Neighborhood covenants

December 30, 2012 

LARRY TOWNER, Kennewick

Your Dec. 14 editorial on homeowner associations (available online at tinyurl.com/TCH-Sign) was right on. HOAs are often formed by developers of subdivisions as a sales tool, promising home buyers that their investment will be protected in the future by the covenants, conditions and restrictions that govern what owners can do with their properties.

Sometimes the developers are a bit idealistic but mostly practical. Unfortunately, the rules tend to be long and boring to read and many homeowners accept them without reading, only to find later that they have agreed to some things that they would rather ignore.

As vice president of the Creekstone Community Association in Kennewick, I know that board members, volunteers all, are tasked with maintaining the rules. Each homeowner's agreement is a matter of public record, recorded with the county with their deed and mortgage. The homeowner is legally obligated to obey the covenants and can be fined by the association if they don't act in accordance with what they agreed to, often without reading the agreement.

The bottom line, though, is each person who purchases a home where covenants are in effect has the responsibility to read and follow the rules. If they don't like them, don't buy the house.

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