Profile picture for sail6056

seller lied about whether subdivision was subject to cc&r's on disclosure.

1.  Seller said no cc&r's or HOA on disclosure.
2.  listing agent said no ccr's or HOA.
3.  Title report under exceptions said only there was a filing for an easement in 1971
4.  Title company did not attach any ccr's to title report.
5.  buyers agent did not question prelim.
6.  We have lived there for two years and found out neighbors were organizing a committee for enforcing ccr's.
7.  We had a terrible experience with an HOA at the coast and wanted nothing to do with a house that was in a subdivision subject to ccr's.

NOW we are stuck in a home we like, but spent $50k remodeling and if we decided to sell we would have to reveal that ccr's exist.

What recourse do we have from real estate agents, seller and title company?
  • September 27 2013 - Portland
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Answers (7)

Of course you're not certain, that's why we retain attorneys!

Seriously, sail - every home owner should have an attorney and accountant, because having an estate in real property is serious business.

All the best,
  • October 07 2013
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Profile picture for sail6056
thanks for the input.  So far it seems possible prior owners were not savvy to the ccr's either, but the neighbor directly across the street was aware of them when they bought four years ago.

My realtor said their corporate records do not show any ccr's attached to the prelim.  My realtors' request to the title company for copies of the original prelim set sent to her has not happened even though she had been promised them a week ago.

I believe the title company screwed up as another title company was able to produce the ccr's in short order.  I am just not certain what recourse I have against them for that error.  We would not have purchased the home had we known they existed.
  • October 07 2013
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I would first and foremost get my hands on those CC&Rs. the best way might be to go to the title company you closed at and request they search all records.
If that does not produce anything ask those neighbors for a copy. when you have that, go to the City and see if they are recorded.
Before you panic, wait what this is all abut. Maybe there are good reasons to enforce whatever they want to enforce, CC&Rs are not necessarily a bad thing..
  • October 07 2013
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Not sure about your state but there is usually a clause in every sales contract which requires the seller to produce the HOA docs and the Covenants if they exist.  Usually they have a certain number of days to produce them and you have a certain number to review them.

Even though you feel some one should be responsible for whatever ill it may or may not cause you - only a Real Estate attorney can advise you.  There are also real estate attorneys who specialize in HOA's.

First get copies of the HOA and covenants.  Then consider joining the group.  If they are going to enforce they need to hold meetings and elect officers.  Get yourself in the thick of things and make sure they are doing everything according to the letter.  If no one in the group of neighbors has any idea how these things are run they are going to run a muck.  Be there for over sight.
  • September 28 2013
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You don't say how much the dues are, or what they cover. I know of some developments where the initial HOA was actually never formed because all they were responsible for was maintenance of a relatively small common area. I have heard of others in which the HOA had become defuncti over many years of inactivity. Obvously don't know if either of those are your situation, but a blanket "No HOA ever regardless of amount of what it covers" may not be in your best interest. Regardless of whether that''s your situation there are some well -run HOA's and some poorly run HOA's. You might want to try for a value judgement of how well run your present HOA is, and what benefits you are getting for the HOA dues.
  • September 28 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Proving that someone lied can  be tough.   First you have to prove that they knew about it.     You may wish to talk with an attorney.

  • September 27 2013
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Sail, only an attorney can advise you of what recourse you might have.

To my mind, CC&Rs don't exist unless they're a matter of public record. An HOA certainly can exist, but what are CC&R? Covenants, conditions, and restrictions that control the use of the property and RUN WITH THE LAND. These MUST be recorded to be enforceable.

An HOA can be one of two things - it can be a group of home owners voluntarily collaborating, or it can be an entity created by CC&Rs. If it's the former, then you don't have to participate. If it's the latter, well . . . where's the public record?

Again. We can't adjudicate this - you can't defend yourself against the HOA by saying, "Well, I read on Zillow . . . "

All the best,
  • September 27 2013
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