"Covenants are standard and are part and parcel of most modern developments."??

That’s the word from Chief Legal Officer at the National Housing Corporation (NHC), Henrietta Bourne-Forde.

In a recent interview with the Barbados Government Information Service,in which she sought to explain housing covenants, she explained that a covenant was, in simple terms, "a promise in a deed" and was usually found in a conveyance.??

In light of public discussion about the covenant in place at the recently launched "Villages at Coverley" in Christ Church, the NHC official noted that the formal agreements were designed to protect the residents and were now "included in most modern developments where developers may want to maintain a certain level of amenities and aesthetics".????

??"The conveyance sets out a list of, in some instances, the restrictive covenants, conditions or stipulations that concern the property.?? These covenants are applicable to the purchaser of the land, as well as any person to whom he or she may sell the property.?? In essence, the successors in title to that property," the Chief Legal Officer explained.

The covenant at "The Villages" governs the keeping of pets, alterations to properties, the hanging of clothes, and waste and noise management, among other matters.?? One of the important covenants limits residents from altering the footprint of the house, extending the external boundaries or creating a two-storey structure.?? However, residents may convert their garage into a room.

??"The houses are standardised and there is some degree of uniformity.?? We want to maintain a certain aesthetic value to the property, so that is the reason for having certain covenants in place she stressed.??

"In terms of antennae, a number of people do watch Multichoice or DirecTV.?? Yes, you can have these services.?? You just need to get the necessary permission from NHC, but we really don’t want to have the big satellite dishes," she pointed out.

There is also a covenant restricting the number of pets that residents can keep.

??"You are allowed to have birds, dogs and cats, but these are limited to two.?? You don’t want pets running around damaging or destroying other people’s property, where some sort of liability can arise.?? Equally, you are restricted in terms of signs that you can put across the property, because you don’t want to be seeing billboards – again affecting the aesthetic value of the property which can by extension reduce the value of the development," Ms. Bourne-Forde explained.

The Villages at Coverly community, unveiled in July, is expected to be completed in 2012 and will include 1,026 homes. lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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