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Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question

LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 777
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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Hi, We have a major problem with the neighbours at the

Customer Question

Hi, We have a major problem with the neighbours at the rear of our property which is destroying our lives, and we appear to be able to do nothing about it, so I thought I would ask you if you can think of anything we can do ? At the end of our garden we have a bank, and then houses which are built on the top of the bank, making their ground level 15ft + above ours and continuing upwards so that the ground level of their houses is about 20 - 25ft above ours. On this bank there was a 30ft conifer hedge which had been in place for over 15 years and provided privacy to our garden and house. The ground the conifers were planted on belongs to our neighbours, but this ground also has a covenant which was put in place in 1962 by the planning authority with a tree planting scheme and they are not allowed to cut down any trees, they cut down the original trees and planted the conifers which they have now cut down without talking to anyone about it, we just came home to find every inch of our privacy gone and them standing staring into our garden and house. We now have a large property in full view overlooking not only our garden but all the rear windows, upstairs and downstairs of our house. Our neighbours are now at war with us, and out to make our lives a total misery since we complained that they have taken away every inch of privacy in our garden and property. They are now at war with us over the location of the boundary line with their property and the next door property as they are related and they want to cut down all the remaining trees planted by the previous owner of our property, so that we are completely overlooked by two large houses. We have been unable to use our garden since June of this year when it all started, as we have not nice people standing 15ft above us making sure we cannot use our garden while they have been having parties all summer with everyone standing staring into our garden and house. They have told us the law says we have no rights to privacy in our garden or house, and they intend to make sure we never have any. At night time they light up the house like a Christmas tree, with super bright lights in the windows which they leave on all night, and watch us while we are sitting in our lounge, which has large glass doors all the way across the back of our house, so we are sitting in a goldfish bowl for their entertainment. They refuse to put back any sort of fence, as they just want to make our lives a misery. The council refuses to enforce the covenant, saying all the paperwork has been destroyed as they are no longer required to keep it. The council refuses to get involved in anyway, so they will not give us the bit of information we need that actually says the covenant was put in place to protect the privacy of the residence of our street, it was part of the conditions of planning permission being granted for the properties on the hill above us, which would enable our solicitor to take some action. Our property has been devalued by up to 50,000 as we no longer have any privacy in our house or garden. We have to keep the upstairs blinds drawn at the rear of the house as they just watch us. We have just spend a fortune having a large planter installed at the end of our garden with 14ft conifers planted and bamboo, this has not even come up to their ground level and has done nothing, they are now trying to claim our ground to make sure we can plant nothing to block them out. I can't believe that there is nothing in law which could protect us from this happening, how are they allowed to open up their property up on a hill, taking away every inch of our privacy and we have no rights at all to stop it. can you think of anything we can do ? Kind regards ***** *****

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Customer:

Hello,I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this. How do you know about the covenant. Did your solicitor tell you about it when you purchased.

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

Hello,

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

we got a copy of their property documents from the land registry, this shows the covenant placed by the planning department, which states a tree planting scheme was put in place and they are not allowed to cut down any trees without express permission from the council. but it does not state who benefits from the covenant, the planning department told me it was to protect the privacy of the properties on our road, but the person who told me this obviously should not have said this as they will no longer discuss this or even take any calls from me, the only answer I get is that the paperwork has been destroyed and they cannot help me in anyway. Ziggy

Customer:

I am preparing to do into court this morning but will answer this later today.

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

Hi,

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

I understand that it is the Christmas holidays, and you have not yet been able to give my any reply to my question, but I just wanted to ask (because I have been worried over the holidays) if the information I have typed in goes onto some sort of forum for other people to read, because I don't want this to happen as I have put my name on it, and our neighbours could find it and know they are acheiveing

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

achieving their aim of making our lives hell.

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

Could you let me know what the situation is. Many thanks

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

Hi, why has this been closed when I have yet to get any answer ?

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

Hi,

JACUSTOMER-73tfoxrz- :

I have still not received any reply to my question, but you have marked this as answered and closed ??????

Customer:

In terms of privacy and being overlooked per se there is nothing you can do about his unless they are acting on their land in a way that is illegal in and of itself. It sounds as if of they are not doing so.

Customer:

As far as the covenant is concerned this doe snot state who benefits from the covenant. In order to be a covenant that can be enforced there are 3 requirements: it must be in writing, it must place burden on the burdened land and it must confer a benefit on your land. You will need to prove the existence of this covenant and the terms of it before you can even think about doing anything. Clearly the land registry entry is strongly indicative of the position but not in itself enough to prove enyhting. YOu shod instruct a local solicitor it he orthodox face to face way and he can make enquiries of the local authority and may know/be able to find out about this covenant which may be a local practice that is well known to soliictors locally. You should follow this link to the Law Society find a solicitor section. http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/.

Customer:

I apologise for the delay in this reply but I thought I had relied to you. My internet connection wasn't great at the time that I sent it and it must be that I sent it after the connection had been lost.

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