Restrictive Covenant Modifications

Shelly Scott, Assessor - Recorder - County Clerk

Although discriminatory covenants have been legally unenforceable since U.S. Supreme Court Case Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and illegal since the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, they can still be found in recorded documents from decades ago.

Beginning July 1, 2022, AB1466 (McCarty) authorizes and requires California Recorders, title insurance companies, escrow companies, real estate brokers, and real estate agents, to record modification documents redacting now-illegal restrictions. Prior to recording, each Restrictive Covenant Modification, which must include a full copy of the document being modified, must be reviewed and approved by the Marin County Counsel’s Office.

The Marin County Recorder’s Office is taking a proactive approach to locating and reviewing recorded CC & Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) for each subdivision in Marin County and recording modifications for those that contain discriminatory language.

To view the Marin County Recorder’s progress with locating illegal restrictions and view a time-lapse map of recorded restrictions, visit our Restrictive Covenants Time Progression page.

Although AB1466 allows Recorders to increase recording fees for many documents by $2, the Marin County Recorder’s Office has decided not to collect the additional recording fee at this time.

Our plan to meet the requirements of AB 1466 can be reviewed by downloading this Word document.

For more information about protections from discriminatory housing, visit the Marin County Fair Housing website.

How do I find a copy of my Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC & Rs)?

The easiest way to learn more about the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC & Rs) that affect your property is to review the title report you received from the title company when you purchased your property. You should have received a title report as part of the seller’s disclosure packet that also included information about annual property taxes and any outstanding liens on the property. The title company that completed the title search likely provided you with a complete copy of the CC & Rs. If your title report mentions recorded CC & Rs but you were not provided with a copy of them, you may view the recorded document in the Recorder’s Office located at the Marin County Civic Center in Room 232 during business hours of 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may purchase a copy of the restrictions while you’re in the office if needed. Alternately, you may order a copy of them from the Recorder's website.

If you cannot find a reference for CC & Rs mentioned in your title report, you may review the legal description for your property to locate a reference to a recorded map, which may provide you with a recording reference for CC & Rs.

If your property is part of a subdivision that has CC & Rs, it’s possible that Recorder’s staff members have already located your CC & Rs. If you have questions regarding the status of restrictions for your specific subdivision, feel free to contact the Recorder’s office by email.

What can I do if I discover I have racially, or otherwise unlawful restrictions recorded on my property?

Beginning July 1, 2022, if Recorder’s staff, employees of a title or escrow company, real estate brokers or agents have knowledge that a recorded document includes unlawfully restrictive covenants that are in violation of Section 12955 of the California Civil Code, that person or agency shall prepare a Restrictive Covenant Modification for recording that includes a copy of the original document with the illegal language stricken. The modification must be reviewed and approved by a deputy from the Marin County Counsel’s office prior to recording.

The Marin County Recorder’s office is taking a proactive approach to locating and reviewing recorded restrictions and may have already located and reviewed those for your neighborhood.

What can I do if I have more questions about the process?

If you have additional questions about recording a Restrictive Covenant Modification, contact the Marin County Recorder’s Office by email, or call (415) 473-6093 during business hours (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).