Just like buying a home, buying a block of land also involves several legalities, and a lot of documentation work. To understand everything step by step, it is advised to hire a real estate agent – an acreage specialist who can guide you right in making such a big investment.
There are a number of legal terms as well that one must understand. We will see those in this blog.
What is a Covenant?
Once you choose the location of your land, you will be required to look into more specific matters related to the site. It means that you should check whether the land is affected by covenants or easements or if it is fully serviced.
A covenant is the condition that imposes restrictions or set duties on the use of the land, irrespective of the owner.
Where Do Property Covenants Hide?
A property covenant can be found in the contract of sale. But commonly you may even find it within the land certificate of title or even in a separate document given within the title.
The covenant is not a microscopic small print that you cannot see. Whosoever makes a property covenant for you would want you to know about it so that you do not break any restrictions.
The solicitor will pick up all the details of a property covenant if it exists in the contract of land sale or the title certificate. The solicitor will guide you about the details, and about the complex legal requirements.
What Does Covenant Define?
It defines building height, fencing types, and even the materials from which dwellings are constructed. Many estates have general covenants which apply universally to planning zones but there are some estates that have significant restrictions or covenants. You must know which covenants you must avoid to avoid any surprises when you decide to build on a piece of land.
What is An Easement?
An easement is a part of the land that someone else may need access to in the near future. They could be anything, local authorities such as suppliers of electricity, the council, water, and sewerage services. While the need to access an easement might be rare, the portion of land in question mut be kept clear unless you receive a ‘build over permit’.
Because of technological advancement, fear of easements has diminished but it is still something you must be aware of.
An easement often runs along the boundary of a property which allows your home to be positioned to prevent it. Talk to a land specialist in case you are unsure about how an easement can affect you.
These services include water, electricity, sewerage, telephone facilities on the land. While researching for a piece of land, you may find many residential estates to be fully serviced and ready to be used. However, in the rural and rural-residential areas, this might not be the case and you might have to pay for the connection of essential services out of your own pocket. If you think you need to do this, make sure you get quotes from several civil contractors before buying the land. Ask about the service connections early on so that you can create a budget accordingly.
Types of Covenants
The most common form is the one that the developer will impose on their land to benefit the whole development.
It is also called a land covenant which can extend or include a contractual constraint on the number of buildings that can be built as well as what structural and external materials are allowed for the building.
How Does a Property Covenant Benefit?
It benefits by ensuring the quality of all construction within the development or the area. This also ensures that the houses built within the development possess a particular look and also adhere to some quality.
While everything is being planned, the economic health of the entire development is taken care of.
Note: Land covenant is a private treaty. The councils neither create nor monitor them.
How Long Do Property Covenants Last?
Many restrictive property covenants do not have any expiry date unless the contract states so. You may also read in the contract of sale that the covenant ‘runs with the land’. It simply means that any new owner of burdened land under the restrictive property covenant will inherit similar restrictions on signing the contract.
Do You Need to Care for the Same?
The answer is yes. Covenants can restrict the colour of paint you use in the house. It may even restrict the position of your air conditioning unit, bins or any other exterior concern that might influence the way your house looks.
But here’s one thing, you must remember that the restrictions that you may have on the property will be the same for the properties that surround you. It also means that you can be sure that the houses to be built on the land will be of good quality and will not deteriorate the value of a property.
If you have any queries related to the land, acreage, or property, contact Raine and Horne Land Victoria experts. Our team of professionals will help you in every way possible. So, if there is anything that is causing confusion, just reach out to us.