A servitude is a registered right that a person has over the immovable property of another. It allows the holder of the servitude to do something with the other person’s property, which may infringe upon the rights of the owner of that property. An example is the right of way to travel over a section of the other person’s property in order to reach your own property.
IF YOU WISH TO PURCHASE A SPECIFIC PROPERTY, HOW WOULD YOU KNOW WHETHER IT HAS A SERVITUDE ATTACHED THERETO?
If you were to examine the title deed you would be able to ascertain whether there is a servitude registered over the property or not. We would always advise a purchaser to enquire assistance from either his estate agent or conveyancing Attorneys, who would and should be able to assist him/her with the examining of the title deed, if any difficulty occurs.
There are two variations regarding Servitudes:
- Praedial servitude: which is when a person has a right of use due to the fact that he is the owner of a certain property. If for any reason, the owner of the said property should sell, the servitude will have to be honoured by the purchaser.
- Personal servitude: is a right in favour of a specific individual. This means that when that individual moves on, the servitude falls away. It does not pass on to the new owner (Purchaser) if the property is sold.
You do not need to get permission from the person that has a right to exercise a servitude over your property if you wish to sell it, however the purchaser will have to comply with the servitude.
Servitudes are very common mainly with farms and smallholdings, or next to ‘high’ traffic roads.
Always keep in mind that a Servitude will negatively affect the value of a property.