Dealing with Deed Restrictions

BY: Omar Izfar, Attorney, WILSON CRIBBS+GOREN






Private covenants and restrictions, often simply called “deed restrictions,” run with the land, bind future owners, and usually affect what you can do with your property. Deed restrictions for residential neighborhoods contain a variety of rules that impact development, such as land use controls, setback, lot size, and frontage rules.

I often see extremely old deed restrictions that don’t adequately address the needs of the current property owners, yet they are still in effect and enforceable. As cities continue to urbanize and developers find infill opportunities, outdated restrictions clash with modern development goals. Modifying these deed restrictions can be challenging and often requires professional assistance.

Restrictions on commercial property, unlike restrictions for residential neighborhoods, are typicallymore recently drafted and often easier to amend, but may still contain land use restrictions and other provisions that interfere with new development plans.

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