Do I have to comply with a restrictive subdivision covenant I did not receive or sign?

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Do I have to comply with a restrictive subdivision covenant I did not receive or sign?

When I purchased my new home 3 years ago, I was not informed of any subdivision covenant at all. Now I understand we cannot have outbuildings or above ground pools, etc until 2016 as not all of the lots have been built on yet and none of these are moving at all. I want to build a nice backyard shed. I noticed that there are 2 above ground pools in the subdivision, so if they are not supposed to do this, I want to build my shed. I did not receive or sign any covenant, but my neighbor showed me a copy recently. Does this legally prevent me from building a shed? Can they make me remove it?

Asked on July 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When people buy real property in this country, they typically purchase a title insurance policy for the property to safeguard their interests. As part of the title insurance policy purchase, the future proeprty owner is given a preliminary report which shows all liens of record on the property to be purchased including any recorded restrictive subdivision covenants.

The title report that is issued as part of the sale (if purchased) will show all recorded liens on the property as well as other recorded documents impacting the property's use.

Even if you did not buy a title insurance policy for your property, and if there was a restrictive subdivision covenant recorded on your property before you closed escrow, under the law, you are considered to have known about the restriction even if no one told you about it or gave you a copy to review until after you bought the property.

If the restrictive subdivision covenant was recorded on your property before you took title to it, you have to comply with it.


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