You’ve found the perfect piece of land for your new home, but before you commit, be sure to ask your real estate agent if there are any deed restrictions or covenants with the property. Deed restrictions are clauses in the deed that restrict the use of the land. Examples of some common deed restrictions in the Bahamas are:
- No swine, cows or poultry are allowed to be kept, raised or maintained on the property
- No piece of land may be subdivided and sold
- No signs, advertising, or billboards can be erected on the property
- Only one dwelling house may be erected on the property
- Specific building setbacks from the property boundaries
Covenants are promises written into deeds and other instruments where property owners agree to perform, or not to perform certain acts or require or prevent certain uses of the property. Covenants often include items that:
- Enforce architectural or design standards, such as no three story structures
- Prohibit practices like short term rentals, or using certain types of fencing
- Restrict the property to a certain type of use, such as residential only
Often gated communities and condominium complexes will have specific restrictions and covenants that prospective purchasers would do well to know in advance. If you bought a condominium property as an investment thinking it would make an excellent property to list on a vacation rental site, only to find out that no short term rentals were allowed, it would change your income potential on that purchase greatly.
Sometimes when residential properties once restricted to single family homes find themselves fronting on a busy roadway, with families moving from the area because of increased traffic and noise, a property’s use may change from residential to commercial. Proper government approvals are required and often granted on application in situations where an area is beginning to change.
Family island properties not in planned communities often have no restrictions or covenants or sometimes unusual restrictions or covenants, like ones prohibiting the drinking or sale of alcohol. Something like that could severely restrict certain person’s vacation fun.
Check your potential purchases particulars carefully.