In re Nisbet and Potts’ Contract: 1905

Where a party asserted he was a purchaser in good faith without notice and for value, the burden of proving all the elements of the defence is upon the purchaser. A title acquired by adverse possession was not paramount to, and did not destroy the equitable right of persons entitled to the benefit of prior restrictive covenants to enforce them against the land.
Farwell J said: ‘Covenants restricting the enjoyment of land, except of course as between the contracting parties and those privy to the contract, are not enforceable by anything in the nature of action or suit founded on contract. Such actions and suits alike depend on privity of contract, and no possession of the land coupled with notice of the covenants can avail to create such privity: Cox v. Bishop (1857) 8 De G.M. and G. 815. But if the covenant be negative, so as to restrict the mode of use and enjoyment of the land, then there is called into existence an equity attached to the property of such a nature that it is annexed to and runs with it in equity: Tulk v. Moxhay, 2 Ph. 774. This equity, although created by covenant or contract, cannot be sued on as such, but stands on the same footing with and is completely analogous to an equitable charge on real estate created by some predecessor in title of the present owner of the land charged. . . . effect is given to the negative covenant by means of the land itself. But the land cannot spend money on improving itself, and there is no personal liability on the owner of the land for the time being, because there is no contract on which he can be sued in contract.’

Farwell J
[1905] 1 Ch 391
Cited by:
CitedBarclays Bank Plc v Boulter and Another HL 26-Oct-1999
The question of whether notice of certain facts amounted to constructive notice of other facts is a question of law. Where it was claimed that a party should be exempt from liability under a document which it was claimed was signed because of . .
Appeal fromIn re Nisbett and Potts Contract CA 1906
The purchaser had agreed to accept a possessory title less than the statutory minimum of 40 years.
Held: Even though he or she extinguishes the estate of the paper owner, a squatter takes subject to the incumbrances on the estate that are not . .
CitedRhone and Another v Stephens HL 17-Mar-1994
A house was divided, the house being retained along with the roof over the cottage, and giving a covenant to repair the roof on behalf of the owner of the house. The cottage owner sought to enforce the covenant against a later owner of the house. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Contract, Land

Updated: 22 December 2021; Ref: scu.197749