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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    6

    Default Purchase of Land With Undisclosed Covenants

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Texas

    My husband and I recently purchased an 11 acre property. It was sold to us free and clear. 6 acres of the land could be used as pasture for our horses. Shortly after we moved in. A longtime neighbor informed us that he placed covenances and restrictions on the property. Especially the pasture area 15 years ago. He also told us the seller and the sellers real estate agent were well aware
    of the covenances. He even served them certified legal copies of the court documents listing the restrictions on the property. Yet, they disclosed none of this to our realtor, us nor indicated it on the sellers disclosure. We basically way overpaid for a piece of property that we canít even use it for what
    We bought it for. We are beyond upset! We NEVER would have even considered buying this place had we known and the seller and realtor had been honest. We have retained a real estate attorney and have started to pursue things. Any advice on what we might expect to happen and how this may play out. We were definitely deceived :-(

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,427

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    When you say it was sold to you free and clear are you speaking of liens and encumbrances or are you saying you bought the property for cash (no mortgage)?

    If for cash, I hope you took out a buyers title policy. If there is a mortgage, the lender's title policy should cover the lack of discovery of the recorded covenants and restrictions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    We took out a mortgage on the property and a title
    company was used. They did not find the covenances filed with the court and they are saying itís not their job to find them. Itís the sellers responsibility to disclose them is what we were told. The property was once owned by the person who put the covenances on the land 15
    Years ago. He still lives next door but he has a gun range and didnít want anyone using the land for anything in case of a stray bullet, etc. The previous owner as well as her realtor were fully aware of these covenances and restrictions but in no way or form informed us or our realtor about them.

    PS. The man who placed the covenances on the land did everything possible to ensure potential buyers were aware of the covenances. He had certified copies of all the legal documents served to the seller as well as her Century 21 realtor. He has copies of lengthy text conversations with the seller
    assuring that the new owners (us) would be informed. In the end, it was all kept from us and since the seller checked on the sellers disclosure that there were no restrictions on the property,
    Our realtor Never imagined he would have to check for anything like this. The land we can not use for anything devalues our property by about 50%!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,728

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    Covenants are not filed with the court. They are filed with the registrars office and typically attached to involved properties.

    Itt is not the sellers obligation to disclose them necessarily. What if the seller wasnít aware of them? How could they disclose an unknown? Not saying your sellers didnít know but as s general statement. Not all sellers are aware of such issues.


    This is informstion thaat is sought in a title search

    are the encumbrances listed on the deed from the prior owner to your seller? If so, he title search should have discovered them.

    If not on the deed, how were they created? Where are they documented?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,427

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    It's possible that the deed and the restrictions were filed and recorded separately and the deed just makes reference to any encumbrances if any.

    But I have to agree with you JK, that the title search should have found any recorded documents that attached to the property. For a title company saying that it is not their job to find such documents is just absurd.

    OP, have you talked to your lender about the problem? You did pay for a lender title police right?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    Yes, we did pay for a lender title policy. We havenít told the lender about the issues yet but we have found a lawyer to hopefully straighten some
    Of this out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,619

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    Quote Quoting Erinm2722
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Texas

    My husband and I recently purchased an 11 acre property. It was sold to us free and clear. 6 acres of the land could be used as pasture for our horses. Shortly after we moved in. A longtime neighbor informed us that he placed covenances and restrictions on the property. Especially the pasture area 15 years ago. He also told us the seller and the sellers real estate agent were well aware
    of the covenances. He even served them certified legal copies of the court documents listing the restrictions on the property. Yet, they disclosed none of this to our realtor, us nor indicated it on the sellers disclosure. We basically way overpaid for a piece of property that we can’t even use it for what
    We bought it for. We are beyond upset! We NEVER would have even considered buying this place had we known and the seller and realtor had been honest. We have retained a real estate attorney and have started to pursue things. Any advice on what we might expect to happen and how this may play out. We were definitely deceived :-(
    You definitely want your attorney to look into the veracity of your neighbor's claims. I do not see how a single landowner could place covenances and restrictions on property he does not own.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,427

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    You definitely want your attorney to look into the veracity of your neighbor's claims. I do not see how a single landowner could place covenances and restrictions on property he does not own.
    How do you know that he was not the seller of the property to OP's predecessor 15 years ago?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    Was a title search done?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,728

    Default Re: Undisclosed Covenances

    The odd statement of the prior owner was given certified copies of the court documents listing the ispcovenants and restrictions


    if the neighbor was a prior owner and he sold the land with covenants and restrictions to the op,s seller it would be included in the sellers deed from the neighbor.

    Im curious what that court action was about. A neighbor can’t create the encumbrances unless he owned or somehow controlled the property. He still doesn’t get to assert encumbrances post sale. Unless this court action was the neighbor suing to enforce already imposed encumbrances, which would surely show up on some public record, I’m lost as to what his court action was for.

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