Ask Before you Make Changes to your Home

Changes to Your Home

The deed restrictions for your community probably require written permission from the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), Architectural Review Board (ARB), Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or board of directors before any changes, alterations or additions are made by an owner/resident to the interior (structurally) or exterior of a home. In response to these legal requirements, some associations and management companies have developed an application form and Revocable License which protect both the owner and the association. Some states mandate that the association record such a document, so the process is mandatory rather than optional.

changes to your home


The typical procedure for obtaining the License is as follows:

When you have finalized your plans for the change, alteration or addition (such as a patio cover, security light, or patio deck), call the association manager or a member of the board, ARB or ARC for a copy of the Revocable License and application. The application and License include the following information:

    • Legal names of all record owners
    • Both physical and legal address of the home or unit

Complete both forms, providing all data including the legal description of your home and attaching a photograph, sketch or drawing of the proposed alteration. Include in your attachments a description of materials and method of construction or installation, including construction plans if applicable, of the proposed change;

    • Send both executed forms to your association manager, board or committee member;
    • Your association manager will forward copies of your application to the proper committee or board member;
    • Your board or ARB/ARC representative will contact you to review the application;
    • Within the time parameters provided in your legal documents, you will be advised of the board/Committee decision, or recommendations for change;

You must obtain all permits and licenses necessary to legally complete the work;

The approved Revocable License is recorded with the local jurisdiction’s deed records, formalizing the permission granted to you and advising those who conduct a title search of your property that you, and not the association, are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the alteration. The License is also maintained with your association’s archival records.

The Revocable License is not a permanent authorization from your association. It can be revoked if the terms of the License are not upheld, such as the requirement of owner maintenance. The recorded License is an excellent means of providing protection to the homeowner against possible misplacement of the approval documents as well as assurance to the association that the approved alteration will be properly maintained.

If you are considering implementing the Revocable License process, be sure to work with your association’s attorney to ensure that the form is appropriate for your community and complies with all legal requirements.

Marjorie Jean Meyer, CMCA, PCAM