Thu | Dec 2, 2021

A MATTER OF LAND - Landowners ignoring some restrictive covenants (Pt2)

Published:Sunday | July 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Thanks as, usual, for your feedback and I am asking you to be patient with me. Those who have sent in questions, I will get to them shortly. I want to thank the attorneys who have written encouraging and giving me ideas for articles.

This week, I want to continue with the restrictive covenants persons continue to ignore.

There is one restrictive covenant that many persons continue to ignore or just disregard altogether. That restrictive covenant stipulates that all gates and doors on the boundary must open inwards.

This restrictive covenant is normally totally ignored as persons continue to hang their gates so that they open outwards. This is a possible hazard to pedestrians who have to use the sidewalk, especially the visually impaired.

When your gate opens outwards it will then force users of the sidewalk to use the carriageway of the road, which can be dangerous. This restrictive covenant is there for the protection and safety of users of the roads; and also your gate, if it opens outwards, actually encroaches on the road reservation. So when you are building and about to have your gate hanged, please ensure that it opens inwards or you can have a breach of the restrictive covenant endorsed on your title.

The restrictive covenant that speaks to how close your building can be from the boundary is oftentimes breached by the eaves of the building. The eaves are the bottom edges of a roof. The eaves normally project beyond the side of the building, forming an overhang to throw water clear of the wall. They are normally referred to as cantilever.

When the restrictive covenant gives a distance that the building has to be from the boundary, it normally also refers to the eaves. So the measurement is from the edge of the eave to the property boundary. If the eave encroaches on this space then the building is in breach.

However, there are many restrictive covenants that specifically exclude the eaves of the building by noting that they shall not be considered part of the building. If this clause is stated, the measurement is from the footing of the building and not the eaves.

To know what is on your title, consult your land surveyor or attorney for clarification/explanation of the restrictive covenants on your certificate of title.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter of Land. Until next time, traverse well

Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at or his Facebook page Precision Surveying Services