HOA vs Deed Restrictions vs City Law

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by zoeandtammy, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. zoeandtammy

    zoeandtammy Hatching

    Nov 28, 2012
    Hi, I am currently purchasing a home and am past the point of no return...I knew they had an HOA, but it is voluntary, and I'm not joining. But I JUST found out that there are deed restrictions against having poultry. The home is in the city limits of Austin, Texas, which allows chickens.

    Do the deed restrictions apply even if I'm not in the HOA?
    If so, does it override the city law?
    If it does, can I fight it?

    I just want a couple of chickens, can I maybe have them as 'pets'? Any advice you can give me would be very helpful- I went from super excited about the new house to totally bummed :(


  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    It really depends on exactly how the deed restrictions are stated, whether they sunset (die) after a certain length of time, and other factors. It probably also depends on how the city ordinance is stated. Does it GUARANTEE the right to chickens, or merely allow them? There is a difference. If you look at deed restrictions that were fairly common fifty years ago, you will find things that are now illegal such as disallowing people of certain races from living on the property.

    I find the idea of a voluntary HOA odd. What is their purpose, and how can they pursue it if membership is optional? HOAs are generally in place to provide quasi-governmental control over a neighborhood and provide ammenities such as parks and playgrounds with membership dues (rather than taxes) providing the funds for maintenance.
  3. zoeandtammy

    zoeandtammy Hatching

    Nov 28, 2012
    Thanks for replying. I will look into the wording further.

  4. lookyhereboy

    lookyhereboy In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2012
    Drury, MO
    I had a neighbor try to envoke an HOA on me that I knew nothing about when I got my 4 hens ( the amount allowed by my local ordinance). After checking on the HOA which is from 1950 we found it is defunct. The neighbor lost that battle. But I was prepared for a fight once I got a copy of the old HOA and saw how many violations the neighborhood was full of including the yard of the complaining neighbor.
  5. JYarbs

    JYarbs Hatching

    Nov 21, 2013
    My wife and I just put an offer in on a house in Austin and are dealing with the same Deed Restriction. Did you ever get resolution to this?

    Any information you could provide would be a huge help!
  6. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    From my experience, changing Deed Restrictions and HOA Covenants and Restrictions is nigh unto impossible. Go therefore in full knowledge of what you are signing.

  7. Shelleypg19

    Shelleypg19 Chirping

    Jan 28, 2012
    We are having the same issue. We are buying a house without an HOA but we just got the deed restrictions from 1974 and they say no chickens. A lot has changed since then. I'm not sure what to do to change this!

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