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Covenants and Easements

PPG_Blog_March_image 2_caveats and easements

If you’re looking to buy a property, it’s always prudent to check the title of a property you are thinking of buying to avoid any last minute restrictions or surprises that may interfere with the sale.

Restrictions included in the property title are called ‘covenants’ or ‘easements’ and can be placed to ensure the property or land is not used in certain ways or that buildings conform to certain requirements. This is often done on land within a sub-division to try and ensure the buildings are of a uniformly high standard. Other covenants may prevent views from being blocked or natural light being obstructed.

An easement is the legal term for a right, which someone other than the owner, has over the use of the land for a specific purpose. For example, the neighbours may have a right-of-way to enable access to their property or the local Water Corporation may have the power to obtain an easement to use part of the land for sewerage or water pipes.

Covenants and easements are reasonably common and in most cases will not affect the value or saleability of the property. However, before buying you should ask the selling agent if they exist, request copies and read and understand them before making a commitment to buy.

Generally, applying common sense should address your concerns and after taking the information into consideration you will be in a better position to make an informed decision on a purchase. Always seek legal advice if you are unsure.

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