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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
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Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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What was the outcome to Dennis-v-Davies (2009) EWCA Civ 18

Customer Question

What was the outcome to Dennis-v-Davies (2009) EWCA Civ 1801
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

What are you wishing to achieve?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Whether a static structure could be annoying e.g. a balcony - and adversely affect enjoyment of land even though f rom balcony garden cannot be seen.

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
OK. I've located the case. I set out the summary below:

Summary: A covenant not to do anything which might be or become a nuisance or annoyance to other owners or occupiers of a residential estate was wide enough to cover the building of an extension to an existing house which, when built, would be such an annoyance.

Abstract: The appellant (D) appealed against a decision (Dennis v Davies [2008] EWHC 2961 (Ch), [2008] 49 E.G. 76 (C.S.)) that a restrictive covenant to which he was subject applied to building works that he proposed to carry out. The respondents (N) were neighbours of D's on a residential estate next to the River Thames. The transfer to which N was subject contained a covenant (the paragraph 1 covenant) "not to erect on the Plot ... any building ... except such as shall be in accordance with plans and elevations which shall have been approved in writing by the Management Company". It also contained a covenant (the paragraph 2 covenant) "not to use the Dwellinghouse for any purpose other than that of a private residence ... and not to carry on ... any trade business or manufacture whatsoever nor to do or suffer to be done on the Plot ... anything of whatsoever nature which may be or become a nuisance or annoyance to the owners or occupiers for the time being of the Estate or the neighbourhood". D obtained planning permission to build a three-storey extension to his house. N objected to the extension, asserting, among other things, that it would impede their views of the river. The judge held that the paragraph 2 covenant extended to restraining the erection of buildings "which may be or become a nuisance or annoyance" to covenantees. D argued that if paragraph 2 was construed, as it should be, in a context that included paragraph 1, it could sensibly only be regarded as concerned with the covenantor's activities on his plot, not including activities in the nature of the erection of annoying buildings.

Appeal dismissed. Paragraph 2 contained covenants in a form whose essence had long been familiar to conveyancers. The ordinary and natural construction of the purchaser's covenant "[not] to do or suffer to be done on the Plot ... anything of whatsoever nature which may be or become a nuisance or annoyance" was clearly wide enough to be capable of extending to activities of all natures, including building an extension to an existing house which, when built, would be such an "annoyance", Wood v Cooper [1894] 3 Ch. 671 applied. Paragraph 1 did not cut down the apparently unambiguous scope of paragraph 2, and there was no good reason why the two paragraphs could not operate alongside each other.

Judge: Ward, L.J.; Wilson, L.J.; Rimer, L.J
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Do you require any further assistance? If not please remember to rate my answer. Happy to discuss follow up questions for free. Alex