Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Covenants Enforced By The City  (Read 21129 times)
K7CB
Member

Posts: 81




Ignore
« on: November 12, 2012, 05:23:16 PM »

Here's a question I hope someone will know the answer to.  We're in a contract to buy a house.  When we started working with our real estate agent, I specifically stated I wanted a house without an HOA or deed restrictions and stated my reasons for that.  So we started looking in older neighborhoods and found a house we liked.  Because of the construction date (1978) I didn't think there would be any covenants attached to it.  In fact, the MLS stated there were no covenants.  However, I come to find out today that there are with one that specifically bans antennas on houses.  However, there is no, and there never was, an HOA to enforce any violations.  Talking to the real estate agent, she feels that due to the age of the neighborhood it's very likely that no one even knows these covenants exist judging by some of the other violations I made note of today (such as trailers, RVs and motor homes being parked behind a 5 1/2' fence).  She also told me that these covenants are enforced by the city.  If someone sees, and decides to enforce, a particular violation then they need to take it up with the city.  So, here's my question - since the city is responsible for enforcing such regulations, wouldn't PRB-1 override the city's authority to ban antennas?
Logged
WA8FOZ
Member

Posts: 190




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 08:31:05 PM »

Get a lawyer, specifically a real estate lawyer familiar with your area, before doing ANYTHING. The real estate agent is NOT your advocate - her job is to make a sale. GET A LAWYER before making any commitment. No one else can answer your question reliably. And even if the answer to your question as stated is positive, only a lawyer can advise you as to the feasibility of any action against the city. Your perception that the law is on your side may simply not matter.

Without qualified legal counsel you are a lamb among the wolves. The real estate agent is NOT your advocate. GET A LAWYER before doing anything else.

GL es 73,
Bill WA8FOZ
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12832




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 04:55:33 AM »

"So, here's my question - since the city is responsible for enforcing such regulations, wouldn't PRB-1 override the city's authority to ban antennas?"

I doubt it since during closing you will sign papers such that you are agreeing to abide by the covenants.

You may very well get away with putting up an antenna against regulations, BUT all it takes is one neighbor to get upset and file a complaint against you and you may be taking the antenna down.

The advise to get a lawyer is a GOOD one - before you go to closing.

You said the covenant bans antennas on houses. I wonder if the wording is such that a tower or other gound-mounted antenna or support structure would be okay. That's a good question for the lawyer.
 
Logged
K7CB
Member

Posts: 81




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 06:07:22 AM »

It actually says no antennas visible from the front of the structure are allowed.

I'm not even sure if the city is the one enforcing (or not enforcing as the case may be) the covenants.  At this point, we don't know who such violations would be reported to.  The addresses for the original architectural review committee are now owned by different people - not surprising considering it's been 34 years.  We're trying to find out if there's still a committee of any kind and, if not, who violations would be reported to.  My real estate agent believes it would be the city.  She stated that I should just put the antennas up and see if anyone complains.  She says since it would probably go to the city, it may end up being more of a hassle than its worth to whomever might complain.  And, that if the city DOES decide to take action, they would then have to start enforcing ALL of the regulations...meaning many of my neighbors would be impacted and that may not sit well with them so they may push for the whole thing to be dropped.  It just surprises me that a home this old STILL has such restrictive covenants.  Of course, the neighborhood was built during the height of the CB craze and maybe that had something to do with it.  Hard to say.  The problem with buying a house even older than that a majority of them have only one car garages and are NOT in the best part of town.  I didn't realize it would be so damn difficult to find a house without deed restrictions of some kind.
Logged
KG4RUL
Member

Posts: 2720


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 06:12:37 AM »

Take a a hard look at the document for a sunset clause or a requirement to re-affirm the document periodically.  Our covenants require a majority vote of current landowners, every five years, to remain in force.
Logged
W0MT
Member

Posts: 172




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 07:03:42 AM »

"So, here's my question - since the city is responsible for enforcing such regulations, wouldn't PRB-1 override the city's authority to ban antennas?"

I doubt it since during closing you will sign papers such that you are agreeing to abide by the covenants.

You may very well get away with putting up an antenna against regulations, BUT all it takes is one neighbor to get upset and file a complaint against you and you may be taking the antenna down.

The advise to get a lawyer is a GOOD one - before you go to closing.

You said the covenant bans antennas on houses. I wonder if the wording is such that a tower or other gound-mounted antenna or support structure would be okay. That's a good question for the lawyer.
 

Two points:

1. Perhaps in some jurisdictions the buyer signs something agreeing to abide with the CC&Rs but I have owned homes with covenants in three different states and I have never seen anything like this. The general rule of law is that if you own it, you are bound by it.
2. I totally agree that the buyer needs to consult an attorney.
Logged
N4NYY
Member

Posts: 4758




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 08:10:28 AM »

I too would talk to a lawyer. I cannot see cities and gov't enforcing covenants. I was on a condo board in the late 1990's, and we had to enforce everything including illegal parking. The city did not cover anything with the exception of normal stuff like crime, etc.

I also agree that the PRB-1 would then take effect since it is geared at preventing gov't from creating ordinances restricting antennas.
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6034




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 08:44:39 AM »

Your real estate agent really isn't very good, is he or she?
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3879




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 09:02:39 AM »

1) Get a qualified Real Estate Attorney before you sign anything. Or sign anything more.

2) Even if there is no HOA, there's a way to enforce deed restrictions or covenants. Remember they "run with the land" and are not the same thing as HOA rules.

The way they can be enforced is through building permits. This is particularly true of towers but may apply to almost anything.

Say you have a property where the deed restrictions say "no structures other than a single family house and a garage". And the town rules say you need a building permit for a tower.

When you apply for the permit, the town may say that they can't issue it because the deed restriction doesn't allow it, because the tower is a "structure". The town folks would say that if they issue the permit, they are becoming a party to violating the deed restriction. (Of course this depends on them knowing the deed restriction exists).

73 de Jim, N2EY 
Logged
K7CB
Member

Posts: 81




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 11:38:42 AM »

Take a a hard look at the document for a sunset clause or a requirement to re-affirm the document periodically.  Our covenants require a majority vote of current landowners, every five years, to remain in force.

The document states the covenants will remain with the properties for a period of 25 years and will automatically be extended/renewed for a period of 10 years unless a majority of property owners elect, in writing, to abandon them.  I just need to find out if that was ever done.
Logged
K7CB
Member

Posts: 81




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 11:41:06 AM »

Your real estate agent really isn't very good, is he or she?
It isn't her that screwed up...it's the seller's real estate agent that failed to check the appropriate boxes.  We didn't find this out until we received the titling after a contract had been signed.  I, erroneously, assumed when the MLS said "N" next to "Covenants" that it was accurate.
Logged
W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 184




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 03:06:54 PM »

It isn't her that screwed up...it's the seller's real estate agent that failed to check the appropriate boxes.  We didn't find this out until we received the titling after a contract had been signed.  I, erroneously, assumed when the MLS said "N" next to "Covenants" that it was accurate.

If you really want the property, get a lawyer.  If not, get a lawyer anyway and ask for the contract to be voided as the the property was materially defective.  (anything that lowers the value of the property is considered a material defect)

Logged
AB4ZT
Member

Posts: 172




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 05:20:35 PM »

Your real estate agent really isn't very good, is he or she?
It isn't her that screwed up...it's the seller's real estate agent that failed to check the appropriate boxes.  We didn't find this out until we received the titling after a contract had been signed.  I, erroneously, assumed when the MLS said "N" next to "Covenants" that it was accurate.

There is a lesson there for all of us that may be relocating at some point (I will be in the next 5-6 years).  In Florida, those "disclosures" are typically qualified with language to the effect of "information from property owners was relied upon in completing this form and no warranties are implied."  Unless you end up in court (and who wants that?) and the judge/jury decides the agent/sellers should have known and likely knew about any material defects, such disclosures are worthless.

The advice given is good:  Get a lawyer in that town.  Get a lawyer in that town.  Get a lawyer in that town.

73,

Richard,AB4ZT
Logged
WA8FOZ
Member

Posts: 190




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 06:14:26 PM »

Quote
She stated that I should just put the antennas up and see if anyone complains.  She says since it would probably go to the city, it may end up being more of a hassle than its worth to whomever might complain.  And, that if the city DOES decide to take action, they would then have to start enforcing ALL of the regulations...meaning many of my neighbors would be impacted and that may not sit well with them so they may push for the whole thing to be dropped.
NO NO NO NO NO! The real estate agent is NOT an attorney, cannot give legal advice, and is most interested in making a sale. She has already misled you about the nature of the encumbrances upon the property at the time you signed the contract.
Quote
It isn't her that screwed up...it's the seller's real estate agent that failed to check the appropriate boxes.  We didn't find this out until we received the titling after a contract had been signed.  I, erroneously, assumed when the MLS said "N" next to "Covenants" that it was accurate.
The charitable assessment is that EVERYONE screwed up.
Quote
If you really want the property, get a lawyer.  If not, get a lawyer anyway and ask for the contract to be voided as the the property was materially defective.  (anything that lowers the value of the property is considered a material defect)
Yes. Perhaps a lawyer can get you out of this predicament.
Quote
The advice given is good:  Get a lawyer in that town.  Get a lawyer in that town.  Get a lawyer in that town.

YES YES YES!
A real estate lawyer.



Logged
W3WN
Member

Posts: 204




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 08:35:30 AM »

It actually says no antennas visible from the front of the structure are allowed.

I'm not even sure if the city is the one enforcing (or not enforcing as the case may be) the covenants.  At this point, we don't know who such violations would be reported to.  The addresses for the original architectural review committee are now owned by different people - not surprising considering it's been 34 years.  We're trying to find out if there's still a committee of any kind and, if not, who violations would be reported to.  My real estate agent believes it would be the city.  She stated that I should just put the antennas up and see if anyone complains.  She says since it would probably go to the city, it may end up being more of a hassle than its worth to whomever might complain.  And, that if the city DOES decide to take action, they would then have to start enforcing ALL of the regulations...meaning many of my neighbors would be impacted and that may not sit well with them so they may push for the whole thing to be dropped.  It just surprises me that a home this old STILL has such restrictive covenants.  Of course, the neighborhood was built during the height of the CB craze and maybe that had something to do with it.  Hard to say.  The problem with buying a house even older than that a majority of them have only one car garages and are NOT in the best part of town.  I didn't realize it would be so damn difficult to find a house without deed restrictions of some kind.
Define "visible."  

OK, before I say anything else:  CONSULT WITH A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY AND/OR THE LOCAL VOLUNTEER COUNSEL.  Your realtor, whether they represent your or the seller, is NOT a lawyer and can NOT provide legal advice.  She may not have intentionally misled you, as the information may not have been known to the sellers (or disclosed by them if they did know).  But you may be waiving your rights, which might come back and bite you in the butt down the road.

Now:  The covenant may be legally unenforceable.  Or it may have expired.  Or it may have some other fatal flaw.  OTOH, it may be perfectly enforceable if someone complains.  That the city does not TODAY enforce these convenants does NOT mean that they have waived the right to do so in the future.  Nor can you presume that since they don't enforce other covenants for other neighbors, they won't enforce yours one day, IF there is a complaint.

It's analogous to the state cop sitting on the interstate, who can only pull over SOME of the speeders, and obviously isn't doing so while he's talking to a driver & writing a ticket.  Just because he didn't or couldn't catch EVERYONE, that doesn't excuse those who do get caught!

Our opinions are irrelevant.  They are not legal advice, as we are not lawyers... or are not lawyers in your future jurisdiction.  It might cost you a few bucks, but this will be cheaper than having to shell out many more shekels in the future if there is a complaint that lands you in court.

TALK TO A LAWYER.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 08:37:34 AM by W3WN » Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!