Tue 23 Aug 2022
A post-pandemic penchant for ‘staycations’ has seen a reported rise in ownership of caravans & motorhomes and this, in turn, might come to highlight one of the more technical aspects of house buying in processing the paperwork of the sale.
Shouler & Son’s Richard Cleaver, the firm’s Head of Residential, shares some general points on the matter of property covenants.
In 25 years of estate agency, I have been involved in a couple of property sales where a covenant attached to the property did not permit the permanent parking of a caravan or a motorhome on a property’s drive or in its garden.
These potential sticking points were overcome only by close attention and co-operation between each party’s estate agent and legal advisors.
In combining their areas of property expertise, each set of property professionals steered their clients through the requirements to achieve the sale.
According to the trade body representing a broad range of stakeholders with interests in in the touring caravan, motorhome and caravan holiday home and residential park homes sector, there are 555,000 touring caravans and 225 motorhomes in current use in the country (source: The NCC).
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has prompted new holiday arrangements for many that are UK-staycation-focused - in total or in part - and the purchase of caravans or motorhomes in order to do this.
This leads many in residential estate agency to consider that the instances of a property covenant clashing with permitted caravan or motorhome storage within the property’s boundaries might surface more often in the coming months and years when it comes to house buying and selling.
In using the example of permanent caravan or motorhome storage, I have, I acknowledge, highlighted a potential drawback and a negative aspect of property covenants.
However, the existence of a covenant could well work in the interest of a property or land owner in protecting against a change of use or further development.
Covenants are an arcane area of property law dating back centuries through the peculiarities and evolution of land and property ownership in this country.
Restricted covenants and covenant release are very technical areas of property law and, thereby, only to be undertaken by qualified experts who can, generally, overcome restrictions through negotiation and compensation.
At Shouler & Son, we are great believers in encouraging our vendors to get all their paperwork in order ahead of the sale in making them, what we call, ((shoulers.co.uk/articles/making-market-ready-movers)) market-ready movers.
The existence of any covenant on the property for sale is more than likely to surface through the preparation of this documentation prior to market launch.
This should ensure that our vendors and their buyers can proceed clearly, and with confidence, through the transaction ahead.
To find out more about Shouler & Son’s full range of residential property services, see shoulers.co.uk/pages/residential-services.