Restrictive Covenant(9 Posts)
Hoping someone can offer some advice about removing one of these?
There is one on our property to prevent us building up to the neighbours boundary to ensure they can maintain their external wall. Their property is rotated 90 degrees to ours so their back wall is alongside our side wall. The house was originally owned by a lady who has since died and it is now lived in by her husband. We want to extend in between our properties and to maximise what we can do would want to go to the boundary. We have talked to him about our plans and he has no objections. Perhaps a side issue but the house and garden are quite unkempt and very little maintenance has been done in the four years we've lived here but the purpose of the restriction is to permit maintenance?
How do we go about removing the covenant?
You say your neighbour's property isn't being maintained at the moment. If the neighbour is elderly that might explain it. But what about eventual new neighbours?
To my mind the covenant sounds perfectly reasonable. To avoid future disputes I would leave well alone and rethink your plans.
Restrictive covenants can be lifted but it can sometimes be quite complex. You will need to consult a solicitor (which will incur fees) and they will need to go the Land Registry (which will incur another fee). It will also depend on whether the land had been registered (if the elderly neighbours have been there for a very long time, it may not have been) and whether it's just between your 2 properties or if it affects others as well.
Personally I would be very surprised if you could obtain planning permission from your council to go all the way up to a boundary wall in the first place.
I would imagine if your neighbour got a solicitor (which presumably you would pay for) they would advice them not to agree to changing the covenant.
Not helpful but we once owned a house that restricted the selling of alcohol from it
Ours didn't allow washing to be hung out on a Sunday! (No-one adhered to it, though.)
You need to find out who owns the restrictions now and get permission via solictor. You will have to pay them for permission but they will likely grant it. You don't need to get the restrictions removed, permission from whoever owns them is enough. The solicitor should be able to find out who owns the restrictions now, they usually get sold or passed on.
A restrictive covenant can be released. You can make your own application to Land Registry - I have done this, and I found Land Registry to be very helpful over the telephone.
Essentially to extinguish a covenant it must be clear that the whole of the land which has the benefit can be precisely identified (mark up a plan) and all the persons having an interest in the benefiting land have joined in. Where persons having the benefit of a covenant join in a deed with the owner of land burdened by that covenant, releasing the land from the burden, the restrictive covenant can be released from the register of the burdened title if it is clear that all the owners of the land having the benefit have joined in the release.
Thanks very much for all the helpful responses.
Our neighbour isn't elderly, his wife sadly died quite young. He's absolutely fine with what we're proposing to do, no issues at all. Looking around, many people build up to boundary lines these days, I know planners aren't keen as it can result in a 'terracing' affect but the properties on our street are all detached and individually built.
I will check out the land registry website, thanks
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