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Old 04-26-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
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Deed Restrictions

I bought my house three years ago and was told there are no deed restrictions. Last year I bought a trailer. Now neighbor is sueing me for having the trailer. Title company said they only look for money stuff. If anyone can claim anything on the house. I thought they were suppose to also find anything like restrictions. Im in Michigan.

Need help.

Joel
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipside View Post
I bought my house three years ago and was told there are no deed restrictions. Last year I bought a trailer. Now neighbor is sueing me for having the trailer. Title company said they only look for money stuff. If anyone can claim anything on the house. I thought they were suppose to also find anything like restrictions. Im in Michigan.

Need help.

Joel
Do you live in a "Deed Restricted Community" ... do you have an HOA (Homeowners Association)?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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Hi flipside,
Different states have different rules. In Florida and Tennessee if the restrictions are governed by an HOA, the seller is required to make the documents containing the restrictions available to the purchaser at closing. If the restrictions are governed by the community (town, city, county, etc.) you are on your own to figure it out.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:15 PM   #4
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I live in a city and the city ordinance prevents me from parking a motorhome in the driveway. I don't think this would show up on a title search or a house inspection.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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What does the lawsuit state as the violation?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #6
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I live in Washington State. Title companies will insure that you are first in title and should show covenants and restrictions of record in their policy. But they do not insure against those covenants and restrictions. They only insure that you are first in title subject too covenants and restrictions of record. When you get a title policy and see this you can ask the title company to give you a copy of any covenants or restrictions and they will. But, they don't always include these in their preliminary titles.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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And ... are you actually being sued or have you received a citation for a code violation?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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I'd be interested in how your neighbor approached this. Did he approach you on a personal level first or just come out of left field with a law suit?

Many neighborhoods have restrictions on the size and type of vehicles which can be parked on (or seen from) the street.

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Old 04-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #9
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I too live in a community that will not allow a motor home or trailer to be parked for than 72 hours in the driveway. You will receive a ticket if over 72 hours by the village code enforcer; $50 fine the first time. They do allow you to park the trailer in the back yard on a pad but in my case that is way too difficult to do; so it is stored in a gated storage yard.

I would park the trailer in your back yard if you can next to his property line about 2 off. Than the lawsuit would be thrown out since you now have the trailer in the back yard. Pay back is _ _ _ _.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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Greater Houston and surrounding Harris County do NOT have zoning (it's a Texas thang). Some neighborhoods have deed restrictions and/or covenants, however, to prevent the hog farm from being built next to your mansion. If that's the case, then in Texas you MUST be given a copy of any deed restrictions and/or covenants governing your property at the time of closing.

If your neighborhood comes under municipal zoning, I would have expected a citation from a zoning official if you are in violation of a zoning ordinance. Conversely, if your neighbor is suing you for violation of a specific deed restriction or covenant, then the applicable restriction or covenant should be referenced in the paperwork that you were served with. If you need a complete set of restrictions or covenants applicable to your property, you should be able to obtain such from your HOA secretary or management company. Even then, realizing that anyone can effectively sue anyone else for anything, enforcement of restrictions or covenants is generally done through the HOA and its attorneys, not through lawsuits between neighbors.

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Old 04-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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Greater Houston and surrounding Harris County do NOT have zoning (it's a Texas thang). Some neighborhoods have deed restrictions and/or covenants, however, to prevent the hog farm from being built next to your mansion. If that's the case, then in Texas you MUST be given a copy of any deed restrictions and/or covenants governing your property at the time of closing.

If your neighborhood comes under municipal zoning, I would have expected a citation from a zoning official if you are in violation of a zoning ordinance. Conversely, if your neighbor is suing you for violation of a specific deed restriction or covenant, then the applicable restriction or covenant should be referenced in the paperwork that you were served with. If you need a complete set of restrictions or covenants applicable to your property, you should be able to obtain such from your HOA secretary or management company. Even then, realizing that anyone can effectively sue anyone else for anything, enforcement of restrictions or covenants is generally done through the HOA and its attorneys, not through lawsuits between neighbors.

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Old 04-26-2013, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipside View Post
I bought my house three years ago and was told there are no deed restrictions. Last year I bought a trailer. Now neighbor is sueing me for having the trailer. Title company said they only look for money stuff. If anyone can claim anything on the house. I thought they were suppose to also find anything like restrictions. Im in Michigan.

Need help.

Joel
In most jurisdictions, a Title company is only obligated to find restrictions/defects affecting ownership of the property. Use restrictions seldom if ever affect actual ownership.

On the other hand:
If you dealt with a realtor, and that person failed to inform you of known "HOA" rules, you might have a case against that realtor...of course you'd have to prove you were unaware there was any HOA at all.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:12 PM   #13
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A lot of cities and municipalities have their little quirks in their ordinances.
Where I live; you can park it on your property as long as it's behind the front of the house and the right of way.
Oh yeh; and on an improved surface such as asphalt or concrete.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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Not all deed restricted communities have Homeowner's Associations so it is possible a neighbor could be looking to enforce deed restrictions with a suit. We owned a house in IN that was like this and once had to join other neighbors to stop someone violating restrictions. If there is a lawsuit, it should state what it is alleging as the violation/wrong. If there are restrictions you were unaware of, there may be some way to go back to the seller/realtor for not notifying you, but it is also possible that in the mountains of paperwork you signed at closing you just missed them. Even if you were unaware and are in violation, you will have to correct now that you know about them.

In any case, if you have actually been served with the suit, you should be talking with a lawyer to protect yourself as much as possible. Good luck.
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