Building an extension? Think about covenants!

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Generally speaking these days when a developer builds a new housing development he will include in the conveyancing documents things known as “restrictive covenants”.Basically these are rules about how the property can be used.They remain binding on the property for ever and therefore do not just have to be complied with by the first people who buy the property but by all subsequent owners as well.

It is important to remember that restrictive covenants do not only affect new properties but a lot of older ones as well.

One of the most common restrictive covenants on any relatively modern housing development is that the property should not be extended without the original builder’s consent.Most people forget about this when they build an extension!It is important that you try to contact the original developer to get their approval.They are unlikely to refuse but will probably want you to pay a fee (possibly of a few hundred pounds) to provide the consent.

You are likely to be asked whether you obtained consent under any restrictive covenant when you sell your property.

You also need to remember that this is an entirely separate requirement if it affects your property from the need to obtain either planning permission or building regulations consent for any extension.

For advice on this and other Residential Property issues, please contact Partner and Head of Residential Property Chris Pease.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.