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Property Record

Solicitor decides covenant not a problem on London home

Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor Laura Gill carried out the Conveyancing work for the buyer of a home in LONDON. The property was being sold by a local housing association, and their agents had negotiated the sale. Contract and title documents were sent by the Association's Conveyancing Solicitors. The copy of the title registered at the land registry confirmed that the housing association was the registered owner and also contained details of some covenants affecting the property.

The register included a note that the transfer dated 2 February 1987 referred to in the charges register of the title was made pursuant to Part V of the 1985 Housing Act and the land has the benefit of (but where so stated in the Transfer only so far as the Council could lawfully grant the same) and is subject to such easements as are granted and reserved in the transfer and the easements and rights specified in Paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 of the said Act.  Although no copy of the 1987 transfer was supplied, the note was clear evidence that it incorporated the relevant rights specified in the 1985 Housing Act, so that no further enquiries were necessary.

As is usual for housing association-owned houses, there were restrictions registered against the title, preventing any transfer of the property except with the consent of the housing corporation. A charge was also registered in favour of the Housing Finance Corporation, which had presumably lent money to the association in connection with their original purchase. Laura therefore had to make sure that the sale was properly authorised and that the charge would be removed when the sale was completed, so she asked the seller's Conveyancing Solicitors to give the necessary undertakings.

A Conveyance of the land in this title dated 6 March 1936 contained the following covenant set out in the title register:

"That the covenantors nor any future Director or Directors of the Company shall not sell any land which may now or hereafter belong to the Covenantors or the said Director or Directors of the Company or Companies within a radius of one mile of the said land described or permit any building which may be erected thereon to be used for the purposes of high class cinematograph exhibitions and other public entertainments car park or any other trade which may be carried on by the Covenantee and shall have been approved by the Covenantors upon the said land shown on the plan hereto annexed and thereon edged pink (which purposes are hereinafter referred to as "the said purposes"). NOTE:-The land in this title falls within the radius of one mile referred”.

This covenant was clearly of little importance as the property being acquired was a private house, and there was no intention to use it as a cinema or other use in breach of the covenant. Covenants of this nature are not unusual in old transfer deeds and where as in this case, they are clearly now irrelevant and can safely be disregarded.

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