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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10623
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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If a house is built on land which has a restrictive covenant

Resolved Question:

If a house is built on land which has a restrictive covenant on it forbidding building without the neighbour consent does the house gain legal legitimacy after the passage of time? If so how long? What then becomes the status of the mutual covenant forbidding the neighbour to build on his or her land? Can the neighbour now feel free to disregard the covenant restrictions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. A restrictive covenant against building cannot be enforced after 20 years if a building has been built in contravention of it. The restrictive covenant is considered to have been waived in relation to the building. Accordingly, if your building was built in contravention of a restrictive covenant against building, you will have to wait 20 years until you will be certain that no order for demolition of it will be made.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
2. Secondly, the restrictive covenant can still be enforced against, for instance, any other building built in contravention of the restrictive covenant so long as 20 years has not elapsed. This is merely to point out that the restrictive covenant is still valid and subsisting just it cannot be enforced against the building which has existed for 20 years.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
3. Thirdly, any mutual restrictive covenant which might bind the neighbour is still subsisting and valid. It can still be enforced. Just because one mutual restrictive covenant cannot be enforced against a particular building, this does not mean that any mutual covenant is affected in any way by this state of affairs. The mutual covenant binding the neighbour is still fully valid and enforceable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thankyou. That seems excellent. The only further query is that the building concerned has been standing nearly ten years. I take it that a breach of the covenant remains exactly that. We can object and/or enter into negotiations to see if he will agree to lift his restrictive covenant against us.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
4. Yes, you can enter into negotiations to see if he will lift his restrictive covenant upon a reciprocal basis if this is what you want.
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