An attorney is looking at this at the moment but the term is a bit ambiguous. I would like to get options of other attorneys.
The acres are correct and the release was recorded properly at the Spatanburg County SC.
However, the covenant says "by a vote of the then owners of majority of said tracts" but the owner is saying he did not need a vote because he owned "majority of said tracts". However, neighbors argue that even though the result might be obvious the result concerns every owners hence the intended change should have been informed to all owners prior to this "one-man" vote. Also if the previous owner is correct he could have changed the restriction on all the land (not just his land) without letting other owners know. This cannot be right.
Well, "by vote" is the requirement, but its a little vague what that legally requires. This would be SC specific issue and I would be speculating. If there was a "vote", then yes the previous owner could have removed the covenants from part of all the tracts. It may seem unfair, but that's the language of the covenant. Your attorney needs to verify the requirements of the vote. If it was simply a majority of the tracts and no notice to all tract holders, then it's legal and binding. If there is any notice requirement you and the previous owner (assuming he holds the remaining 18 acres can call the vote and force the issue.). You may also be a bono fide purchaser, if you bought without knowledge of the covenants, may not be bound by them since their removal was properly recorded.