News & Views

Property Land Covenants

The West Auckland property market is booming with plenty of new developments and construction happening all over the West. If you are looking at buying a house, or building one, it is crucial you know what interests affect the title. Lawyers look at the title for you as various interests may be registered against a title which set out rules and/or restrictions that apply to your property about how you can use and enjoy it. In modern times, one interest commonly appearing on titles, especially in new developments, is a land covenant.

WHAT ARE LAND COVENANTS?

Covenants are a set of rules and restrictions that affect how a property can be used. If you are buying a new section, or house that has recently been built, chances are there will be land covenants registered on the title. Developers often have covenants in place to maintain certain standards of quality with, for example, construction of the dwelling and landscaping. Covenants may also contain restrictions on any number of things, including: the type of materials that can be used to build with, the size of the house and where it can be placed on the section, and even its colour and architecture. Modern developments usually do not permit relocatable homes, or the use of recycled or second-hand materials. Your lawyer will seek any permissions that are needed from the developer to construct the dwelling.

Covenants may also restrict the type of activities allowed on a property, such as running a business, or even if pets are allowed. While some of these things may seem unnecessary or intrusive, they form an important part of the property and an owner is legally bound to observe them at all times. Other landowners who share the same covenant rules can seek to enforce them where a property owner fails to follow the covenant rules, and could potentially face court action.

WHAT COULD A LAND COVENANT MEAN FOR YOU?

Landowners should always have a clear understanding before buying about the effect covenants can have on the new landowner, the construction of a building, and activities that are allowed on the property before they buy. Always engage an experienced property lawyer who will obtain all registered interests that affect the title and explain the effect and impact the covenants will have on you and the enjoyment of your land.

This article was written by Gina Jansen, Managing Director of Gina Jansen Lawyers Ltd, and was reproduced in the West Auckland publication “Window on Swanson” in January 2021. Disclaimer: the content is not to be reprinted without the express permission of the author, nor is it intended to be relied upon or quoted as legal advice. Contact Gina Jansen Lawyers for legal advice.

Gina Jansen Lawyers are based at 9C Moselle Ave, Henderson, West Auckland but provide nationwide legal services with offices by appointment in Raglan and Ngaruawahia in the Waikato. Gina Jansen is an Accredited Specialist of the Property Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society. The above article is not legal and/or financial advice and is intended as a guide only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Legal advice specific to your circumstances should always be obtained. Our legal services include: property, conveyancing, trusts, estate administration, wills and enduring powers of attorney, relationship property settlements, divorce, Inland Revenue tax debts and disputes, bankruptcy, liquidation, commercial and business law. We welcome enquiries by phone or email.  We can provide referrals to a highly recommended group of chartered accountants, insurance brokers, financial advisers, mortgage brokers. Contact us for details by phone on 09 8695820, 0800 544508,  or refer to our website https://www.ginajansen.co.nz.    

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