Conveyancing Solicitors acting for buyers of newer houses in the Rednal area of Birmingham usually find that such properties are subject to various restrictive covenants imposed when the houses were first sold by the original developers. This was the situation when Fridaysmove recommended Property Lawyer Dawn Thomas was acting for Mr and Mrs D buying a recently built house on brookdale Close, part of a modern estate, in 2010.
Sales details were received from sellers’ agents Your Move at 128 New Road, Rubery, Birmingham, West Midlands, B45 9HY (Tel: 0121 453 3041) confirming that the purchase price was in the region of £170, 000.
As soon as the draft contract and copy of the land registry title was received from the other Conveyancing Solicitors Gordon Jones and Co of Rubery, Birmingham B45. Dawn checked the title and noted that the register referred to restrictions and covenants contained in an earlier transfer deed. This was the transfer by the developer to the sellers, and Dawn asked their Conveyancing Solicitors to supply a copy.
Dawn also requisitioned a local search from the local authority, Birmingham City Council, Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BB (Tel: 0121 303 1111) as well as a drainage and water search, and an environmental search.
As is often the case with houses on more recent developments, access to the house was from an estate road via a driveway shared with several neighbouring properties. Although the local search confirmed that the road was adopted, the shared driveway was privately owned. Once Dawn had obtained a copy of the transfer deed, she was able to check that this contained appropriate legal rights of access over the drive, together with provisions for each of the houses which shared the drive to contribute to its maintenance. Since the house was only a few years old, the clients confirmed that the drive was in good condition, and that maintenance costs were unlikely to arise for some considerable time.
The transfer contained a number of restrictions of the type commonly encountered on modern estates. These are intended to keep the whole estate as a pleasant residential area, so prohibit such activities as hanging washing in the front of the house or permanently parking a caravan or boat on the drive. Obstructing the shared drive was not allowed. Although these restrictions or covenants may seem to be somewhat fussy, most owners generally comply with them.
Technically adjoining owners could take legal action for a breach of covenant if it caused them some loss or reduced the value of their property. This is rare, but because buyers usually do not want to find that the sellers have had an ongoing argument with the neighbours, Conveyancing Solicitors ask sellers to confirm that they are not in breach of any of the covenants.
The sellers confirmed this, and Dawn was otherwise satisfied with their replies to her additional enquiries. She therefore reported to the clients, who signed the contract. A completion date was agreed once the sellers had a date for their related purchase, and everything was completed to the buyers’ complete satisfaction.
They kindly took the trouble to write and thank Dawn for all the help she had given them in carrying out their Conveyancing work, and said that they thought it had been a lot less stressful than they anticipated.