History is connected to the present in many ways – some social, some cultural, some legal. And the fact is that many homeowner associations built their initial covenants, conditions, and restrictions (better known as CC&Rs) not from scratch but from a series of documents originated well before the association came into being. Sometimes, those documents the CC&Rs originated from were created before the Civil Rights era and included discriminatory covenants.
When you join the board of your HOA or your condo association, it’s a good idea to confirm a past board has looked through the CC&Rs to make sure any discriminatory covenants have been removed. If that hasn’t been done, it is a good idea to do so yourself.
Dismantling Discriminatory Covenants Through the CC&Rs
On September 4th, 2020, a long-awaited law came into effect in Florida that required outdated and discriminatory language in titles and other real estate transactions to be removed.
This law clearly defines and prohibits any form of “discriminatory restrictions” from title transactions recorded in the state. Florida Statue §712.065 declares that all discriminatory restrictions in any title transaction are “unlawful,” “unenforceable,” and “null and void.”
Across the United States, discriminatory racial covenants were relatively common through the middle of the 20th century. And while HOAs and condo associations formed since these restrictions were made illegal should have no part of it, it is still possible to find discriminatory and racially restrictive language still within their covenants in the property deed and CC&Rs.
This is why it’s a good time to take a serious look at your association’s governing documents (if your board hasn’t revised them in the last few years).
If you happen to stumble upon something that seems like racially restrictive language, the best thing is to have your documents reviewed by an attorney well-versed on condo association law.
For more information about discriminatory covenants, read this: https://www.daniafernandez.com/2021/05/18/what-are-discriminatory-covenants-and-what-you-need-to-know-about-them/ or contact us.