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Derek Ching
Derek Ching,
How restrictive covenants affect homebuyers
16 October 2017

Even the most clued-in house owners are often unaware of obscure rules that impact on what they're allowed to do in in their houses.

Buried in the small print of title deeds or leases are restrictive covenants that could cover everything from keeping animals to running a business.

Historically, the covenants were designed to maintain the image of an area or development. The burden of a restrictive covenant tends to “run with the land”, so successive owners or occupiers are also bound by the restriction.

While the age has no bearing on whether they can be applied, it is still possible to insulate yourself against their implications, Derek Ching, Commercial Property & Development Partner told MoneyWeek recently.

“Insurance is usually easily obtainable for ancient covenants which are there just as historical legacies. This allows thousands of house sales to go through smoothly each year, despite uncertainty over whether a covenant has been breached, or even where it is known that a covenant has been breached in the past,” he said.

Derek also noted that it is also possible to apply to HM Land Registry to register a release of restrictive covenants.

For a covenant to be “extinguished”, it must be “clear that the whole of the land which has the benefit can be precisely identified and that all the persons having an interest in the benefiting land have joined in”. As HM Land Registry’s Land and Property blog says, this is a “rare occurrence”.

For the full article on restrictive covenants, see here:

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