Covenants on Residential Properties
What are Covenants?
A Promise between two or more parties, incorporated in a trust indenture or other formal instrument, to perform certain acts or to refrain from performing certain acts (The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal 4th Edition.)
This basically means that covenantsare limitations on how you can use your property.
Why have Covenants?
- To maintain a certain level of uniformity, use and standard for the properties within a development.
Benefits of Covenants:
- Helps maintain a certain standard within developments (setbacks, building heights, fencing, etc.)
- Strengthens and protects property values
- Tends to have better infrastructure (such as roads, drainage & utilities)
- Minimalizes neighborhood nuisance
Example of Common Covenants:
- For the purposes of the erection of one private dwelling.
- Shall not build, install or carry on any business of commercial nature in a private house.
- Shall not erect any walls or fences on the lot.
- The lot shall not be sub-divided by way of sale or otherwise.
- Shall not keep any livestock, machinery or any apparatus that may cause a disturbance or nuisance to neighbouring properties.
Are Covenants actively kept?
Covenants should be kept and maintained in all developments where it is present. Some developments where covenants are present include Westerhall Point, Egmont, Fort Jeudy, Lance Aux Epines, etc.
There are also some smaller developments which are beginning to understand the importance of covenants and have started to include some covenants on properties for sale. These covenants maybe less stringent than established developments.
Further, there are some developments where we have noticed that the covenants are not enforced or adhered to; and this can negatively affect properties within those developments (real estate wise).
Here at Terra we advise our client to carefully review the covenants of a property, and consideration must be given to whether the covenants create a benefit or impose a burden to you prior to purchasing it, based on the purchaser’s intended use for the property.