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Somebody explain to me what a restrictive covenant is?

(39 Posts)
Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 14:23:46

FTB's here, we've just quickly done a search on the title register and we've noticed it says "the transfer to the proprietor contains a covenant to observe and perform any obligations affecting the property which will remain binding on the transferor after the date thereof and of indemnity in respect thereof"

Further down it actually says they could not get the original deed nor certified copy or examined abstract of said restrictive covenants.

So I have no idea what this means really, will we be bound to some kind of rule or not?
I can't even figure out what rule it is they've placed on the property.

Will this slow down the sale?

OutyMcOutface Tue 13-Feb-18 14:28:54

Restrictive covenant is a condition attatched to the ownership of the land that prevents you from exercising full rights of ownership. For example on a regular freehold you can build whatever you like subject to planning permission. But some restrictive covenants will have a restriction on building on all or part of the land restricting your typical rights as the freeholder.

tenbob Tue 13-Feb-18 14:29:12

A restrictive covenant is a term and condition attached to the property
Could be not running a business from it, or maintaining the look of the estate, or not having non-domestic animals in the garden

I had one on my last house to not brew or distill alcohol..!

You just need to call your solicitor and ask them to clarify if there are any

No reason it should hold up the sale though, unless you're buying it to run a farm/business/brewery and it turns out it's not allowed

Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 14:32:56

Oh haha that's hilarious tenbob how would anybody ever know if I WAS brewing? grin

If it was that I couldn't extend or build though then that would be a real pain in the bum.

The covenant was made in 1908!

sweetheart Tue 13-Feb-18 14:36:06

We had 2 on our last house - we were not allowed a fence higher than 4ft around our front garden (because we lived in a sort of open plan community and the street was pedestrianised) and we were not allowed to keep a caravan on the land.

StormTreader Tue 13-Feb-18 14:36:41

My parents neighbours have one on their house that the large front garden must remain as "parks and gardens", it could be anything really!

ShowMeTheElf Tue 13-Feb-18 14:36:51

In 1908 it was most likely alcohol or domestic animals (Ours says that we may not keep chickens, though previous householder did!). Worth a double check before you buy but probably not too damaging.

sweetheart Tue 13-Feb-18 14:37:50

No ignore me the 2nd one was that we weren't allowed to advertise on our land - so for example if we had installed new windows the company doing the installation would not have been allowed to put a board up as advertisement.

Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 14:41:10

This is all very interesting! I wonder if someone has something outrageous put in theirs grin

busyboysmum Tue 13-Feb-18 14:41:35

If they can't get the deed then your solicitor will insist on indemnity insurance so you won't have any problems.

busyboysmum Tue 13-Feb-18 14:43:59

Usually covenants are things like to keep the property insured, not to cause any nuisance to the neighbours etc

FinallyHere Tue 13-Feb-18 15:29:47

We have a tiny, courtyard-type garden, just about space for a cafe style table and two chairs.

A covenant prevents us from keeping pigs, also from drying clothes on an outside line. Shrug.

wowfudge Tue 13-Feb-18 15:57:27

A covenant isn't necessarily restrictive - the wording the OP has quoted suggests the covenant requires them to do something rather than refrain from doing something. We had a covenant which stated the hedges and fences between our house and next door (two semis) were party walls and we were jointly responsible for their upkeep and they had to maintained.

Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 16:04:19

It says covenant in one part then at the bottom states restrictive covenant.

SenecaFalls Tue 13-Feb-18 16:15:30

Where I live in the US, it is common to have covenants prohibiting drying clothes outside. But our state passed a "right to dry" law that makes them unenforceable.

joystir59 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:20:08

Indemnity insurance can be bought to cover weird stuff on title

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 13-Feb-18 16:20:46

You should flag to your solicitor and make sure they advise.
It could be a “not to build” covenant or similar which can be quite limiting. Insurance policies are usually available for such old covenants though, and you may be able to persuade the seller to agree to pay the the premium.

Restrictive covenants are effectively a way of controlling land use when you sell off part of your land. They can cover a wide range of different things.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 13-Feb-18 16:21:29

IF you are planning to possible extend/ build on the garden/ run a business from the property then it is worth making that particularly clear to your solicitor too

PlanNumber Tue 13-Feb-18 16:27:30

Who can enforce them? E.g if OP has a restrictive covenant saying she can't keep chickens, who would stop her?

I've often wondered this. PILs aren't allowed to put a wall round their front garden, but what would happen if they did?

LurkingQuietly Tue 13-Feb-18 16:30:06

You can get indemnities against restrictive covenants though - one of ours is that you cannot park cars in front of your property. Every single house including ours has a driveway in front of their house. Our sellers took out a £50 indemnity to protect us. Another one for us is that we can't keep rabbits. Oh well!

lovelyupnorth Tue 13-Feb-18 16:31:19

we have one that allows us access to an old cesspit and also can't build forward of the current properties both from 1935

and we are now on the mains and no idea where the cesspit is

Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 16:34:57

Well it would be nice to know that we had opportunity to extend in the future but it isn't paramount.

I hope it's something silly so I can laugh at it and tell everyone!

Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 16:40:05

PlanNunber I think it's the person who puts in place the covenant, usually the owner who then sells that on and has some sort of control over the land... I've been doing a bit of reading about it.

Mine seems to be some sort of agreement between two people called Walter and George who made the restrictive covenants but it says they can't find the original deeds/certificate for that.
So how on earth it's even enforceable is beyond me.
Also it was made in 1908 so I'm not sure how George or Walter are going to pursue if it somehow broke the agreement.

Didactylos Tue 13-Feb-18 16:40:43

We are not allowed to use the house to serve spiritous liquour to the public (house built about 100 yrs ago in a temperance area)

Feelings Tue 13-Feb-18 16:41:27

Or is it who it transfers over to?

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