Brief Fact Summary. A property owners’ association sought enforcement of a lien that arose under a covenant running with the land (real covenant).
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The property owners’ association may enforce the real covenant despite not owning any of the property sought to be benefited. This is a departure from the strict requirements of privity.
Facts. Neposit Property Owners’ Association (Plaintiff) sought enforcement of a lien that arose under a covenant running with the land. The Plaintiff was an assignee of the covenantor, Neponsit Realty Company, who previously owned the land in question and made a large tract into a subdivision. When Neponsit Realty Company sold the land in question to the Defendant’s predecessor in 1917, the land was subject to a covenant which authorized an annual charge (in the form of a lien against the property) not to exceed $4.00 per lot 20 x 100 feet, and provided that the Plaintiff, as assignee of the Neponsit Realty Company could enforce the lien. The covenant was to run with the land as a real covenant and was to expire January 31, 1940. The money for the annual charge was to be for common maintenance in the subdivision. The Defendant bought the land in question at a judicial sale. The Plaintiff then sued Defendant to enforce and foreclose the lien arising under the covenant. In the lower co
urt, the Plaintiff was granted a dismissal of the Defendant’s counterclaim and the Defendant appealed.
Issue. May the Plaintiff, though not the original owner or covenantor of any part of the land benefited by the covenant, enforce the covenant?