Restrictive covenants can be released from county deeds

As of today, property owners in Johnson County can review their legal ownership documents to identify and release historic covenants that discriminated against race, religion and national origin.

In April, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2562 into law, effective July 1. The law authorizes the release of discriminatory covenants from land records. Existing state and federal law already prohibited these restrictions as unlawful and unenforceable, yet the discriminatory wording remained as part of the official documents.

The new law provides an avenue for property owners to determine whether their land records contain discriminatory language.  If the documents do, owners can record a Certificate of Release of Prohibited Covenants to formally acknowledge the unlawfulness of the covenants and release the property from those historic restrictions. It also requires homeowner associations to remove discriminatory restrictive covenants from their governing documents within 60 days after July 1, 2024.

The law does not require property owners to take any action to remove the covenants since they are not enforceable. But if you are a property owner in Kansas and would like to know whether your documents contain discriminatory covenants, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Johnson County Register of Deeds Office, Suite 1200 in the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe to use the public access computer terminal to search the digital land record library.
  2. Check the records for discriminatory covenants. As the owner, you are under no obligation to continue with the process regardless of what you find.
  3. If you do see discriminatory covenants and decide you want to pursue releasing them, request a Certificate of Release of Prohibited Covenants from the Register of Deeds Office.
  4. The cost of filing a Certificate of Release of Prohibited Covenant is $21 plus $17 per additional page.

“The wording of legal documents is incredibly important,” said Thomas Franzen, director of Johnson County Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles. “This law establishes a formal process for property owners to address historical discriminatory language, thereby promoting inclusivity.”

More information on how to release a prohibited restrictive covenant can be found on the Johnson County Register of Deeds website or by emailing the office at

Register of Deeds
Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles
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