Buying Advice

Am I Subject to CCRs?

If pig farming is your life’s aspiration…

You’ll want to ensure the property you are about to purchase is not subject to restrictions that prohibit such use. Even on agricultural land, restrictions may apply.

There are a couple of ways to determine if the property you love is subject to Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CCRs). Sellers are supposed to disclose if their property is subject to any type of use restrictions so it should be included right in the listing information.

Most REALTORS® keep information about major developments handy. There are, however, some areas and circumstances under which a seller or their agent may not be aware that the property is subject to CCRs.  This is especially true if only a few lots are affected and a formal association does not exist.

CCRs should be noted on the Preliminary Title Report. The title report will contain a document number associated with the recorded CCRs. With this, a copy can be requested. A recent preliminary title report will have a hyperlink to the CCRs.

CCRs are generally meant to protect property values.

They are normally enforced thru the powers granted to a formal association.  Most associations can collect established fees, authorize repairs and maintenance, administer community facilities and make decisions for the affected homeowners.

Associations (including condo associations) normally have the authority to file liens and foreclose properties whose owners do not pay the required fees. Less clear is how violations of CCRs can be addressed if there is no formal association. For instance, there are CCRs associated with the 8-10 home subdivision where we live but we do not have a formal association to enforce the restrictions.

If, as an example, one of our CCRs prohibited us from having small, yappy dogs, in order for our neighbors to enforce this hypothetical provision, they’d likely have to hire an attorney. If we refuse to comply after being asked, formal legal action would be the next step. Enforcing CCRs without an organized association and established procedures for compliance is difficult and less likely to occur. It doesn’t, however, mean it never happens.

Interestingly, neither the County Planning Department nor the Building Division checks plans against recorded CCRs. They are also not charged with enforcement. Only you know your intended use. Be sure you ask because you know what they say about assuming.

Check your preliminary title report or call the association. Most formal associations are happy to field any questions you have. After all, they are always recruiting new volunteers.

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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July 25, 2019

Your article is very good and useful! Can you find me a lot size 1-5 acres without CCRs in North Kona and north of captain Cook area lava zone 3 or 4, price 450.000.-

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