Tag Archives: Conveyancing

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

What is a Restrictive Covenant?

A restrictive covenant is an agreement made by Deed between land owners which restricts the way land may be used and developed. It is usually imposed by the seller of the land who wishes to retain some control over what happens after the land is sold.

Before you purchase a property with Restrictive Covenants you should make sure you are aware which ones have an expiry date (if any) and which run into infinity and whether there have been any breaches of the restrictions.

The landowner can put any restrictions they want, as long as they are reasonable (for example it might restrict the future use of the land, or restrict the ability to build on the land or add to existing buildings).

If there is a breach of restrictive covenant, the landowner who benefits from the covenant can apply to the court for damages against the current owner of the (servient) land and, if successful the owner of the (servient) land could end up having to pay compensation.   If land that you own is subject to restrictive covenants and you considering carrying out work that would potentially breach the covenants, then it is advisable to get the dominant land owner to sign a deed of release which would release the land from the burden of the restrictive covenant.  It is likely that the dominant landowner would require some form of monetary compensation in order to provide the release.

If the property deeds are old or the land has been transferred and split multiple times it is sometimes hard to determine the beneficiary of the restrictive covenant. In circumstances like these the servient land owner would be advised to take out an indemnity policy.

An indemnity policy can protect you in case you breach a restrictive covenant. The price of the indemnity insurance would depend on the value of the property and the time in which you take out the policy. It’s important that you read it carefully and understand what it covers.  However, it should be noted that a standard indemnity policy will only cover prior breaches and not future breaches and is only a “litigation” tool.

For any property-related questions or queries do not hesitate to contact our Conveyancing team on 01202 877400.

Why Should You Register Your Land?

There are two land systems In England and Wales – registered land and unregistered land. If a piece of land and ownership of it is recorded on the Land Register it’s registered land. When a property gets registered, the title is “guaranteed” by the Land Registry. The Register is open to the public and can be accessed by anyone.

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Why Should You Register Your Land?
The Winter Season – A Great Time to Sell Your Property!

The Winter Season – A Great Time to Sell Your Property!

Not too many people know that January and February can be two of the best months for putting your property on the market! The fact is that most sellers wait for better weather in Spring and frequently there really isn’t enough stock to meet demand during the winter months. As a seller you can use that to your advantage. You can potentially attract a large number of buyers with a good presentation and a fair guide price.


Clean Inside and Out!

Cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say! Make sure that your property is clean both inside and outside! If you own a house you need to make sure front gardens, paths and doorways are all spruced up – they’re the first things your potential buyers will see before entering the property. In case you’re selling a flat, you’ll need to make sure to sweep the stairs and banisters!


Make it cosy!

A blazing fire in your fireplace can make your property feel really cosy during the cold winter season. Psychologists also suggest that it creates a feeling of warmth and being reminded of childhood and feeling comfortable, safe and loved. Combine that with some soft music playing in the background and a warm cup of tea or fresh coffee.


Check Your Light Bulbs!

Make sure that all the lights inside your home are working so your home is well lit throughout! If you have any outside lights and security lights, remember to check if those are working as well, in case potential buyers are interested!  In order to ensure a better score in the Energy Efficiency section of the Home Report replace traditional light bulbs with LED ones, if you haven’t done so yet!


Have Your Boiler Maintained!

Have the boiler maintained prior to putting your home on the market! Many buyers will check when the boiler was last inspected and a sticker or magnet marking the date of the last inspection can add peace of mind for potential buyers.


Update the Photos!

Don’t use old pictures of your property as clients might think it’s been on the market for a while. Don’t take any photos if you’ve already decorated your home for Christmas – do it after you’ve taken your decorations down as they can make the rooms look cluttered!

Thinking of selling your home? Call our Conveyancing specialist Luke Hunt on 01202 877 400 today!

Top 10 Energy Saving Tips

With the temperatures dropping rapidly in winter everywhere homeowners across the UK will see their electric bills rise to accommodate for their increased energy usage. Here are some helpful tips on how you can save some money by saving energy during the coldest season.

Keep Curtains Closed

Closing the curtains prevents the cold air from seeping through the windows, thus making heating your home more efficiently.

Bundle up with warm accessories

Instead of turning the heating up, put on a cosy jumper and a pair of warm socks. Keep throw blankets on your couch, and add an area rug to insulate the floor.

Remember to turn off the lights

Making sure that you switch on the lights only when necessary will drastically decrease your energy bills.

Adjust the thermostat at night

Consider turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees while sleeping at night and use warm blankets and heaters to keep yourself warm.

Only heat the rooms you use

Close and seal off the vents in rooms you rarely use in order to be more energy efficient and direct the flow of air to the rooms you use most.

Keep your furnace clean and unblocked

Keeping your boiler and vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help you save. Check your boiler filter monthly, and replace it when it gets dirty.

Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air

Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.

Invest in insulation

Some inexpensive insulation from your local home improvement store can save you a lot of money long-term.

Decorate with LED lights for the holidays

LED holiday lights use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than older, incandescent lighting. Not only do they waste less energy, but the also emit less heat and are more resistant to breakage, making them a safer alternative.

Only use exhaust fans when necessary

Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your apartment. Limit the use of your exhaust fans and make sure you shut them off when you are done with them.


Top 10 Energy Saving Tips
Brexit and House Prices

Brexit and House Prices

The key comments coming out of initial post-Brexit news regarding housing were that we could expect to see a flatlining of prices and in some areas, a decrease. A year onwards and this is only partially true. Prices in the London market have come down, especially in those central areas where the market was already at extortionate heights. In the City of London, average house prices from June 2016 to June 2017 have fallen by more than 20% to £723,576.

However, stats for the UK as a whole show that from June 2016 to June 2017, average house prices rose by £10,000 to £223,257 according to the Office for National Statistics, with similar statistics being reported by Halifax. After Brexit, many reported about the potential opportunities for first-time buyers to get onto the market due to the forecasted flatlining prices; including Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst Gaby Trinkaus. Currently what is being reported by Paul Smith of Haart estate agents, is that first-time buyer enquires are down 20% in the last year, however, Haart are a mostly based London estate agency, therefore, this may not be representative of nationwide enquiries.

Despite the uncertainty in Brexit negotiations and what a post-EU UK economy will look like, the housing market has pushed onwards and upwards even through a drop off in affordability; due to inflation outstripping wage growth and squeezing real incomes, has occurred. The housing market has been kept underpinned by a large amount of undersupply, low unemployment and low mortgage rates. In the short-term, I fully expect this to continue despite the Brexit uncertainty.

The Bank of England may implement a modest increase in base rates towards the end of 2017 to try and bring down inflation, but the current rhetoric implies this will not likely happen until early 2018 at the soonest. Of course, this will take the “heat” out of the economy; mortgage rates will rise and unemployment may be affected, but inflation will fall, helping the affordability factor. Furthermore, rising base rates can often be seen as a move to restore economic confidence and give signals to lenders as well as home owners that the worst has passed, therefore, leading to more mortgages and potentially more houses on the market. However, it is simply too early to tell what direction we are heading in and how these signals will be interpreted.

In summary:

  • Housing prices have, on average, grown by £10,000 in the year since the Brexit vote
  • London house prices have been coming down slowly
  • First-time buyers are still struggling to enter the market
  • Undersupply, low mortgage rates and low unemployment are underpinning house prices and this looks set to continue
  • Base rate decisions by the Bank of England will play a large role in the future direction of the housing market

Newnham & Jordan Solicitors at Tough Mudder

Last Sunday our brave Conveyancing Executive Luke Hunt took part in the Tough Mudder obstacle race (also known as the “Toughest Event On the Planet”) in London. Fearlessly running through mud pits and swimming through murky waters he finally crossed the finishing line after 5 hours and 30 minutes, raising over £300 for McMillan Cancer Support Charity.

Who says that solicitors never get their hands dirty?

You can follow Luke on his journey through the treacherous obstacles in the video below.

Newnham & Jordan Solicitors at Tough Mudder