Discharging Prohibited Deed Restrictions & Covenants

The Discharge of Restrictive Covenants Act is a Michigan law that provides property owners with a means to remove illegal (and unenforceable) restrictive language, including racial covenants, from deeds. Prohibited restrictions are those included in a deed or other land record that purport to restrict occupancy or ownership of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or other class protected by the Fair Housing Act. The Act also:

  • Prevents the recording of a deed or similar instrument with a prohibited restriction
  • Voids existing prohibited restrictions
  • Prevents enforcement of prohibited restrictions 
  • Establishes processes for homeowners' or property owners' association and condominium associations, property owners, and occupants and tenants to record a discharge form
  • Allows the Register of Deeds to collect a fee for recording a discharge form

If you are a property owner in Washtenaw County and are concerned that a prohibited restriction may be included within a document recorded in your name, first review the language on your deed or other land record. You can obtain a copy of property records online, here. 

If you find prohibited restrictive language within a document recorded in your name, you may record a Discharge of Prohibited Restriction form at the Washtenaw County Register of Deeds. This document will be placed on public record and remove and abolish the prohibited restriction from the deed or other document. 

Discharge of Prohibited Restriction records are subject to a statutory recording fee of $30.00.

A property owner may complete this process themselves for their own property. If prohibited restrictive language exists within a subdivision/condominium's property record, the homeowner’s association or condominium association will need to work with the association's board as described in Section 6 (MCL 565.866) of the Act. Other individuals, such as occupants or tenants of properties with prohibited restrictions, must obtain a court action to remove prohibited restrictions (MCL 565.868). 

For more information please contact the Washtenaw County Register of Deeds at 734-222-6710.