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Citation. 64 So. 2d 261
Brief Fact Summary. Winn-Dixie held the exclusive right to be the only grocery store in a shopping plaza, and Dolgencorp a dollar store violated that covenant when they used more than 500 square feet of its store as a grocery.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In order to have a valid covenant running with the land that agreement must touch and concern the land, have intent for it to run with the land, and there must be notice of such agreement.
Issue. Whether a grocery’s store exclusive right to be the only grocery store in a shopping center can be covenant running with the land versus a personal contractual obligation.
Held. Yes. Exclusive covenants do run with the land, especially when the agreement explicitly states so. Dolgencorp argued that the agreement was a contract and that they were not liable to uphold the contract only the shopping plaza was. The court disagreed; these types of covenants have long been held to run with the land. When a covenant touches and concerns the land, and creates higher value or makes something more beneficial for the parties then that covenant runs with the land. Here the agreement states it will run with the land and that all users of this property must follow this covenant. A personal covenant is only a promise between two parties which is not the case here. Also with notice it is proper for a covenant to be enforced against all parties. Dolgencorp knows that companies like Winn-Dixie operate under such exclusive agreements, and the agreement was on record.
Discussion. It is proper for tenants to create agreements to grant a covenant running with the land that will be held against all other tenants. Such agreements are not mere personal contractual obligations between landlord and tenant, but an agreement all tenants must abide by.