Condo covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) are rules that govern a condo community. All owners agree to abide by these rules when buying a condo unit.
CC&Rs do not just set the rules for condo owner behavior. They also delineate the responsibilities of a condo board to condo occupants.
CC&Rs are legally binding. A record of them is kept on file with the state.
What CC&Rs cover
CC&Rs cover property-use restrictions. For example, the rules may limit the changes a unit owner can make to that property. Rules may also cover behaviors that could affect the apartment and the rest of the community, such as smoking.
Condo covenants, conditions, and restrictions set maintenance rules for the condo board and owners. They also include rule enforcement and resolution protocols that guide the board as it interacts with owners and settles conflicts.
Another feature of CC&Rs is assessment and insurance obligations.
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How does this differ from bylaws and rules and regulations?
A condo’s bylaws cover how the condo board’s members are elected and how they govern. The CC&Rs focus more on the rules the board will have to enforce.
A third set code governing condo life is rules and regulations. You may think of these as everything that doesn’t fit into the CC&Rs and bylaws. Rules and regulations typically cover less permanent and more casual matters such as when and how certain public spaces can be used.
Can CC&Rs change?
CC&Rs are difficult to change because government entities keep track of them. Therefore, while a condo community can vote to change its CC&Rs, the process goes beyond a discussion among neighbors.
Changing CC&Rs will require changing legal documentation. An attorney should oversee the process.
Where do buyers find CC&Rs?
A realtor or seller should be able to provide condo covenants, conditions, and restrictions before you buy a condo. When you buy the home, you’ll need to signal that you’ve read and agree to these documents.
You may also find a copy of these rules on your county assessor’s government website.
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Photo above courtesy of 35 Hudson Yards.