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Certificate of compliance/ covenants

(9 Posts)
letthefundusbegin Thu 26-May-16 14:45:11

Posting here as I am very confused.

I sold some land about 18 months ago, which the purchaser then built two houses on. As part of the sale restrictive covenants were registered, for example about only building two properties, agreeing to erect and maintain a fence etc.

The houses are now for sale and I have been contacted by one of the buyers asking me to:
"certify that the planning permission within the transfer has been complied with"

They are asking me to provide an appropriate certificate to confirm compliance with the clauses of the transfer.

So, my questions are-
How do I get a certificate of compliance?
Who should pay for this?
What does planning permission have to do with me, as I didn't have anything to do with any of the building work?

I had been in touch with the sellers solicitors and had approved the draft transfer of convenant document, so I will be giving permission to transfer over the covenants to the new owners of the house, but surely if I issue a certify compliance this then removes the convenants altogether as they have been 'complied with'?

I'm very confused about this, and think that if the seller/ buyer want to plough ahead with it all then they should offer to pay for my legal fees so this is done properly as it makes no odds to me if the house sells or not as I had nothing to do with building them in the first place.

wowfudge Thu 26-May-16 14:56:55

So tell them that you want their agreement in writing to cover your reasonable legal fees! Then ring the solicitor who acted for you in the sale and ask how much they will charge for providing the certificate.

letthefundusbegin Thu 26-May-16 15:00:22

Ok, I've emailed the buyers solicitors who wrote to me to explain that:

I have already approved the draft transfer of the convenants with the sellers solicitors
I don't have any information regarding planning permission
Who will be paying the fees involved in issuing this document

Just seems a bit random to get a letter 18 months later telling me to provide a load of legal information.

origamiwarrior Thu 26-May-16 16:20:35

I think it is because you are the issuer and beneficiary of the covenants, that the new buyer's solicitor wants to make sure you'e not going to kick up a stink saying that the fence doesn't comply with the covenant or you count the garage as an extra dwelling (i.e. any grounds on which you will sue the new buyer for breaching the covenant). They just want to be sure there is no come-back.

So absolutely they should pay, and not you. I expect the buyer's solicitor will draft the document (basically saying 'I agree that the house was built in accordance with the terms of the covenant and the fence as installed on 5 January is appropriate to satisfy the terms of the covenant, as long as it is maintained in good condition" etc) which you'll then need to get your solicitor to carefully scrutinise before you sign. And it is that cost that the buyer's will need to pay for.

letthefundusbegin Thu 26-May-16 16:43:04

Glad it's not just me thinking that I shouldn't be footing legal bills for this, I paid my fees etc when I sold the land.
The letter from the buyers solicitor implied it was for me to sort and basically said organise and send us the certificate of compliance please. There's no incentive at all for me to do anything and I don't think they can force me to, if anything me doing nothing mucks up their purchase. The houses were finished at Christmas, whilst the fences were done the same week as I sold the land to them. I have no issue whatsoever with any of the works so am more than happy to sign off on it, if they pay for my legal costs.

I have emailed my solicitor anyway and got a cost for doing the necessary paperwork and checks and hopefully once the buyers solicitor replies to my email then we can proceed. Otherwise the seller and buyer can go halves on the cost I guess.

wowfudge Thu 26-May-16 16:53:20

Okay - sounds as though this is being over-complicated. If I understand correctly, the purchaser's solicitor wants you to certify that the covenants have been complied with - you can certify this in a letter. You need to insist that someone - seller or purchaser - of the house covers your legal fees. Your solicitor would then ask the seller to provide proof that the planning permission has been complied with and the fence has been built. You provide the purchaser with the certificate they require (letter) and that's it.

If you sold the land and that's where your interest ends, then why are there covenants on it which it sounds as though you have the benefit of?

letthefundusbegin Thu 26-May-16 17:19:13

If it's just a letter then that sounds like it shouldn't be difficult, however I'd still have to instruct my solicitor so I will still then need to seek the cost of this from buyer/seller right?

The remaining convenants (which yes, I do have the benefit of) are mundane things like them maintaining the fence for the perpetuity period, only one family per house and two cars parked per house, not to create nuisance/ noise which affects my retained land, not to run business from either house, and for me to retain the right of access for repairs to my property and to access services which run through their land to my property. They also aren't allowed to extend or alter the floorplan within either house without my written permission.

In reality this means they have to repair/ replace the fence if it gets knocked over or damaged. It's one 25 metre length of fence between their garden and mine. That said, I believe that the convenants were put in place to maintain the future value of my property, ie not allowing the houses next door to be converted into massive HMOs with loft conversions, extensions etc so it is worth hanging on to these rather than just having these removed.

wowfudge Thu 26-May-16 18:35:27

I have found your posts confusing - talk about drip feeding! Anyway - you are just being asked to confirm the covenants regarding the building of the houses and fence have been complied with. Just make it clear your legal fees need to be covered by either the seller or buyer of the house and make sure your interests are protected.

whois Fri 27-May-16 12:01:13

The remaining convenants (which yes, I do have the benefit of) are mundane things like them maintaining the fence for the perpetuity period, only one family per house and two cars parked per house, not to create nuisance/ noise which affects my retained land, not to run business from either house, and for me to retain the right of access for repairs to my property and to access services which run through their land to my property. They also aren't allowed to extend or alter the floorplan within either house without my written permission.

They are quite restrictive!

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