The CC&Rs

"These huge housing mills turn out neighborhoods where the laws of the land (The CC&R’s) have neither been ratified by those governed, nor were they created by duly elected representatives of those governed."                    Richard Craig, Coalition of Homeowners for Rights and Education

The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are a system of servitudes or deed restrictions that are written into the deeds of all homes in a subdivision. Deed restrictions date back to medieval England. They permit a seller of land to retain control of how the land is used after it is sold. The CC&Rs are the governing documents that dictate how the homeowners association operates and what rules the owners must obey. They are contractual limitations on your rights as a property owner.  They were originated by developers as a means of protecting their investment. Because a developer generally doesn’t see a profit until the last 20% of the homes in a subdivision are sold, they want to maintain complete control of the development and, to accomplish this, they create their own private government. This private government is actually a corporation. Under corporate law, the developer, and later the board of directors, can circumvent both the homeowner’s constitutional rights and protections under United States common law. In America, the corporate form of government is as close as you can get to a total monarchy. The CC&Rs are actually "adhesion contracts." An adhesion contract is defined as a contract that does not allow for negotiation — take it or leave it. Because current law does not require real estate agents and developers to make timely disclosure (the beginning of the home buying or building process), developers and their sales agents will often withhold disclosure of the (CC&Rs) until the end of that lengthy process. This is an obstruction of the homebuyer's ability to read and fully understand the true nature of this document, indicating that the developers understand the CC&Rs to be a sales liability. Whether this is true or not depends upon the disposition of those individuals elected to the Board of Directors (BOD). The main problem with the CC&Rs is that most of the documents in use today are 20 to 30 years old and have never been updated. CC&Rs are generally vague, generic documents which allow for a great deal of interpretation. This is where most of the problems develop when boards of directors interpret the CC&Rs in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner. When you become a mandatory member of a homeowner's association you give up many of your rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen. While it is true that, due to intensive lobbying on the part of attorneys and management companies, the laws are now hopelessly stacked against the homeowner, thousands of abuse cases throughout Texas seem to be slowly bringing this situation to an end. In the meantime, it would be prudent for homeowners to be very careful in choosing their BOD.  The CC&Rs can become a source of contention between homeowners and their BOD.   

Below is a list of some of the articles in the CC&Rs that have been the primary source of problems.


Roofing Materials

Landscape Design

Sports & Play Equipment

Fence Colors

Exterior Paint Colors