Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Deed Restriction Enforcement ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Deed Restriction Enforcement
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: beth43-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Jul 2003 09:47 PDT
Expires: 24 Aug 2003 09:47 PDT
Question ID: 235033
Can deed restrictions be enforced?  And if so, how can they be enforced?
Subject: Re: Deed Restriction Enforcement
Answered By: journalist-ga on 25 Jul 2003 10:36 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings Beth43:

I'll open with asking you for a clarification for your location so
that I might search that particular city/countystate/province law for
applicaple information.  That said, I have located general information
on your query.

"Enforcing deed restrictions can be difficult over the long term, as
they are only enforceable by the prior owner or a third party to the
original transaction, such as the owner of abutting property. One way
to ensure continued enforcement is to include a third-party entity,
like a Community Stewardship Organization, Land Trust, or other
corporation, in the transaction. Deed restrictions involve a
complicated area of law and should only be used with professional
legal advice. For landowners seeking to permanently protect their
property, Conservation Easements may be a more attractive


The Letter of the Law (enforcing deed restrictions -  Reprint
fromTierra Grande, the Real Estate Center)
"Some attorneys argue that the enforcement of a deed restriction is a
private contractual matter between homeowners and the association and
not a constitutional issue. In some cases, this may be true. However,
the more subdivisions look and act like small towns, the more courts
are apt to view them as quasi-municipalities and apply more rigid,
constitutional standards when enforcing deed restrictions."


"How should Texas courts interpret and apply deed restrictions? Should
the courts follow the Texas statute that requires they be "liberally
construed to give effect to their purpose and intent" finding them
enforceable if at all possible (Section 202.003[a] of the TPC)? Or
should the courts adhere to common law that favors the free and
unrestricted use of land (Bakerv. Henderson, 153 S.W. 2d 465 [Tex
1941])?  There is no clear answer. The TexasSupreme Court in Wilmoth
v. Wilcox,734 S.W. 2d 567 (Tex 1987) spoke in favor of free and
unrestricted land use, holding that restrictions must always be
strictly,not liberally, construed against the party seeking to enforce
them. Only the intent and purposes are to be liberally construed,not
the restrictive language."

Please read the entire article for more information.


Connecticut - how to enforce deed restriction(s)
"Equitable principles govern the enforcement of deed restrictions.
Thus, a court will not enforce a deed restriction if it determines it
would be inequitable and unjust to do so, and not in furtherance of
the public interest. What injunctive relief a court will grant is
within the court's sound discretion and determined by all the facts
and circumstances. Courts will enforce deed restrictions where the
intention of the parties is clear in creating them and the
restrictions are reasonable. But where the right to relief is
doubtful, equitable enforcement will be denied. If the consequences of
enforcement to a defendant would be inequitable, the court could award
the person seeking enforcement money damages. The injured party would
bear the burden of proving his economic losses."


Who needs an HOA [homeowners association]
"Community associations do a number of different things. They set and
collect the maintenance fees needed to run neighborhood operations.
They may maintain landscaping or recreation centers. They may provide
for events or meeting places for neighborhood functions. However, the
most important function of an association is to enforce deed


City of Arlington Texas
"Does the City enforce deed restrictions?

"No, the City does not enforce deed restrictions. Deed restrictions
are private covenants. Neighborhood and homeowners associations can
enforce deed restrictions through the court system."


Thank you for the opportunity to answer this question.  Again, if you
will share your city/county/state/province name(s) here, I will search
that location to see if there is information available.

Best regards,


"enforcing deed restrictions"
"enforcing deed restrictions" how
how to "enforce deed restrictions"
"enforcing deed restrictions" procedure
"enforce deed restrictions" process
enforce deed restrictions" procedure

Request for Answer Clarification by beth43-ga on 25 Jul 2003 11:16 PDT
My location is in the state of Texas, Leon County, Marquez, Texas on Lake Limestone.

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 25 Jul 2003 14:28 PDT
I phoned the offices below of Marquez/Leon County and left messages
for the Judge as no one else seemed to know the answer.  He has not
returned my call.  Since the weekend is almost here, I may not receive
a call until Monday and I will let you know what I discover. (I found
the contact numbers of the offices at  They numbers are (area
code 903):

Attorney's Off (Jim Witt) 536-2131  
Auditor's Off 536-2709  
Clerk's Off. 536-2352  
Comm Court. 536-2331  
Sheriff's Office 536-2749  
District Clerk's Off 536-2227  
Judge's Off 536-2331

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 29 Jul 2003 08:49 PDT
UPDATE:  I just phoned the Judge's office again and he was out.  A
nice lady named Nicolette took my number again (she said the Judge had
stepped out for a moment and was upstairs).  I'll let you know what he
says when/if he returns my call.

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 29 Jul 2003 08:54 PDT
UPDATE: The Judge just returned my call.  He was very cordial and,
after I asked him what the procedure would be to enforce a deed
restriction, he said he would have to get back to me so I suppose he
will be checking the codes before doing so.  I wanted to let you know
that he did return my call but that I'm still awaiting an answer.

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 29 Jul 2003 12:07 PDT
I just heard back from Judge Byron Ryder and he said you would need to
a) appeal to the city to enforce or change the restriction, or
b) file a suit in district court to have the restriction enforced or

He gave me the number of the District Court Clerk in Centerville and
said you should phone there if you have to utilize district court. 
The phone number is 903-536-2227.

I hope this information is of assistance and good luck with your

Best regards,
beth43-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
journalist-ga most helpful and stayed on the search until all
questions had been answered to both of our satisfaction!!!

Subject: Re: Deed Restriction Enforcement
From: mikibc-ga on 03 Nov 2004 09:31 PST
Our HOA is being sued by a resident claiming that deed restrictions
are invalid and therefore unenforceable.  This is after our HOA
attempted to negotiate resolution to an infraction against the
restrictions by this resident.  We are a small, incorporated area (350
residents) with volunteers managing our affairs.  We won a similar
case presented by a group several years ago, but current defense cost
estimates for pending claim could be $20,000.00.  Can we counter-sue
to recover our legal expenses if this resident looses his case?
Small village outside of Austin, Texas.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy