It’s my home and I’ll build what I want to!
Understandably many people assume that because they have bought a property – it is for them, and them alone, to decide how they can now go about creating their dream home…..WRONG!
Whether you have a bought a freehold or leasehold property, you may be surprised when you read the small print….that being the deeds or the lease of the property. There can often be things set out in the small print that will restrict what can be done to the property.
When the time comes you arrange for some plans to be drawn up, apply for planning permission and building regulation approval, both of which are received and then the build begins. You even decide to install a lovely summerhouse in the garden. Once the extension is finished the Council then come out and sign off the work and you are now able to enjoy your lovely new living space and to sit back and relax.
Fast forward ten years, life is going well and you decide you would like to move up the property ladder. You agree a sale, and during the conveyancing process you are asked to provide consent for the extension and the summer house and also provide the planning permission and building regulation approval for the extension. You have this information but you are somewhat confused as to what other consents you would have needed.
It then becomes clear that contained within your deeds, there are obligations known as restrictive covenants, which limit what you can do with the property. In this instance, your title contains a restrictive covenant stipulating that no additional structures are to be added to the property without the consent of ABC Ltd. Consequently, both the extension and summer house would have required this consent and in the absence of such consent, ABC Ltd would be perfectly entitled to take action against you for breach of the covenant. This could include the requirement of you returning the property to its original state. Had you been aware of this restriction, you would perhaps have decided not to purchase the property in the first place. So what do you do now? You want to sell and don’t want this issue to prevent that.
There are a number of options that you could pursue but the appropriate response will depend upon your particular circumstances, and in such cases Sousa Law aims to provide you with the best advice for your individual circumstances. Furthermore, when acting for you in the purchase of your new home, Sousa Law will inform you of any such matters that could affect your intended use of your future home – enabling you to plan your dream home with the full knowledge of how to achieve it, without setting yourself up for a fall in the future.
This article does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only
Georgina Pickering, Conveyancer