Why Do I Have Restrictive Covenants Over My Freehold Land?
Posted on 18th March 2020
What is a “restrictive covenant”?
With a team of property lawyers in Lancaster, Preston and Garstang, we let our team of Property solicitors in Preston, namely our Chloe Cardwell and Sarah Lees, answer this one.
As our newly qualified solicitor Chloe states, ‘a restrictive covenant is any agreement whereby one party agrees not to do something or refrain from doing something.'
Chloe sells part of her land to Sarah, the deed or conveyance or transfer, which will give Sarah ownership of the land may contain a covenant that prevents Sarah from doing certain things on the land. For example, Chloe may be a strict teetotaller so Chloe may wish to ensure that Sarah does not sell any alcohol from the land. On the other hand, Chloe may wish to protect her privacy so she may impose a covenant that Sarah will not build any buildings within a certain distance from her home and any building which are build may not be able to have windows on a certain side of them.
How did the Second World War impact property law?
No – your local property lawyers in Lancaster are not pretending to be history teachers. That said we do know a little bit about the development of property law and what we can tell you is that shortly after the Second World War legislation was introduced to control development, this legislation is now known as the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The legislation covers what most people refer to as “planning permission” which requires you to obtain permission from the council before developing land or changing its use.
Before the War, because there were no planning permission controls in place, the use of restrictive covenants was very common.
Even now that planning legislation does exist if, using our previous example, Chloe wanted greater protection to ensure that her privacy was respected Chloe may insist that Sarah enters in to a restrictive covenant rather than relying solely upon the planning authority policies, which may change from time to time and by area.
What other ways can restrictive covenants be imposed?
The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 was passed, and this allowed house tenants with long leases to acquire the freehold.
Under the same Act s.19 allowed that where a single landlord had owned the freehold of all of the houses in an area, to continue the restrictions on any new developments. This may seem odd but any Property Law Solicitor will explain that this was allowed in the hope that it would maintain the character of an area. For example, Chloe may own all of the Freeholds for a town and impose a restrictive covenant that any buildings on that freehold must be build with red brick. So, the new development Sarah is building will now have the continued restriction placed over it, that those buildings too should be built in red brick.
If you are selling land and you want to impose a restrictive covenant or if you are buying a property which has restrictive covenants imposed upon it contact our Property solicitors in Lancaster now via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01995 602 129.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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