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buying on a new build development; what would happen if we ignored some of the small contract clauses, hypothetically?

(35 Posts)
bamboobutton Thu 03-Oct-13 10:13:27

there are some small clauses in our contract, things like:

no caravans on the driveway
no fence at the front of the property
only 1 car parked on the driveway(massivehmm)
no satellite dish without permission
keep the garden presentable

little things like that.

sooo, once it's all completed and keys handed over what would happen if we ignored all the small silly stuff and had a whopping great caravan on our drive and 3 cars and let the garden run riot?

what can they do, fine us? kick us out?

not saying we are going to any of the above, im just wondering what would happen if we did.

VenusDeWillendorf Thu 03-Oct-13 10:18:34

Well, maybe it's in the contract what would happen.
Are there fines mentioned? Would any unauthorised vehicles be towed?!

Would the management company come and ring your bell / phone you / send you threatening letters every day?

Would you be the top item on the agenda from the residents association meetings?

Could you live with the hatred of being "Them in number 12, with their caravan"?!!!!!!!!!!!

bamboobutton Thu 03-Oct-13 10:31:36

there's nothing mentioned in the contract about what would happen.

no mention of neighbourhood assoc' or anything which makes me think that once we are in there is not much they can do if we decide to go againt the little clauses.

I could live with the hategrin

ouryve Thu 03-Oct-13 10:37:05

I've always wondered what would happen, too. You get the same with older houses. I used to own an Edwardian house, built by Methodists. It was in the deeds that we should not brew alcohol on the premises grin This house has a no livestock rule in the deeds. This is because the street was built for miners and the south facing gardens were intended to be used for growing vegetables and keeping pigeons or horses in them wasn't allowed. Yet, there are people who actually keep shetland ponies in their gardens for part of the year!

The caravan one is more universal, mind. I don't think anyone is allowed to keep a caravan on their driveway. My parents and our neighbours keep theirs in storage.

HaveToWearHeels Thu 03-Oct-13 10:39:02

Check to see if you have to pay a management fee each year (could be something like £150 a year). If you do and there is a managing agent then you could be open to legal action.

bamboobutton Thu 03-Oct-13 11:24:10

I got off my arse and phoned the solicitor and she has translated the mind boggling legalese in to normal speak for me.

basically they are restrictive covenants(sp?) and if we want to break them we have to pay the developers, or whoever owns the restrictions in x years time when the development is finished, money for them to remove the restrictions and give us permission.
if we break the covenant without their permission they can take us to court for the breach.
so no knackered out caravan for me on the drivesadwink

EddieVeddersfoxymop Thu 03-Oct-13 11:29:04

One car on the drive??? What if you have a car each? I can understand the others as we live in a new build and cant have a caravan, or keep livestock etc but really - one car?

bamboobutton Thu 03-Oct-13 12:02:34

I suppose the cars are to be kept in the double garage.

that's one covenant they can go swivel on though, I need the garage for junk storage.

EasyFromNowOn Thu 03-Oct-13 13:31:18

we had some of those in our contract for a new build. Our solicitor confirmed that the satellite dish one didn't apply to normal sky dishes, just massive ones, and I had the one about not parking both cars on the drive removed, as neither of ours fit in the (single) garage.

The solicitor said no-one ever really questioned them and everyone ignores them, but I pointed out that there was no need for them in that case. The developers said they didn't want to remove them initially, but they did in the end.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Thu 03-Oct-13 13:52:31

Isn't that the sole purpose of a garage? To hoard junk while your pride and joy sits out in the rain?!?! I'd tell them where to stick that....oh wait, we just ignored nonsense like that <peers out at 3 cars parked in the drive that's long enough for 4.....>

RedHelenB Thu 03-Oct-13 14:35:27

Think ours had things like keeping doors & windows white for x no. of years, presumably so that it looked good until all the properties were sold.

PigletJohn Thu 03-Oct-13 15:47:22

new build covenants are usually so that the developer can sell all the other houses at a good price without you lowering the tone of the neighbourhood.

Once they are all sold the developer won't care.

It is very usual for old houses to have restrictive covenants that don't say who has the power to enforce them so they can be ignored. my first house had a clause forbidding me to open a fish and chip shop or have a funfair in the garden.

PigletJohn Thu 03-Oct-13 15:48:49


my currrent house has a clause saying I can't change the colour of the front door or windows.

It does not say what colour they have to be...

LIZS Thu 03-Oct-13 15:51:19

who is the covenant between ? Is the development near completion ? No caravans and front fence are normal and may be enforceable if it between occupiers rather than with the builders.

cheryl19843 Thu 03-Oct-13 15:58:53

We are moving to new build estate and practically every house has a satellite dish and sheds in garden and cars parked in front of houses etc. All this info was passed to us because house we are buying is 3 years old but estate is still no where near complete.

MrsBucketxx Thu 03-Oct-13 16:06:29

There no worth the paper they are written on i complained to developer about a large van parked outside my home and nothing was done.

After more research, very little of these cases get to court and as there a civil offense not a criminal one. Only a nominal fine if any will be issued.

Btw there are still lots of breaches of these covenants I can see daily I just have to get over it.

bamboobutton Thu 03-Oct-13 16:29:31

the main one we want sorted is about the back garden fences. the plot itself is quite large but only a tiny part is fenced off for garden, so we would want to move the fences out a few meters, closer to the boundary.

we've emailed our solicitor to see if that covenant can be altered. if not then we will have to pay the developer a fee to get permission.

none of them are showstoppers though, just a bit anal and stupid.

vj32 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:10:48

We were told that they are a bit irrelevant until you sell, and then you could be asked to provide indemnity insurance. But given the fact that would only cost a few hundred pounds....

Once the developers have gone everyone does what they like.

PottyLotty Sat 05-Oct-13 16:15:46

Mine says the front of the property must be garden (mine is the only front garden in the street the rest are drives)
No caravans, no partition fencing/walls (everyone has fencing front and back), no garden sheds (everyone has a garden shed), no hanging washing out on a sunday (everyone hangs washing out on a sunday) no cats (everyone has a cat, some have 2)

I have no idea why anyone would want to put these in. I think perhaps someone has a very odd sense of humour.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 05-Oct-13 16:18:58

If you need the garage to store your junk, then you are buying too small a house! Or at least a house with a too small shed!

milkglass Sat 05-Oct-13 16:19:55

Nothing will happen.
We bought off plans years ago and it said all the above, plus no contract (work logo) vehicles on drives etc. On the first day a caravan was parked on the drive of a house around the corner, numerous self employed business vans were on the drives and everyone had at least 2 cars on their drives. We all had sky put up asap. We were the first stage so the plot was still being built on - nothing happened. Also, we bought the leasehold, so as a freehold property they couldn't do anything anyway.

racmun Sat 05-Oct-13 16:27:26

They're not in the contract but in the TP1 document which gets attached to the contract.

It depends on the exact drafting as to who retain the benefit of the covenants it can be your neighbours who buy their house after you, the developer or a management company set up which you all get shares in.

Enforcement would be a civil matter but bare in kind the wrath of your neighbours who will probably to ensure the development stays looking nice. You only need a pedantic one and it could make life awkward.....

ihatethecold Sat 05-Oct-13 16:48:43

you cant hang out on a sunday???

ihatethecold Sat 05-Oct-13 16:49:09

washing out blush

bsc Sat 05-Oct-13 17:30:01

Where we live has v v similar restrictions- not supposed to have a car on the driveway, unless it's over night- they all have 2 car garages, so no excuse (!)

No satellite dishes without PP (it's a conservation area).

No fencing in the front (can apply for PP, but it would not be granted).

Certainly no caravan/campervans on the drive. There was even a clause 'no boats to be stored on drives'! (darn it, had to sell my yacht! wink)

Washing is fine out the back of the house though.

Cannot alter colours/look of frontages at all. Cannot convert part of the garage/build over the garages at all.

But it works... it is the land that time forgot... grin

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