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A big part of the conveyancing process is the conveyancing searches. This section tells you all about them. What they are, how and when to order them and how to interpret the results. Each search has its own guide and you'll see they are separated into Standard (should be done in every case), Regional (area specific) and Optional (not essential but often useful tools for the would be purchaser). All buyers should beware that when you buy a property, the law assumes that you have seen the information that would have been revealed by searches whether or not you have actually carried them out, so you buy the property subject to the results.
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Is it possible to build a small separate house in the place of a garage? In the original conveyance document when the estate was first built in the 1960s
section 3. For the benefit of the vendor's adjacent and neighbouring land the Purchasers with intent to bind all persons who now are of or shall hereafter become entitled to any estate or interest in the property ... covenant with the vendor as follows ..
1. That no building or erection shall be built or erected on the land hereby conveyed except the said dwellinghouse with the boundary walls or fences thereof and the outbuildings belonging thereto.
3. Mentions that need permission of the vendor or successors in title to connect with drain or sewer under or upon the land.
The property was subject to a small annual rent charge - which we have now bought out. So I don't know if that negates the above.
Whilst I haven't seen the deeds I suspect the covenants are still binding. You can try to get consent of the people with the benefit although it can be difficult to identify who exactly does have the benefit. You can apply to the Lands Tribunal to have the covenant removed, though you would have to prove it was no longer of benefit to those entitled to enforce it which may not actually be the case here, or you could purchase indemnity insurance. Your solicitor would have to liaise with an indemnity insurance provider as the standard breach of covenant policy is based on the breach having already occurred whereas you need cover for a planned future breach, but it can usually be arranged depending on the precise circumstances.