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What is a restrictive covenant?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2022 | HOA Law |

When you have a homeowner’s association, you will have a governing document. It will outline rights, responsibilities and other details about the relationship between you and the association.

Texas law explains a restrictive covenant is any term within that document. The law also defines what they can be and what they can do.


A restrictive covenant must be in clear terms. The law requires that it outlines expectations, limits, purpose and intent. It needs to be easy to understand and have a decisive point to its existence.


The law does limit restrictive covenants, outlawing certain things. These terms cannot contain restrictions that will prevent homeowners from taking certain environmental steps, such as collecting rainwater, composting, using irrigation systems or creating landscaping that is resistant to drought. However, the HOA can require members to use drought-resistant landscaping.

In addition, the law allows members to install solar energy devices without restriction from an HOA. The governing document also cannot limit roofing materials that may help with energy or be resistant to weather.

Another thing an HOA cannot do is prevent homeowners from flying a military, Texas state or U.S. flag. Nor can the group stop a homeowner from displaying some religious items. The HOA also cannot stop kids from setting up lemonade stands. They cannot have a firearm ban either.

Of course, the limits also have exceptions that allow the HOA to maintain some control over every aspect of life within its jurisdiction, even if it cannot outlaw specific things.

For this reason, it is essential that anyone living under an HOA reads through the governing document. Understanding all of the restrictive covenants can help to prevent issues in the future.