[deed restrictions] How to change? Attorney help?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by droxford, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. droxford

    droxford Member

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    I would like to have two changes made to the deed restrictions in my neighborhood (which were written in 1960).

    At the end of my section's deed restriction document, there is this statement:

    13. TERM: These restrictions, covenants and conditions shall run
    with the land and shall be binding on all parties and all persons
    owning residential lots in said subdivision until January 1, 1990,
    at which time they shall automatically be extended for successive
    periods of ten (10) years unless an instrument signed and duly
    acknowledged to entitle it to record, by a majority of the then
    lot owners
    has been recorded in the County of Clerk's Office in
    Harris County, Texas, agreeing to change these restrictions,
    covenants and conditions in whole or in part.

    So... it sounds like I have to get 51% of the land owners in my section (four blocks) to sign off on this.

    Questions:

    1. What document do I need for my neighbors to sign?

    2. Does that document need to be "official" in some way?

    3. Do I need to have a lawyer write up that document, or can I do it myself?

    4. How much would it cost for me to have a lawyer write up that document?

    5. How can I get my neighbor's signatures in an official way (to ensure they weren't forged)?

    6. Since the above statement says that the restrictions are extended for 10 years past 1990, does this mean that I have until three months from now to get them changed, and I won't be able to change them again until Jan. 1, 2020?
     
  2. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    Is one of these about cats? :confused:
     
  3. droxford

    droxford Member

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    Oh good Lord, please don't derail this thread!
     
     
  4. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    Damn you. Why do you want to take the fun out of the hangout? :( I can has FAIL.

    Fine:

    I am no lawyer, but I would think that all you need is the writing of the restrictions and what you want to change, and to identify it with a number on the laws, and also note on the top of a sheet that says "i agree with law such and such that is written as such and such to be changed as such and such" and have lines with "date", "name", "address", and "signature" and you won't need it notarized. Just make sure you don't forge any of the signatures. No?
     
  5. BmwM3

    BmwM3 Contributing Member

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    Do what Swoly told you to do. Get all the signatures you can and state your case at the meetings your neighborhood holds. If you bring up a serious rule that needs changing, they'll vote on it and hopefully changes the rule.
     
  6. droxford

    droxford Member

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    I called the Houston deed restrictions hotline and they told me that I should speak to an attorney about having a doc created.
     
     
  7. Franchise2001

    Franchise2001 Contributing Member

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    Def speak to an attorney... seems like you're on a time crunch until Jan 1, 2010. Good luck :)
     
  8. BmwM3

    BmwM3 Contributing Member

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    Does your neighborhood hold those monthly neighborhood meetings to talk about community issues? You can always go there and bring it up there. I'm sure if you have enough people backing you up on these changes they WILL listen.

    The deed restriction hotline might be saying that to SCARE you from doing these changes because it takes alot of work. Unless their steps are.....

    1) Draw up changes
    2) Present at meeting
    3) Neighborhood vote
     
  9. droxford

    droxford Member

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    According that statement I listed in the OP, there is no need to get approval from the deed committee, and I'd like to avoid their bureaucracy (if they don't like the idea of the changes I want, I don't want to have to fight them). And their next meeting is Nov. 1st, which is cutting it pretty close.

    I'd prefer to just get the signatures, submit it to the county clerks, and be done with it.
     
     
  10. BmwM3

    BmwM3 Contributing Member

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    If that's the case, your best bet is to contact a real estate attorney and get it done. Hopefully they won't charge you an arm and a leg to draw up the changes.
     
  11. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    More thank likely, not everyone goes to the meetings. Present it there if you think you have a good chance it will get changed. If it won't, then just go get the signatures in a paper with lines. You do not need attorneys. For what? :confused:
     
  12. Fatty FatBastard

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    Don't you work at Fulbright?!?
     
  13. 111chase111

    111chase111 Contributing Member

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    In my neighborhood (Oak Forest), the deed restrictions still say that only Caucasian people can own houses.

    "None of the lots shown on said plots shall be convoyed, leased, given to, or placed in the care of, and building erected thereof shall be used, owned or occupied by any person other than of the Caucasian Race."
     
  14. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    OooOoo... I gotta call Max Burns... ;) http://www.oakforestinfo.com/
     
  15. droxford

    droxford Member

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    I do, and ya know what? The attorneys at our firm are so high-falootin', they won't give me the time of day. I can't say that I've tried asking them about this deed restriction stuff, but I've looked into other things in that past and gotten zilch.
     
     
  16. droxford

    droxford Member

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    County Clerk's office says I have to have an attorney create the documents.

    So, now....

    (1) What's a good, affordable attorney that can help me with this?

    (2) How much is this gonna cost me?
     
     
  17. Pole

    Pole Contributing Member

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    The County Clerk's office is just trying to make their life (and your life) easier. You don't HAVE to have an attorney create the document, but you'll be better off if you did as it would be more difficult to contest if your changes piss anyone off. You'l also be better served by not going around the homeowner's association because if you piss them off, they can a) use their political clout in the neighborhood to reverse your changes and b) nitpick any possible violations you might have just to spite you.

    If you're hellbent on seeing this through though, I'd suggest you look at some amendments to covenants and restrictions that have already been filed so that you can pattern your document after one that is already in existence. You can look in Harris County, but you'll have to go to the courthouse; I'd just pick a county that has their records online like Ft. Bend, and that way you can do your research at home. I think all of their Deed Restrictions are under the document type: Restrictions (this would include amendments).
     
  18. droxford

    droxford Member

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    Sweet. I will look at the Ft. Bend stuff and see if I can come up with anything.

    I'd still like it, though, if someone could point to an affordable attorney that might be able to work with this.
     
     

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