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Restrictive convenants.... anyone enforced one or knows how?

(16 Posts)
PosieReturningParker Wed 03-Feb-16 14:59:53

We have a neighbour, three dwellings on a private drive, who keep building things which are against the covenant (a bungalow and conservatory). The new building is at the end of the drive and so will have an impact on the value of my home. The two original houses were built in 2000, the other house converted garages into a bungalow and now is putting a huge conservatory on the back, which faces the road and is not shielded by a fence as they have changed most of the garden to a parking area.
The other two houses face the road, although mine cannot be seen from the road.

Anyway I wish to see if I can stop it as it breaches quite specific covenants.

PosieReturningParker Wed 03-Feb-16 18:20:42


Shirkingfromhome Wed 03-Feb-16 18:31:34

We lived in a house that had restricted covenants. They were a row of town houses and the leaseholders specified that you could not alter the front of the houses (the paint of the garage, the style and number of Windows, and the style / position of the front door), even when the leasehold was purchased. Fortunately it was never an issue for anyone on our road.

Do you know who owns the restrictive covenant? Will it be in your deeds? If so contact them or get legal advice from your conveyancer.

AlisonWunderland Wed 03-Feb-16 18:34:25

Apart from the covenants, do they not need planning permission for bungalow / conservatory?

LurkingHusband Thu 04-Feb-16 08:45:14

I believe it's the freeholder that has to enforce the covenant. So as long as they care as much as you, it's a possibility. However, when I was researching covenants a while back, the overwhelming response was that once the freeholders interest ceases (i.e. when they have sold all the properties in a development) then action to enforce covenants is pretty impossible.

My parents house backs onto an alley which is for their use - the houses the other (opposite) side of the alley are forbidden by covenant from accessing the alley. This didn't stop several of them opening gates into the alley and dumping their garden waste in the alley - preventing cars from passing.

It took a few years (no internet in the 1980s) but my DB finally located the freeholders (houses were built in the 1930s !!!!!) whose written answer was basically "whatever".

Collaborate Thu 04-Feb-16 11:13:31

You have to look at the title deeds to your neighbour's property and see who the covenant benefits. It might be you (in your capacity as owner of your property) or it might not. If it is you, seek legal advice about enforcing the covenant.

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 04-Feb-16 11:39:29

I would agree that you should also check that they have the relevant planning permissions!

PosieReturningParker Thu 04-Feb-16 16:26:53

I am the beneficiary of the covenant, I bought the house (one of two named in the covenant) and the bungalow was already built by the non resident owner of the other person who benefits from the covenant.

Planning is on record as being granted, covenants don't affect planning.

Collaborate Thu 04-Feb-16 16:31:57

If it is in the course of being built, go and see a solicitor and get them to write a letter pointing out your intention to take action to enforce the covenant. I suspect that in so far as the older structures are concerned, that ship has already sailed.

wowfudge Sat 06-Feb-16 15:57:46

For the benefit of the poster who asked about planning permission, the local council who only decide whether or not to grant planning permission according to policy and law. They do not get involved in other matters regarding ownership, etc. Someone who does not have an actual interest in a property can apply for planning permission.

Unescorted Sun 07-Feb-16 08:18:36

Covenants are a really complex part of land law - it depends on if you imposed the covenant on them directly, if you or they purchased the land from with covenant in place and if the covenant is personal or it runs with the land. Quite often the orignal covenant drafting is not clear.

You also have to consider if the reason the covenant was put in place is still applicable eg A covenant to restrict the building of houses on a strip of land is not enforcable because it was originally put in place so people could retrieve their badly kicked footballs. However the proposed football field was no longer being built. It is unlikely to be held up at Land Tribunal (or it's new name that I forget).

The last time ( A few weeks back) I had a covenant looked at it cost in the region of £1000 for the legal advice.

PosieReturningParker Sun 07-Feb-16 08:26:10

The houses were built in 2000, the covenants including, no bungalows, no conservatories, only three dwellings.

I think the idea was not to reduce the value of the original two houses.

AlisonWunderland Sun 07-Feb-16 12:24:04

I know that planning and convenants are separate issues (I live in a house that was built in breach of a covenant, but that's another story)

The reason for my query was why did the OP not oppose the planning application before bungalow was built.

PosieReturningParker Sun 07-Feb-16 12:38:12

I moved in Sep 15, the bungalow was built 2012....

In 2000 two houses were built with triple garages. Mine is the furthest down the track.

The house nearest the road had the triple garage converted to a bungalow, with serious additions!

Now the first thing on the drive is a bungalow.

That two bed bungalow has now submitted planning to have a garage and a conservatory.

They have been granted the conservatory.

On my deeds the covenant says no bungalows or conservatories.

Recently when I moved I had to get an indemnity insurance policy as the loft conversion was in breach of the 1892 covenant set on the property, just in case anyone wanted to enforce it.

PosieReturningParker Sun 07-Feb-16 12:38:52

The planning application for the bungalow was opposed by about 12 separate individuals or associations.

AlisonWunderland Sun 07-Feb-16 12:48:22

Sounds like your local planning dept are useless.
Interesting in my council area there is a lot of "knocking down one house and building two in its place" going on. Apparently this attracts an additional fee of £25,000 to the council to provide all the extra school places and wear and tear on the roads that this additional house will be esponsible for.
No surpise that such plans get waved through...

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