The legal world is full of terms and complexities that can leave people feeling confused. Cutting through the jargon, we aim to demystify the legal process and ensure our clients are well-informed every step of the way.
If you are going through the process of buying a property or piece of land, you may have come across the term ‘restrictive covenants’.
Read on to find out what a restrictive covenant is, what it means for a property purchase and when to seek legal advice.
WHAT IS A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT?
Put simply, a restrictive covenant is a clause written into the deeds of a property with the purpose of limiting what can be done with, and to, the property or land.
TYPES OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
There are a few different types of restrictive covenants to be aware of, common ones include clauses to prevent:
- businesses being run from the land/property
- the land being used for anything other than a specific purpose, i.e. agricultural use.
While often covering major building works, restrictive covenants can be in place to prohibit activity such as parking a caravan in the front of the property, keeping chickens in the garden and even installing a satellite dish.
HOW LONG DO RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS LAST?
The thing to note when it comes to restrictive covenants is that they are attached to the property or land and in theory the covenant could be enforceable for as long as the property/land exists.
However, times do change and if you have bought a property that has a restrictive covenant that you feel is no longer appropriate or valid, it may be possible to get it lifted. Through the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) it may be possible to remove or modify the restrictive covenant. The process however is unlikely to be quick and can be costly to pursue.
WHEN TO SEEK LEGAL ADVICE
When purchasing a property, it is essential that any restrictive covenants are identified and that the exact nature of the restrictions are explained to you in full, to be sure you are aware of what you can and can’t do with the property/land.
If you are in the process of selling or purchasing a property or own a property and would like advice on restrictive covenants, get in touch with our experienced and family residential conveyancing team on 01904 624903.
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