We see all too often people not taking the time to properly review their Certificates of Title and the restrictions noted on it. This can include easements, certificates, consent notices and land covenants. In this blog we look at land covenants and consent notices.
Consent Notices are documents that contains a number of conditions that are required to be complied with on an ongoing basis. A consent notice is required by the Council, as part of a subdivision consent and the Council will enforce it.
Typically consent notice conditions refer to matters such as:
building platforms and geotechnical requirements,
protection of natural features such as areas of bush and wetlands.
They can however contain more site specific restrictions, such as controls on building Materials, colours, restrictions on building locations, types and sizes. You should make sure you are fully aware of what the consent notice conditions require and definitely check them as part of pre-purchase due diligence.
You are required to meet consent notice conditions, and the Council may come and monitor these from time to time. They are also likely to be reviewed when a building consent is lodged, so you should design a development to comply with these.
Land covenants are also restrictions on the land but can be placed on the title by a private person/company or a Council. These are effectively rules that the land owner must abide by.
The land covenant document will tell you who the relevant parties are, and what the restrictions are. If the Council is a party to the covenant, they can enforce this also. However, most land covenants are “private” and the Council is not a party to these; generally the Council will not get involved in enforcing these.
Council land covenants often relate to servicing, such as stormwater control and wastewater management. Again, be sure to read the documents and understand what’s required.
Many “private” covenants relate to how and what you can build and how you can use the land, with a view to keeping up the value of the subdivision. However, there are also ongoing obligations that can impact on your future use of the land so buyers need to fully understand the nature and potential effect of the covenants.
Our biggest advice on this topic is make sure you know what restrictions are on your title, what each document says and what you’re required to do. Do these investigations before you buy a site, and don’t rely on your lawyer to do this; make sure you know!
If you have any questions on what a consent notice requires, email us now!
As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s.