How restrictive covenants affect home buyers in Gillingham

Conveyancing Solicitors often find when carrying out legal work for home buyers, Kent, that homes are subject to restrictive covenants contained in old title deeds. The majority of properties in the Gillingham area are now registered with the land registry, and any such restrictions affecting a home will either be set out in the title entries, or the title will refer to a filed document. In the latter case a copy of the relevant document can be obtained from the registry.

If Property Lawyers  find that a property title is not registered then they will have to obtain the original title deeds and documents, either direct from the seller or from any mortgage lender or bank which is holding them. Any covenants will be contained in these deeds, and a copy will be supplied to the purchaser’s Solicitor.

The purpose of such restrictions is to try and ensure that a home owner does not use the property in such a way as to cause nuisance or annoyance to adjoining owners. Owners are commonly prohibited from carrying out a variety of things, which might include carrying on any trade or business, repairing cars or parking caravans in front of a dwelling, and using a building as a dwelling for more than one family. Older covenants often listed a variety of undesirable trades that were not permitted, such as soap and tallow boilers or use as a lunatic asylum or hospital for contagious diseases.

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Although these restrictions were originally imposed in the days before modern planning legislation, when developers sought to ensure that the look and amenities of their housing developments was preserved, their use has continued and transfers of new homes will often include a substantial list of restrictions.

Buyers’ Conveyancers should explain the existence of such covenants to their clients. Many old restrictions may no longer be enforceable, but this cannot be assumed, and in some areas action will be taken by adjacent owners or even an original landowner if there is any breach.

A sample title from a Gillingham property

The following is an example, taken from the title register of a house in Second Avenue, Gillingham, ME7:

“A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 1 July 1926 made between (1) The Mayor Aldermen and Burgesses of The Borough of Gillingham (Corporation) and (2) George Archibald Maytum (Purchaser) contains covenants details of which are set out in the schedule hereto.

The Schedule

  1. Where a building line is shown on the said plan nothing is to be erected between that line and the frontage line except fences (which must not exceed 6 feet in height) bay windows and porches.
  2. The Purchasers shall permit all persons entitled thereto to pass with horses carts or otherwise over any portions of the land agreed to be sold which are included in the site of any road laid out by the Corporation or their predecessors in title.
  3. No house or other erection for the sale of intoxicating liquors shall be built on the said piece of land nor shall any portion of the premises be used for such purpose without the consent in writing of the Corporation.
  4. No shop shall be erected or constructed on the said piece of land without the previous consent in writing of the Corporation.
  5. No operative machinery shall be fixed or placed on the land hereby agreed to be sold except such machinery as the Corporation shall by writing approve.
  6. No noisy or offensive trade business or manufacture shall be carried on upon the said land and nothing shall be placed or allowed to remain upon the same which may be offensive or a nuisance to the owners or tenants of the adjoining land.
  7. No person shall excavate any gravel clay sand chalk stone or material of any kind whatsoever from the said land except when necessary for building purposes.
  8. No erection temporary or otherwise of the nature of a hut caravan house on wheels or other chattel intended for use as a dwelling or sleeping apartment nor any booths swings or roundabouts shall be erected made placed or allowed to remain on the said land.
  9. No buildings shall be erected on the land hereby agreed to be sold of less value than £400 the value of any building is the net first cost of the materials and labour involved in its construction exclusive of the value of the land forming the site.

NOTE:- No building line was shown on the copy Conveyance plan supplied on first registration. ”

Conveyancing Solicitors will advise on the effect of any restrictions affecting a dwelling. Contact us now for Quotes Fast, Cheap Conveyancing in Gillingham.