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What land use rights do homeowners have?

As a homeowner, you have a great deal of leeway in the way you use your property. However, some limitations will apply to homeowners depending where they live and what legal covenants potentially apply to their property.

Just because limitations apply to your property, it doesn't mean you can't employ legal strategies to bypass them.

Limitations that may apply to homeowners

The following rules and limitations might apply to your home and the land it rests upon:

  • Zoning rules: Your specific neighborhood could have zoning rules that apply to it. These zoning restrictions might prevent you from operating a business inside your home. These zoning ordinances that prohibit certain activities will vary from town to town and neighborhood to neighborhood. As such, if you plan to do something more than simply living in your home, be sure to meet with the local zoning authority to make sure it's okay.
  • Covenants: Covenants are property rules that can restrict the use of your land -- usually based on neighborhood standards. An example of a covenant could apply to a neighborhood community that does not allow the use of satellite dishes, or requires that lawns be maintained to a certain standard of beauty and care. You might also be limited to a specific range of colors when painting your home.
  • Easements: Easements on property might permit a telephone company to keep a telephone pole on your property. Basically, an easement means that another party maintains some kind of land use rights on the property that you own.

You may not be able to do whatever you want with your property

You bought your home and the property it sits on, but it's important to remember that you will not be completely free to use the property as you wish in many cases. As such, you may want to review the contracts and deeds relating to any piece of land very closely before you purchase it. This way, you can avoid future real estate legal challenges and difficulties that might later arise.

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