SW Legal studies in Business

Residential Lots Protected by Covenants May Not Be Used for Other Purposes
Description Washington state high court held that the sale of an apartment that was controlled by shares of stock in a corporation was governed by contract law, not by the law concerning how real property transactions must occur under the statute of frauds.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Servitudes; Covenants; Injunctions
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Wright and others owned lots in a residential subdivision subject to building restrictions contained in the declaration of restrictions filed in the conveyance records on file. Griggs and others purchased a lot in the subdivision and used the lot as a way to access their property located outside of the subdivision. Wright sued for an injunction to prohibit Griggs from using the lot as a means of access to their property. The trial court refused to grant the injunction; Wright appealed.
Decision

Reversed. Use of the lot as a means of access to other property was in violation of the covenants attached to the property. "Such restrictions are real rights running with the land and may be enforced by mandatory and prohibitory injunctions." The "common and usual meaning" of the covenant that the lot be used for residential purposes was not intended to include the use of the lot as a road to gain access to other property. Since there had been no abandonment or termination of the covenants, they will be enforced.

Citation Wright v. Griggs, 821 So.2d 787 (Ct. App., La., 2002)

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