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What are real estate covenants?

On behalf of Lang Law Office posted in Real Estate Transactions on Friday, May 05, 2017.

Real estate covenants do not apply to all property, but if one applies to your property, then you will be restricted regarding the way you alter or build your property. Two of the most important pieces of legal terminology in the realm of covenants are burdened land and benefited land.

Burdened land refers to the land that the real estate covenant applies to. Benefited land refers to the land that is benefiting from the covenant. For example, let’s say your home is on a hill, and there’s another just up the hill. You want to build a couple more stories on top of your home, but if you build them it will obstruct the view of the one above you. Also, there’s a real estate covenant on your property that prevents you from building up beyond a certain level in order to preserve the other property’s view.

Anyone who is purchasing a property needs to watch out for real estate covenants hidden within the contracts of sale that apply to their properties. They are also found in the property’s certificate of title, or within another document that will be referenced in the title. Covenants won’t be purposefully hidden from view, however. The owner of the benefited land will surely want you to know about it because that person will want you to follow the covenant.

Breaking a real estate covenant could put you in serious trouble with the law and you may incur stiff financial liabilities. For this reason, it’s important to fully understand and adhere to any real estate covenants that apply to your property. At the Lang Law Office in Minneapolis, we help property owners navigate their real estate covenant disputes. If you are facing a serious issue relating to your real estate covenant, our legal team is available to help.