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Restrictive Covenants

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  • Restrictive Covenants

    I have made an offer for a house which was accepted and received a signed form from the vendor to confirm there was no restrictive covenants on the property. However when I have done the searches with a solicitor they have found there is a restrictive covenant on the property and the current owner agreed to this 10 years ago.

    There are minor things like no chickens, you can't hang your washing out etc. but the one i'm worried about is if there is a problem with the sewer system, gas or electric or road I have to pay a fraction to repair these.

    Is there any way for me to get round this restrictive covenant? I do really like the house but do not want to be constantly worried I could be landed with a huge bill for repairs..

    Thanks

    James

  • #2
    Re: Restrictive Covenants

    1. You will only be liable for those parts of the service connections that are not part of the mains. How often are they really likely to need repair? Any private sewers automatically became public on 1st October 2011 so they can't be your responsibility anyway.

    2. This kind of thing is ever so common and there are a lot more serious issues that could be in restrictive covenants. You really need to stop worrying!
    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: Restrictive Covenants

      Hi Thanks for your reply...

      Since posting I have re-read the covenant and it also says you cannot sell without the owner of the covenant's permission - does this have any strength?

      Plus no extensions to property...

      I don't mind paying my share buy don't want to be restricted and under pressure from one home owner to repair something - plus we are moving to number 1 and the road we have to pay towards we wouldn't even need to drive on as it is part of the cul de sac further up!
      Last edited by Jamesl1208; 21-08-2012, 07:31 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Restrictive Covenants

        Also they can inspect the property at any time! Is there really no way I can buy the house without it?

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        • #5
          Re: Restrictive Covenants

          Originally posted by Jamesl1208 View Post
          Hi Thanks for your reply...

          Since posting I have re-read the covenant and it also says you cannot sell without the owner of the covenant's permission - does this have any strength?

          Unfortunately, yes. I'm guessing that the house you want to buy is either on a private estate or on a private road and that there is a management company in place (their permission would be needed to sell the house). From my own experience, the house deeds make it clear to the Land Registry that such permission is needed before the deeds can be transferred to any new owner. This is fine if the management company is effective - and indeed still in existence. However, there have been a couple of threads on this forum in the last year where the management company has ceased to exist and potential vendors or buyers are left in a sort of legal limbo for this reason.

          Your solicitor might be able to negotiate some changes to the covenant before you commit to buying but...be prepared for the fact that your solicitor will expend time and efforts trying to achieve this for you (and of course, this will cost) but there is no guarantee whatsoever that he or she will persuade the management company to change the covenant as you suggest. You need a solicitor who has particular expertise in dealing with freehold-with-covenant properties.

          Good luck, whatever you decide.

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