If you’re purchasing a property with land covenants it is important you understand the implications before completing the purchase.

Land covenants place legal rights and obligations on the property you own and are registered on your property record of title.

Restrictions can be anything from the colour of your house or what you use the property for, to where you park your car, and are common in new subdivisions.

If you, or your neighbour, breach one of the covenants, steps can be taken to rectify the breach.

Common practice is to give written notice specifying the breach, the work needed, and the consequences should the notice not be followed. Your neighbour will then have 15 working days to respond. If they don’t respond, it can be treated as an agreement of the breach.

You can then take action to rectify the breach and pass the costs on to your neighbour. However, your neighbour can respond with a cross-notice if they believe they are not liable.

You can’t take action to remedy the breach before the 15 days is up, nor if a dispute arises. Should you take action, your neighbour will not be liable for costs.

If you can’t resolve a dispute, an application can be made to the court for resolution and any court order is binding on all parties.