Covenants addressing views are often found in both CC&Rs and (less commonly) local zoning laws. Homeowners pay top dollar for property “with a view,” and the privilege of gazing at an appealing scene from the comfort and privacy of one’s own home is a highly prized commodity. This, in turn, manifests in enhanced dollar value of the real estate.

Importantly, there is no natural or common law right to light, fresh air, or a view. (There are exceptions for the deliberate and malicious blocking of an-other’s view with a structure that has no reasonable use or benefit to the one who constructed it.)

Such a right must therefore be granted in writing by a special law or CC&Rs. Generally speaking, the view that becomes protected by a CC&Rs is the view that existed at the time that the property was purchased (taking into account any pending impairments to view in existence at that time, such as the construction of additional homes in the area).

There are three common view obstructions that become the subject of CC&Rs: fences, trees, and freestanding outbuildings/sheds. Since each of these is normally associated with a homeowner’s right to use and enjoy his property, CC&Rs seldom prohibit these improvements, but rather try to restrict them.

Inside View