Subdivision covenants are probably the easiest limitation on the owner’s use rights for a potential home buyer to evaluate. Most subdivisions or condominium complexes developed since World War II have some form of restrictive use covenants. These are a set of agreements recorded with the county that govern the owners’ use of the properties within the subdivision. Most condominium and town home complexes, and some subdivisions of single family homes that have home owner associations, have unrecorded rules and regulations in addition to the recorded covenants. Generally, these covenants and rules are enforceable either by an association or by other owners within the subdivision. In older subdivisions, restrictions will generally be relatively limited. They may forbid using the property for commercial purposes or for mining and livestock grazing. In newer subdivisions, however, covenants may forbid parking your RVs in the driveway, place limits on the type and location of fencing you can install, or specify the color that you can paint your house. Recorded covenants should be listed in the “schedule of exceptions” in the title commitment (see the discussion of title insurance in our section Under Contract).The home buyer needs to carefully review these covenants, and any other rules and regulations that govern the subdivision, to make sure that they can live within them. You also need to confirm that existing decks or fences don’t already violate the restrictions the covenants have placed on the property.