted covenants. Voting rights of homeowners or condominium owners may be delegated to an appointed or elected board or panel of fellow homeowners or condominium owners. As with all delegated authority, their decisions regarding CC&Rs will be binding, whether or not individual property owners agree with them. The only recourse may be to wait until the next general election of officers or panel members.