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Covenant when selling property

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  • Covenant when selling property

    We bought our house 12 years ago. It already had a sunroom built. We are now selling the property but there is some concern as to whether the sunroom is legal as there is a covenant saying that no buildings are to be erected on the land. We have no certificates etc for the sunroom. Are we right in thinking that planning permission was not needed.

  • #2
    Re: Covenant when selling property

    There are three permissions that might have been needed.

    1. Planning. Depending on the size of the sun room and any conditions on the original planning permission requiring consent for any later extensions regardless of whether they fell within the permitted development limits, planning permission might have been needed. This ia all academic now because after 10 years (and in many cases, 4) the work would have become immune under planning law.

    2. Building Regulations. If it is a classic conservatory and it complies with certain criteria then it might have been exempt from compliance with the Building Regulations. In practice Councils don't do any thing after something is a year old but in theory they could, which means that you may have to provide a Building Regulation Indemnity Policy when you sell to protect your buyer in the unlikely event of enforcement.. You will need to talk to your solicitor about the technical details here. DO NOT TALK TO THE COUNCIL as if you do the indemnity policy will not be available.

    3. Covenant Consent. If there is a covenant saying that no buildings are to be built on the land then the work will not be immune from enforcement until it is 20 years old. If it is less than that age you should not seek a consent for the work from the covenant holder (if you know who he is) unless you or your solicitor knows that consents are normally forthcoming for a small fee, because he may say "NO" and then you could not get the alternative Restrictive Covenant Indemnity Policy to protect your buyer.

    Your solicitor can arrange any indemnity policies that are needed.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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    • #3
      Re: Covenant when selling property

      Given how long the potential breach has existed indemnity insurance is likely to be acceptable. It might be worth checking with your original lawyer as to whether they took out insurance when you purchased the property ( most policies are assignable )

      Richard's advice is spot on.
      Fridays Property Lawyers
      Specialists in Leasehold Conveyancing

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