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  # 2228414 1-May-2019 09:54
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Paul1977:

 

The is a similar clause on my title that the developer has to approve the plans, my understanding is this is just a way to make sure that nothing horribly ugly or out of place can be constructed. It would be easy for someone to follow all the fine print of the covenants but still build an ugly house if that sort of clause wasn't in there.

 

 

Sorry, but this doesn't make sense to me.

 

Surely if the design meets all the conditions of the covenants there are no grounds for the developer to not sign off on the plans?

 

Otherwise it's simply arbitrary and down to what the developer thinks is 'horribly ugly' and 'out of place'. I'd have thought this was managed through the wording of the covenant - eg, no corrugated iron to be used on the sides of houses, fences to be made of x and to be no more than y high...

 

Each to their own, I find the idea of these type of covenants a real turn-off - it's incredibly precious to impose one's own aesthetic preferences on a wider community. It's surely also one of the contributory factors behind why modern developments are so characterless and homogenous. Whenever I drive through these suburbs the song 'Little Boxes' starts going through my mind: 

 

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes all the same
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same


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  # 2228469 1-May-2019 10:06
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jonathan18:

 

Paul1977:

 

The is a similar clause on my title that the developer has to approve the plans, my understanding is this is just a way to make sure that nothing horribly ugly or out of place can be constructed. It would be easy for someone to follow all the fine print of the covenants but still build an ugly house if that sort of clause wasn't in there.

 

 

Sorry, but this doesn't make sense to me.

 

Surely if the design meets all the conditions of the covenants there are no grounds for the developer to not sign off on the plans?

 

Otherwise it's simply arbitrary and down to what the developer thinks is 'horribly ugly' and 'out of place'. I'd have thought this was managed through the wording of the covenant - eg, no corrugated iron to be used on the sides of houses, fences to be made of x and to be no more than y high...

 

Each to their own, I find the idea of these type of covenants a real turn-off - it's incredibly precious to impose one's own aesthetic preferences on a wider community. It's surely also one of the contributory factors behind why modern developments are so characterless and homogenous. Whenever I drive through these suburbs the song 'Little Boxes' starts going through my mind: 

 

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes all the same
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

 

 

Perhaps developers with very detailed and restrictive covenants don't all have the clause about them needing to approve it first - I'm not sure.

 

My developer has very few set rules as they want to ensure a nice variety of houses, which I liked compared to many new subdivions that have page after page of rules. But this is probably the main reason that they specifically have the clause giving them "veto power", as having so few set rules could otherwise open them up to some real monstrosities!

 

I think I prefer the approach my developer is taking as it is less restrictive, but I agree it does rely on a rather arbitrary approval process. Fortunately everything I've heard about my developer is that it is very seldom an issue.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2228578 1-May-2019 11:06
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nickb800:

BlinkyBill: Trent is likely to be in breach of the terms of the covenant if indeed he is simply refusing to review the plans. And then if he refuses to sign off on the plans if they are compliant with the terms of the covenant. The LIM report on the property will disclose what is permissible and what is not, in terms of the covenant, and of course the local authority guidelines.

I would in the first instance contact the relevant local authority planning office, and send them the written communication from Trent which discloses his refusal to review the plans. I would be extremely surprised if they didn’t lean on Trent to fulfill his obligations under the covenant terms.


I don't think the local authority has anything to do with covenants - it's a contractual matter between Trent and owners of the covenanted properties.


Covenants have to comply with the Annual Plan of the relevant local authority, need to be registered with them a they can appear on titles etc. A covenant on land use can not override the plan for the district affected or the RMA.

When checking the title of a property all applicable covenants need to be registered to each title. The covenant is on the property, it is not a condition related to the sale and purchase agreement.

So absolutely the title administrator, for land, being the local authority, knows about and approves the covenants.




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  # 2228592 1-May-2019 11:25
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I am watching Crofton Down area with interest; and I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I am also currently building; and the whole process for the first timer has been reasonably stressful. I just wanted to send you an encouraging note and hope this all works out well for you! Please keep us posted.


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  # 2228627 1-May-2019 12:18
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BlinkyBill:
nickb800:

 

BlinkyBill: Trent is likely to be in breach of the terms of the covenant if indeed he is simply refusing to review the plans. And then if he refuses to sign off on the plans if they are compliant with the terms of the covenant. The LIM report on the property will disclose what is permissible and what is not, in terms of the covenant, and of course the local authority guidelines.

I would in the first instance contact the relevant local authority planning office, and send them the written communication from Trent which discloses his refusal to review the plans. I would be extremely surprised if they didn’t lean on Trent to fulfill his obligations under the covenant terms.

 

 

 

I don't think the local authority has anything to do with covenants - it's a contractual matter between Trent and owners of the covenanted properties.

 


Covenants have to comply with the Annual Plan of the relevant local authority, need to be registered with them a they can appear on titles etc. A covenant on land use can not override the plan for the district affected or the RMA.

When checking the title of a property all applicable covenants need to be registered to each title. The covenant is on the property, it is not a condition related to the sale and purchase agreement.

So absolutely the title administrator, for land, being the local authority, knows about and approves the covenants.

 

Other countries might do things differently, but in NZ covenants are registered with LINZ, a central government department, who administers property titles. While councils might put covenants on properties for their own reasons, the developer covenants being talked about in this thread don't go through councils. What the buyer does with the land needs to comply with the local authority's District Plan (not annual plan), so of course it would be silly for the covenant to require something that is illegal. 

 

 

 

Can't find a better reference at the moment, so Stuff will have to do

 

stuff :

 

WHAT IS A COVENANT?

 

...

 

- These obligations are attached to the title of a property, which a land owner must abide by. Unlike resource and building consents, they do not fall under local government jurisdiction.

 

 


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  # 2228738 1-May-2019 13:57
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yes, that is a land covenant. District/Annual plan are, for the purposes of this conversation, the same thing.

I would still contact the local authority planning office, having gotten Trents position in writing.




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  # 2228753 1-May-2019 14:48
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Wow this is a bit crazy. Following with interest.




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  # 2228794 1-May-2019 15:25
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I was looking at a section in Rangiora with some interestingly worded covenants, 8Ha of land with covenants saying no animals ... well that would be so useful!  Also covenants about the seller having to approve any and all buildings going on to the section, their colour, location, size, materials etc and no cut off date, just anything had to be approved by them .. sounded like the nosey neighbours from hell and I noped myself right out of interest in that one!

 

 


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  # 2228795 1-May-2019 15:26
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What penalties are there for not following the covenants?

 

Are they listed on the title?

 

I know the last section we bought had convenants but there were no penalties listed along with them.

 

Our lawyer advised us that because there were no penalties listed we didn't have to comply with any of the covenants if we didn't want to.


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  # 2228835 1-May-2019 15:53
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CYaBro:

 

What penalties are there for not following the covenants?

 

Are they listed on the title?

 

I know the last section we bought had convenants but there were no penalties listed along with them.

 

Our lawyer advised us that because there were no penalties listed we didn't have to comply with any of the covenants if we didn't want to.

 

 

 

 

Yes, check with lawyer if the developer would legally be able to stop you building if design meets the covenants but is not signed off - seems he is in it for making more money but would have little interest in spending it on legal fees to stop building?


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  # 2228843 1-May-2019 16:01
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I once chickened out of on-purchasing a section where the covenant says whatever the developer says you have to comply, you sign away all your legal rights to challenge the developer, etc




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  # 2228865 1-May-2019 17:00
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Batman: I once chickened out of on-purchasing a section where the covenant says whatever the developer says you have to comply, you sign away all your legal rights to challenge the developer, etc

 

Sounds like they wanted your soul too!

 

"Some covenants in the past have been unenforceable, either because they are poorly drafted or the law will not support them."

 

 


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  # 2228910 1-May-2019 19:02
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surfisup1000:

Batman: I once chickened out of on-purchasing a section where the covenant says whatever the developer says you have to comply, you sign away all your legal rights to challenge the developer, etc


Sounds like they wanted your soul too!


"Some covenants in the past have been unenforceable, either because they are poorly drafted or the law will not support them."


 



I'd hardly say that's chickening out, sounds very sensible!

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  # 2228913 1-May-2019 19:08
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It was and still in the biggest developer in the region. Still developing and still going strong. Smh.




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  # 2229702 2-May-2019 19:39
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surfisup1000:

 

Lias:

 

On a tangent, can someone explain to me what (if any) good things have ever come out of covenants? I don't get why the government doesn't either scrap them entirely or just change the law so that it says "anything remotely unreasonable in a covenant is legally unenforceable". They seem to be used purely as a way of ensuring developers make lots of money and enforce snobbery (e.g. you can only build a house if it's worth X much, is from this crappy limited palette of godforsaken boring colours, etc.). 

 

 

I think covenants have there place.... if you don't like it, don't buy a house in an area with covenants.  Maybe they are good for people who want peace and quiet. 

 

 

It's virtually impossible to buy a new section without covenants these days. Just because someone wants to build a small footprint house, or put a relocated house, tiny house, or something like that on a section doesn't mean they will be bad neighbours or ruin your peace and quiet. 





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