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Enforcement of deed restrictions

Lancaster, PA |

The deed restrictions for our development state that all roofs must be either slate or cedar material. A home is currently being built with an asphalt shingle roof. How do we enforce the deed restriction? The development was started in the mid 1950's, and the wife of the developer is still living. Can she force the builder to compliy?

Attorney Answers 2


Normally, a demand on the HOA to enforce the deed restrictions is sufficient. If there is no HOA, under typical circumstances, any homeowner can enforce the terms of the restrictive covenants. The first hing I would do is notify the builder of the new home that they are violating restrictive covenants.

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Every homeowner may enforce the restriction. Here is the trick...... don't wait until they have completed the work. Send a letter as follows: "Dear Neighbor: I just noticed today that your are installing an asphalt roof. I direct your attention to the deed restrictions for our community which require slate or cedar. I am considering enforcing the restriction. If you proceed to install these shingles, you do so under the risk that they will have to be replaced."

The idea here is to not sit on your rights while the homeowner injures himself or herself. Then get a lawyer to give you a price to enforce the restriction. ( you will want to get a bunch of neighbors to help pay).

DISCLAIMER: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise.
James S. Tupitza
212 W. Gay Street
West Chester, PA 19380

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