Covenants for Homeowners
"Why can't I paint my door pink? It's my house!"
It is your home. And you do have the right to personalize it, as long as it conforms with the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R) for your neighborhood in St. Charles. The enforcement of CC&R’s is frequently criticized by residents, and it is upsetting to get a letter in the mail indicating that you need to paint the trim of your home, or make repairs to the fence. But it is a fundamentally important (and legal) responsibility of a Homeowners Association Board to enforce covenants, and of its residents to maintain compliance.
CC&Rs cover many activities in St. Charles, including:
- New and renovation architectural design
- Parking regulations
- Maintenance and repair of common areas
- Collection of assessments
Their purpose is important: In higher density neighborhoods, like those of St. Charles, the imposition and effective enforcement of covenants has been shown to help maintain property values. This preservation of investment value is achieved by keeping a clean, orderly, consistent look throughout each individual neighborhood. Studies also show that the overwhelming majority of people living in neighborhoods governed by HOAs believe that the rules in their communities benefit them, providing guidelines that protect the larger interests of the entire community while still allowing families to create a home that reflects their personal touch.
When owners buy a home in St. Charles, they accept at closing the responsibilities and restrictions included in the declaration and bylaws of the association. It's very important to note--whether you bought a new home, or a home being sold by an existing owner, you have a legal right to review the neighborhood's covenants prior to settlement. In fact, you will be required to sign a waiver that you have received and reviewed the association's legal documents. That is because once you have settled (completed the purchase of) on the sale of your home, you will be bound by these rules and regulations.
Association boards and managers enforce these rules in accordance with their fiduciary to act in the best interest of the association, in a manner that is fair and reasonable. Property managers and board members in St. Charles take this responsibility seriously and most homeowners try to maintain their home in accordance with the covenants.