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Old 03-08-2010, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,149 posts, read 6,950,773 times
Reputation: 3635

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I'd make a sign and attach it to the fence explaining about the anonymous letter and advise the person who wrote to "man up" and talk to me face-to-face. Only someone who's chicken$#!@ would write an anonymous letter.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:56 PM
 
Location: ITB Raleigh, NC
814 posts, read 1,702,341 times
Reputation: 678
As I and others have said, she need to talk to her realtor and her lawyer, she should have been advised about this and sounds like they failed her.

As other have said, with no HOA, other covenant owners have to hire a lawyer and then sue to enforce...which will cost money. So they will need a good case.

If they do sue, your sister needs to
1. Be doing her background research and documenting everything...as others have said..pics of other nonconforming uses, any documentation that she requested info from her lawyer/realtor, etc...etc.
2. Make cross claims against her lawyer/realtor, assuming she finds that they were negligent in not informing her and
3. Become familiar with my little friend...the doctrine of latches (Legal Definition of 'Laches, Doctrine Of'). It is a possible defense in such cases...courts often will not let a plaintiff wait until the defendent has spent a bunch of money on constructing something before they sue. If she can show that the other owners, etc.(whoever sues...if they ever do) knew she was building the fence (um, duh) and let her without complaining first, then they may not let the plaintiff recover much, or anything!
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Midtown Raleigh
1,074 posts, read 2,821,378 times
Reputation: 945
If there are covenants, there is an HOA unless the covenants have expired.

If you PM me the name of the community, I can look up the legal docs on the register of deeds website and tell you more. The developer may give you a pass on this and may not. He may not "allow" it, but may choose not to enforce it. If the covenants are true, a neighbor may have the right to enforce them through a lawsuit.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,592 posts, read 55,295,005 times
Reputation: 30150
Quote:
Originally Posted by cry884 View Post
If there are covenants, there is an HOA unless the covenants have expired.

If you PM me the name of the community, I can look up the legal docs on the register of deeds website and tell you more. The developer may give you a pass on this and may not. He may not "allow" it, but may choose not to enforce it. If the covenants are true, a neighbor may have the right to enforce them through a lawsuit.
I live in a neighborhood with restrictive covenants.
No HOA.
The neighborhood I lived in before that had restrictive covenants.
And no HOA.
And the one before that?
Ditto and Ditto.

Restrictive covenants have been much more common than HOA's until the last 20 years or so.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
117 posts, read 251,824 times
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I would contact the attorney BUT if you read the offer to purchase carefully, it says that Buyer has been advised to review restrictive covenants prior to signing the offer. Most attorneys do not begin any work on the closing until after the offer has been signed.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:54 AM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,151,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefflaw View Post
I would contact the attorney BUT if you read the offer to purchase carefully, it says that Buyer has been advised to review restrictive covenants prior to signing the offer. Most attorneys do not begin any work on the closing until after the offer has been signed.
BUT the attorney is not a party to that contract, and I don't see what relevance it has on whether an attorney has competently performed their role in providing legal advice to a client regarding the title to the property and any encumbrances on it.

Buying real estate shouldn't be a "DIY" project. Most buyers are not experts in the legal issues that accompany real property, and have little to no familiarity with the terminology used or how real estate documents are recorded. A buyer shouldn't have to conduct their own title search. There's a justifiable reliance on the "experts" in the process - real estate agents, title companies, closing attorneys, etc. to identify and communicate issues.
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