You will find several variations of the definition of Deed Restrictions listed here. Please arrive at your own conclusion of whether they are good or not so good.


Land Protection Options, A Handbook for Minnesota Landowners
Chapter 4: Options that Guide the Use of Land Deed Restrictions

What is a deed restriction?

A deed restriction defines specific limits regarding allowable uses and development of a property. It is established by a landowner on a property's title, typically when the landowner is selling the land and wishes to exert some influence over its use, usually to benefit adjacent lands to which he or she intends to retain title. State law presently limits enforceability of deed restrictions to 30 years (with exceptions defined in MN Title Standard No. 91A). They are subject to interpretation and nullification by the courts, and are most practical in situations where the original landowner or the landowner's heirs own adjacent land and are in a position to observe and enforce any violation. There are generally no tax benefits.  Why choose a deed restriction?An Alternative when an Easement is not an Option For properties that do not qualify for a conservation easement, a deed restriction can provide land with a degree of protection.

Previous Section -- Chapter 4: Options that Guide the Use of Land-Registry Programs Return to Contents Next Section -- Chapter 4: Options that Guide the Use of Land-Mutual Covenants


What is a deed restriction?

It is part of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (or Declaration of Condominium) that you agreed to when you bought your home. Through this document, you agreed to certain standards of maintenance, upkeep and behavior in order to make the community as attractive as possible for yourself and your neighbors, and to maintain or enhance your property values.

Association Management, Inc.

9575 Katy Freeway, Suite 130

Houston, Texas 77024-1453


Fax: 713-932-6059

[email protected]


From DeWolfe Lakes Region Properties, Western Maine

What Is A Deed Restriction?

Most consumers may have heard the term, "deed restriction," but few realize the impact it can have on a property's use.

Almost all properties have restrictions, and although most are minor, it is wise for a prospective buyer to find out what limitations have been put in place before they purchase a home.

For instance, some not only impact how an owner may use their property - by limiting the kinds of exterior structures that can be built onto it - but they can even dictate acceptable colors that a house can be painted!

Of course, limitations about house color are an extreme example, but it is not unusual for a buyer to discovery, long after they've owned the home, about a pesky restriction that does get in their way. Perhaps the gazebo or enclosed patio they have always wanted is prohibited.

One common restriction is a limitation on the types of businesses that can be run from the home, such as day-care or even piano tutoring. In the case of condominiums or town-homes, restrictions are often more limiting, such as specifying an acceptable screen door style, or the types of window coverings allowed for windows facing common area.

Deed restrictions are spelled out in the Deed of Conveyance: however, the buyer does not usually see this document until the purchase has been completed. To find what restrictions apply to a property before making an offer, a buyer usually needs only to ask their real estate agent. The agent will either know what the deed restrictions are or s/he can research them. A request to an agent or a trip to the County Recorder's Office may save untold hours of grief for the prospective buyer.

DeWolfe Lakes Region Properties

P.O. Box 97

Naples, ME 04055

Office: 207-693-7000

[email protected]

From Century 21 - Nason Realty

11 Bay Steet, Winslow, Maine 04901


Fax: 207-873-6843

[email protected]

Same text as above.



By Pepper Braun

January 26, 2002

Location, location, location

If you've been confused with Realtor terms, you have come to the right place. Consider me your guru. I am going to walk you through the confusing maze of real estate terminology.

A very important note; before you get into a car with a Realtor, pack a lunch. Better yet, pack two. Once they get a live-one in the car, you might not see your family for days.

OK, having said that, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

You have a vision. You would like to own a little cottage, maybe on an acre or two, near a stream, two bedrooms, two baths, lots of closets.

Be very careful not to mention the word, rustic. You may picture rustic, as something log covered with a stone fireplace. No siree, Bob. Rustic is something that wildlife uses until the weather breaks. Unless you wish to snuggle with black bears, focus on something that has been sub-divided, with deed restrictions.

First, let's deal with the term subdivision. Webster describes a subdivision as a huge chunk of land, owned by locals, then chopped into wedges and sold only to city people, trying to get away from city people. Makes sense to me. City people like to demolish the woods, pave and curb the lanes and put up street signs that remind them of the old neighborhood, such as 'Stick-up Avenue' or 'Drive-by Boulevard'. Great resale value there.

"What is a deed restriction," you ask? You will need to know this. It is a term that tells you what you can and cannot do with your own land. ... What nerve!

No, you cannot graze buffalo on a 50 X 50 lot, unless everyone else has agreed that this is a permitted use. And frankly, if this is a permitted use, then elephants are not far behind. So, check your deed restrictions carefully.

Deed restrictions can also deny a perfectly rational homeowner from living in a tree house, or a septic tank with sky-lights. Read the fine print.

OK, back to your vision. Two bedrooms, two baths, near a stream, closets, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Here is where 'near a stream' gets tricky. Be specific. Do you want to wade to the refrigerator at Super Bowl half-time? And, take my advice, watch the term waterfront. When the storm drains clog in a subdivision, everyone has waterfront.

The hardest term to pin-down, is 'view.' "I want a view," isn't going to cut it. Specify exactly what you want to see when you open your eyes in the morning ... Search deep ... A new face sleeping next to you doesn't count. What gets your bumps up?

I wanted mountains. This may sound trivial, but you need to clarify what should be growing on your 'Mountain.' A strip mine with a southern exposure and left-over, rusting equipment wasn't my dream.

Forget about a fixer-upper; they don't exist. Fixer-uppers are buildings where the owner can't afford a wrecking ball.

Next, the term TLC. This is a favorite of Realtors. They would like you to believe that with a little 'Tender-Loving-Care' the property could be featured in 'House Beautiful.' I've read a few 'House Beautifuls' in my day; windows and doors were essentials, not luxury options.

Be extremely careful of words like two 'plus' bedrooms. Think about it, what the heck does 'plus' mean? If it's a bedroom, wouldn't they say, "A darn good place to put a bed?"

This could only mean that when the car is parked outside, you have a perfectly spacious room to sleep in, with automatic door openers and floor drains.

To keep it simple, remember the 'plus' rule. If the living space has a door and no windows, you have located the walk-in closet and your Mother-in-law's guest suite.

When you sleep on something called a back-seat, it is probably the garage apartment. Got that?

And yes, you should be equally concerned if it says two 'plus' bathrooms. I don't profess to be an expert on bathrooms. But, I have a vague idea of where I expect them to be. (You should write this down.) If you have to put on boots and carry a flash light, I wouldn't classify this as a half-bath. I wouldn't even classify this as camping. I want flushing water on a hike.

Remember the first rule of Real Estate - Location, Location, Location. After two days in a car with your Realtor, even the median on the Pa. Turnpike begins to look like location, location, location. Even the parking lot at Wal-Mart begins to look like, location, location, location.

Listen to me, I'm here to guide you. Take a long vacation before you sign anything.

Would I kid you?
Times News Online
Lehighton, PA


From The Bloomingdale
[email protected]
[email protected]

Deed Restriction Facts

Excerpted from an article published in The Bloomingdale Gazette, Brandon, Florida

March 2000

By Laura Frazier


Fax: 813-654-6281     

Many Bloomingdale homeowners have requested information about deed restrictions and enforcement procedures from the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association. New homeowners should receive a copy of their section's restrictions with their closing documents, but deed restriction information stands out as the most frequent request received by the BHA.

Our community web site provides general information about deed restrictions, county codes and procedures for enforcement through our Neighborhood Involvement Program. Through the efforts of BHA president Ted Grable and director Rodney Biddle, many of Bloomingdale’s 40+ sets of deed restrictions are now available on the site.

Grable said compliance with deed restrictions and county codes is an important issue in our community.

“We find that a few homeowners and landlords do not respect the common rules that we all agreed to when we purchased our homes. The BHA, through our web site and through the Gazette, is working to inform the community on these issues. We would like everyone to see their deed restrictions as a feature of the community, just like green space and street lighting, rather than an  obstacle to overcome.”

To search our database for your neighborhood section's deed restrictions, click on "About Bloomingdale" on the home page main menu, then select "Deed Restrictions" from the sub-menu. For more information: 813-681-2051.