July 26, 2016

Housebuyers can’t be blasé about restrictive covenants

A recent piece in the Guardian newspaper has reminded homeowners about the potential perils of restrictive covenants.

Buyers are advised to be aware of any clauses buried in the small print of a property’s deeds.

The covenants in question sometimes date back more than a century but can still cause problems for modern-day owners.

Journalist Lily Canter said: “It could include anything from building another property on your land to keeping chickens.

“Breaching [a restrictive covenant] can be an expensive mistake, so it pays to know if your property has any and, if necessary, protect yourself from any fallout.

“Some rules date back many years. The owners of at least one Edwardian property in Brighton and Hove are prohibited from displaying their washing in a ‘lewd and lascivious manner’.”

Despite the age – and slightly amusing wording - of some conditions, that is not to say they won’t be enforced. Indeed, housing developers and property management companies can often be enthusiastic about doing so.

It is important that any potentially problematic covenants are identified during the conveyancing process so that the likely implications can be assessed at the early stage. At Royds, our residential property team has a wealth of experience handling transactions around London and further afield. For more information on the services we provide, please contact Deborah North or Relf Clark or visit.

If a dispute arises you can also contact our property litigation team please visit or contact Chris Rodda or Jacinta Conway.

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