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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi - I was wondering whether a covenant on land ever expires

Resolved Question:

Hi - I was wondering whether a covenant on land ever expires or whether it automatically transfers with ownership. There is a covenant on my garden that states I cannot build anything apart from a domestic garage on it without permission from the previous vendor. I am looking into selling my property this year and want to know if this will cause me a problem, or whether it is just an issue for me doing any work
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.



The covenant is called a restrictive covenant and will bind the land and your successors in title (ie. any buyer).


Whether it is an issue for the Buyer depends on whether they wish to build on the land. If there was a breach of this covenant then the usual ways of dealing with it would be to either take out a restrictive covenant indemnity policy which would cover for the loss suffered as a result of the person who imposed the covenant/their successors taking enforcement action in respect of the covenant OR contacting the person who imposed it/their successors and asking for a release or modification of the covenant OR applying to the lands tribunal for a release/modification (though this is fairly expensive).


Ultimately it only matters if the buyer is intending on building something on the land. If they are then it will be for them to decide which way they want to proceed.


If the covenant is very old then it is less likely that it will be enforced by the original person who imposed it and very often the Buyer tends to take a view on this and proceed. Alternatively, they can decide to carry out the work and obtain an indemnity policy.


It is unlikely to disrupt your sale save for in the case of the very most prudent buyers, but you should for the sake of not wasting time probably disclose the covenant when persons are viewing as it will be revealed in the conveyancing process in any event.


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Kind regards,


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