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Massachusetts Agencies

Old Restrictions (Memo 1)

Restrictions and Reverters

Restrictions unlimited in time expire in thirty years, period. See G.L.c. 184, §23. Such restrictions cannot be kept alive (although they could be independently reimposed). Restrictions limited in time(for example, those which provide that they will continue for 100 years) will expire (i) fifty years after their imposition if imposed before January 1, 1962 and (ii) thirty years after their imposition if imposed after December 31, 1961, provided in either case that the restrictions are not brought forward. See G.L.c. 184, §§27, 28. Incidentally, restriction which are alive and well cannot be enforced as to certain violations thereof if the violations have persisted for more than six years. See G.L.c. 184, §23A.

The statutes regarding the outlawing of restrictions do not apply to:

  • Restrictions contained in a master deed of a condominium. Johnson v. Keith, 368 Mass. 316, 331 N.E.2d 879 (1975).
  • Affirmative easements. Labounty v. Vickers, 352 Mass. 337, 225 N.E.2d 333 (1967).
  • Conservation restrictions and restrictions in orders of taking made prior to January 1, 1970 and in leases, mortgages and other security instruments. G.L.c. 184, §26.