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Covenants in land law.

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  • Essay length: 2439 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Land Law

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A covenant in land law is a promise created by deed1 between two parties, one providing the promise not to engage in an activity (negative) or to do a positive action on their own land for the benefit of the other parties neighbouring land e.g. preservation of non-business character in residential areas.

Covenants between freeholders contain two aspects; a benefit to the person receiving the obligation and a corresponding burden to the provider. The rules relating to transmission of the benefit of the covenant are independent from the transmission of a burden. It is possible for the benefit to run to 'successors in title' of the original covenantee but for the burden to have been destroyed or to bind original covenantor only (see later), and vice versa.

The benefit of a covenant will pass provided that the covenant 'touches and concerns'2 the land of the original covenantee at the time it was made. This means property law is concerned with the transmission of proprietary rights, not personal advantages. This ensures the title is not cluttered up by obligations that are merely temporary, ambiguous and personal in nature, the conveyance of land is unfettered.

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