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Coverley covenants cause confusion


Albert Brandford

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A real covenant is a legal obligation imposed in a deed by the seller upon the buyer of real estate to do or not to do something. Common in the United States, some residential covenants may be considered generally benign, such as those preventing owners or tenants from removing healthy trees, fundamentally altering historically important structures, or directly harming property values. Some restrictive covenants may govern what colour a home’s exterior is painted, what and how many exterior decorations are allowed, where cars are allowed to be parked, or even who lives in the house (outside of the owner’s nuclear family), and many communities also attempt to forbid amateur radio or outdoor television antennas. – Wikipedia
GOVERNMENT says covenants and use restrictions at the Coverley development are “nothing new”.In fact, says Minister of Housing Michael Lashley, such agreements are also in place at London Bourne Towers, The City, built under the previous administration.“. . . Where one cannot sing or use hi-fi sets . . . . There is a covenant that you cannot hang out clothes. A covenant is a standard form . . . . This is just a red herring,” Lashley added.He was responding to comments by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur who poured scorn on the Coverley covenants, noting that radios, record players, TVs, “voices and other sounds”, had to be at a moderate level from 10 p.m. until one hour before daybreak.This latter comment prompted one office wag to recall a previous Arthur comment, in another context, about an activity which gave the “greatest pleasure” which would now have to be conducted before 10 p.m. and without a noisy partner!Homeowners and renters in other developments and state-owned estates may compare their restrictions with these from The Villages, at Coverley:a. The development shall be occupied and used only as follows:i.  No business of any kind shall be conducted on any residential unit with the exception of the business of NHC, its servants or agents in developing and selling all the development as provided herein, provided however that the renting/leasing of any residential unit shall not be deemed to be a trade or business.ii. No noxious or offensive activity shall be carried on in or on any lot with the exception of the business of NHC and the transferees of NHC in developing all of the lots as provided herein.iii. Residential unit without prior written consent of the NHC, except customary name and address signs and one sign advertising a property for sale or rent which shall be no larger than 12 inches wide and 12 inches high and which shall be located wholly within the residence and only visible through a window of the residence. Lawn ornaments are prohibited, except for seasons, displays not exceeding a 30-day duration.iv. Nothing shall be done or kept on a lot which would increase the rate of insurance relating thereto without the prior written consent of the NHC, and no owner shall permit anything to be done or kept on his lot which would result in the cancellation of insurance on any residence or which would be in violation of any new law.v. No animal shall be permitted to be kept on any lot other than birds, fish, dogs and cats, and a maximum of two such pets may be kept per residential unit. Each owner shall be personally responsible for any damage caused by any such pet and shall be responsible to immediately remove and dispose of any excrement of such pet and shall be responsible to keep such pet on a leash. No other animals, livestock or poultry of any kind, shall be raised, bred, or kept on any lot in the development.Fence, hedge, wall restrictionsvi. No fence, hedge, wall or other dividing instrumentality shall be constructed or maintained on any lot, except that the NHC and the transferees of NHC may construct fences in accordance with existing architectural plans. In order to maintain a visible roadway, no bush, shrub, tree or other similar plant may be placed within the road right of way. No ingress or egress to or from any lot is permitted except pursuant to such driveways and sidewalks as originally constructed by NHC.vii. No outbuilding, tent, shack, garage, trailer, shed, utility building or temporary building of any kind shall be erected, except temporarily only for construction purposes. A water tank, a garden shed and a doghouse may be constructed with the approval of the NHC. Clear (non-coloured) concrete and driveway coatings are permitted. No coloured coating is permitted.viii. No building structure or landscaping shall be altered in, constructed on, or removed from any lot except with the written consent of the NHC, after the original construction thereof by the NHC.ix. The hanging of clothes or clothes lines or placing of clothes poles is prohibited except with the approval of the NHC. No aerials, satellite reception dishes or antennas of any kind, nor window air conditioners or irrigation wells are permitted within the development except as approved by the NHC.x. Prior to being placed curbside for the collection, no rubbish, trash, garbage or other waste material shall be kept or permitted on any lot except in garbage bin provided by the NHC and located in appropriate areas concealed from public view. [Replacement bins] are available from NHC at the cost of the owner.xi. Once placed curbside for collection, all garbage will be contained in plastic bags prescribed by the NHC, and placed curbside no earlier than the day before scheduled pickup. In the alternative, the NHC shall have the right to require that garbage be placed in a dumpster and not placed curbside. In either event, all garbage must be contained in fully closed and sealed plastic bags prescribed by the NHC. To maintain the development in a clean and sanitary condition and to minimise heavy commercial traffic within the development, garbage and trash service shall be provided by the carrier selected by the NHC, and charges paid separately by each owner. Owner agrees that garbage and trash service shall commence on the closing date the owner purchases owner’s residential unit. Owner acknowledges that garbage and trash services [are] provided, and the fee for such service is payable on a year-round basis regardless of use or occupancy.NHC reserves the right to require all owners to participate in a curbside collection and/or recycling programme if and when one is instituted.xii The owner of residential unit must use his property in such a manner as to allow his neighbours to enjoy the use of their property; radios, record players, television, voices and other sounds are to be kept on a moderate level from 10 p.m. to one hour before daylight. These restrictions shall not apply to construction noises being made by the NHC.xiii. The NHC reserves the right to prohibit or control all pending, soliciting, selling, delivery and vehicular traffic within the development.xiv. The NHC reserves the right to establish such other reasonable rules and regulations covering the utilisation of the lots by the owners in order to maintain the aesthetic qualities of this development, all of which apply to all the parties in the development. The rules and the regulations shall take effect within five days [of] the sending of a notice to owners(s).xv. Individual mailboxes may not be located upon a residential unit. Mailboxes are provided by the NHC at a one-time lifetime charge to owner of $190 per box.b. Each owner shall ensure that any construction on the lot complies with the construction plans for the surface water management system approved by the Chief Town Planner. No owner of the property within the development may construct or maintain any building, residence, or structure, or undertake or perform any activity in the development, unless prior approval is received from the NHC.c. Except as originally constructed by the NHC, no driveways, walkways or access shall be located on or permitted on any road right of way, walkway or cart path. d. Temporary parking depicted on the approved plan of the development is not for owners’ use but is for the use of owners’ invitees and guests. e. In an effort to protect limited natural resources, all residential units remain finished with the same quantity and style of water conservation, drought-tolerant sod and landscape as originally provided by the NHC. Notwithstanding, owners are encouraged to and may add landscape that is more water-conservative and drought-tolerant than originally provided. However, any such alterations to areas visible from roadways must receive prior written approval from NHC.

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