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Land covenants are a legal document that purchasers agree to when buying a property, and because of this they are enforceable. If a property owner breaches a land covenant, they could face legal action in the form of a claim or court order from any owner within a ‘mutual land covenant scheme’ (i.e. neighbours).
How could a land covenant affect my build?
While land covenants aren’t put in place to specifically get in the way of what you want to build on a site, some positive and restrictive land covenants could affect what it is you’re wanting to achieve.
For example, a covenant could dictate the section-to-house size ratio and if you’re building to a specific budget, this may mean you have to build a larger home than you had originally intended to - getting you into trouble further down the track. The land covenants list of approved cladding materials may also not be the finish you were looking for, meaning you have to compromise, or perhaps face another budgetary issue (as some cost more than others).
So the most important takeaway from all of the above information is to not only check what land covenants exist on the title of the section you’re looking to purchase in order to build a new home, but also what they actually mean for the design and build itself.
And often the best way to do this is to speak to an experienced, reputable builder (like us!) before you sign on the dotted line - they’ll be able to explain exactly what considerations need to be made so you don’t get caught out later on.
Disclaimer: We always recommend talking to your lawyer regarding land covenants before making any decisions on purchasing property.