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Finding beneficiary of covenant

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  • Finding beneficiary of covenant

    Our deeds (freehold) show a restrictive covenant preventing the erection of any building on the land. The benefit of the covenant was originally to the local council who sold the land to the developer who built the house (who is mentioned in the deeds) in the early 1970's.

    We would like to build an extension, and have contacted the council who said they sold freehold rights to the whole area to the local port authority. The port authority say they have no record of any freehold rights to our property.

    I sthere any central registry (Land Registry?) who holds records of Covenants?

    Any suggestions as to how we might proceed would be welcome.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Finding beneficiary of covenant

    There is no register of who holds the benefit of covenants.

    The burden of restrictive covenants runs with the land in English law, which is why they are registered in the Charges Register of the property that is affected by them. The burden of positive covenants does not automatically run with the land - each new owner is only bound by them if he or she agrees for themselves fo observe them

    While the benefir of covenants is normally expressed to attach to the land intended to be benefited, so that future owners can enforce them, this is not necessarily recorded by the Land Registry in the registers for that property, nor is there any other register that records them: it is a question of trawling through title documents which, of course, you do not have access to

    In view of the replies you have received from the council and the port authority, it seems that the covenant has lapsed, so it should be easy to get indemnity insurance to cover the remote risk of enforcement action. You will, however, need to disclose that you approached the council and the port authority - normally, that is a big "N0-no" - but in view of their replies there should be no problem

    I hope this helps
    This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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