Brief Fact Summary. A bible camp attempted to limit the people who buy their property to those who subscribe to the tenets of their church.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a grantor transfers land in fee simple to the grantee, the grantor cannot prohibit the grantee from conveying land to another. Any clause in the deed which gives grantor the right to approve subsequent purchasers will be void.
The great weight of authority is that where the fee simple title to real estate passes under a deed or will, any restraint attempted to be imposed by the instrument upon the grantee or devisee is to be treated as void, and the grantee or devisee takes the property free of the void condition.View Full Point of Law
Issue. May a deed place a direct restraint on alienation of land, even though grantor transferred a fee simple estate to grantee?
In Washington, a clause in a deed prohibiting the grantee from conveying land to another without the approval of the grantor is void as repugnant to the nature of an estate in fee when the grantor transferred a fee simple estate to the grantee.
The restraint in the deed is disabling and restrains the alienation of land.
The restriction dealing with religion is also invalid. When a provision in a deed restricts the conveyance based on creed, which is a system of religious beliefs, that provision will be void.
Discussion. An absolute restraint on alienation of land is repugnant to the nature of a fee simple interest and will be voided.