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House purchase contracts and covenants

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  • House purchase contracts and covenants

    I have a question regarding 'covenants' contained in house purchase contracts.

    When we bought our house recently it was a new build on a small development which now has a management company set up to manage and maintain the estate open spaces, central tv reception system etc. to which we pay an annual fee.
    In our purchase contract there were some covenants which we had to agree to which were initially between the developer and purchaser, and when the estate was finished these agreements were passed over to the management company.

    The covenants included
    - Not putting up solar panels
    - Not putting up outbuildings in our gardens (such as sheds, workshops conservatories etc)
    - Not parking our cars on the estate roads and only to use the spaces provided on the property (two car length spaces on a drive in front of the garage provided).
    - Not parking our vehicles in the parking spaces provided for residents visitors (small laybyes at the side of the roads)
    - Not parking vehicles such as sign written vans, motorhomes, caravans, boats etc. in our drives

    My question is - how enforceable are these covenants in law, and whose job would it be to enforce them.

    Any experienced views would be appreciated.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    I would have expected your conveyancing solicitor to have informed you of the import of the restrictive covenants, including who could enforce them against you.
    From your post it would seem the developer has assigned the benefit of the covenant to a third party (the management company) so it could enforce the covenants
    Then possibly the developer has enabled neighbours to enforce the covenant against each other called a Building Scheme where similar covenants are imposed on every property in a development and the ability to enforce is given to each owner.
    Also anyone owning land which benefits from the covenant will be in a position to enforce
    Last edited by des8; 9th October 2019, 13:26:PM.

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    • #3
      As you are the purchaser from new, these restrictions will generally be enforceable as a matter of contract.

      Comment


      • #4
        des8 2222
        Thanks for the feedback.

        We were aware of the covenants at the time of purchase, and in fact before the developer handed over the management company I did obtain permission from them to erect a conservatory (as did a couple of other residents) as I was told they had the last word.

        The management company is now 'owned' by the residents of the estate (58 in all) as 'members' and the current directors are residents.

        Interestingly there are a couple of residents who have continually used the visitors parking bays for their cars on a daily basis as an extension of their existing parking. So far the management company has taken no action - not even to approach the offenders and remind them of the covenant.

        Maybe this is because the directors do not want any confrontation with the offenders as they also live on the estate and would have to face them daily - but I wonder if they have set a precedent in allowing this contravention for so long.

        Comment


        • #5
          Even where the management company is owned by the residents, it's quite common to employ an agent to do the day to day work. This has the advantage that any confrontation is done by the agent.

          I think it is worth asking the directors to remind the offenders. Sometimes, people just forget or think it doesn't matter. There's no binding precedent been set.

          Comment

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