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In 2018, Washington State provided a way for property owners to address discriminatory, restrictive covenants found in documents affecting the title of their properties. If your property has a restrictive covenant recorded in the past, you can record a modification document with the county where your property is located.

If you have verified that a recorded document in the chain of title to your property contains a racially restrictive covenant and you want to record a modification document, here are the steps to follow.

Obtain the following information about your property from your deed or your title insurance policy.

  • Recording number of the original document containing the racially restrictive covenant that is void under state law
    • It is not necessary to obtain the recording number for any later document repeating the terms of the original document or referencing its recording number
  • Recording date of the original document containing the racially restrictive covenant
  • The names of all current owners of the property (you and your co-owners, if any)
  • Legal description (both full and abbreviated) of your property
  • Tax parcel number for your property

Fill out the Restrictive Covenant Modification Document with the information above but do not sign it yet. The forms are available below.

Take the document and your government-issued photo identification (for example, a driver's license or passport) to a licensed notary public and sign in the presence of the notary. There may be a charge to have the document notarized.

Submit the completed, signed document to the Recorder's Office for recording. You can bring the document to our office in person or mail it. There is no charge to record the document.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The modification document will refer to the original recorded document that contained the restrictive covenant and contain the following statement required by law:

The referenced original written instrument contains discriminatory provisions that are void and unenforceable under state law and federal law. This document strikes from the referenced original instrument all provisions that are void and unenforceable under law.

Recording a modification document will provide notice in the land title records that the restrictive covenant is void and unenforceable. It will not delete the historic record. The modification document legally strikes, but does not physically erase, the void and illegal discriminatory provisions from the original document.


 

No. Restrictive covenants have been void (illegal) in Washington since 1969. The attempt by any person to enforce such a covenant against your property would be a violation of state and federal law. Your rights are protected by existing law and do not require that you record a modification document.


Information on this page is adapted from the Spokane County Auditor.

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