What are Real Estate Deed Restrictions in Connecticut?

ct-deed-restrictionsThe term deed restriction might sound unfamiliar to anybody who hasn’t purchased residential or commercial property or land of their own. However, most people who already own property are probably aware of the term, deed restriction, from seeing it in their original property deed. A deed restriction is a critical part of a property deed that specifies the exact use of the land including special parameters.

In other words, these are the legal conditions attached to the land, which can place a limitation on the use of that property even though you’re the owner of it. Once you sign a property deed with the restriction embedded in it, you have to follow these terms precisely. If you don’t comply exactly with what was stated in your deed, you can face potential land disputes and legal consequences with your town, city, or neighbors.

What are Deed Restrictions in the First Place?

A deed restriction, also known as a restrictive covenant, is a legal obligation imposed in a deed by the seller upon the buyer of real estate that limits what the owner can or cannot do with the land. The deed restrictions can be legally enforced on the property and they can’t be changed, modified or removed by subsequent owners. In short, a deed restriction is a provision specified in a deed that limits what can be built on a property, or how that property can be used.

An Example of a Deed Restriction in Connecticut

In case you’re not careful and buy a property with certain deed restrictions, you might end up absorbing a few underlying issues as well. Though the majority of deed restrictions were made to ensure the best interest for everyone, there are a few deed restrictions which may not be convenient to deal with. An example of a deed restriction in place for a property in Connecticut states that the landowner cannot paint his fence and mail box anything but blue, which is in line with neighborhood tradition and has become a legal regulation. If any one in that particular neighborhood paints his or her property a different color other than blue, they will be subject to fines and legal consequences.

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A few more examples could be: restrictions on building a fence, pet restrictions and limitations, restrictions on parking vehicles, landscaping guidelines, or restrictions on color tones for all aspects of the exterior of a house. In the case that you bought a house with any sort of deed restriction, it’s the law to follow any pre-existing conditions associated with that property while you’re the current owner.

How to Find the Deed Restrictions Ahead of Time

In order to find out if there are any deed restrictions in place you should contact the real estate agent or the owners of the property and request this information. If you have access to the original deed, you can go through the whole deed to find out what restrictions may be in place. In case nobody is able to give you any specific information you can also look in the county registrar, town hall, or the town clerk’s office, depending on where you live in Connecticut. For more information on your property or a prospective piece of land in Connecticut you can always ask a local engineering & surveying firm such as Godfrey-Hoffman & Hodge for professional advice.

Key Takeaways

  • 
Deed restrictions are a limitation on the ability to make any specific changes to a property or piece of land.
  • 
A deed restriction cannot be removed or ignored by the property owner.
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If any restrictions exist they can be found in the original property deed
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  • An original property deed can be found at the local county registrar, town hall, or the town clerk’s office.

    Images courtesy of: freedigitalphotos

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