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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello Jo C. Yes I did rate your answer as excellent service.

Customer Question

Hello Jo C.
Yes I did rate your answer as excellent service. I wondered if I can still ask a few more questions, to basically sum up everything you told me about the Covenant.
I don`t THINK she`s breached anything. I tried to get her deeds from LR. but they sent back my cheque saying the property was registered before 1993, and they have no records. But I find this strange - though I don`t know - my Parents house in Kent was registered in the 1950s?
So I cannot POSSIBLY ask her to see her deeds. But I HAVE asked the other Neighbours, who bought their property about 2005-7. Waiting for them to copy Covenants & Map for me, I ASSUME they`re identical to mine, as we`re in a block of 3 ; nos. 8,9,&10. THEN I can possibly see if she`s breached anything, as mine are currently at the Solicitors, thus ASSUMING her`s are the same as mine! I know they WERE put on by a DEVELOPMENT company, and am led to believe this Company dissolved long ago. Plus a couple who I have the NAMES & ADDRESS of. But this was all in Feb. 1985. As far as I know, they have long gone from this Address also, and OBVIOUSLY I don`t know if one/they are/is deceased.
So I am still pretty much in the dark about what to do next. The SOLICITOR has mentioned Indemnity Insurance. I don`t exactly understand what that does for me.
On one of your last answers, you mentioned that possibly [apart from the Development Company,] the people who put on restrictions would have needed to own the property which is now hers, for her to get the enforcement over me. Now I have a feeling that these couple I said in the last paragraph, COULD POSSIBLY have owned it, as it says on the COVENANT they`re `THE PURCHASER.` But that`s all. VAGUE I feel, the purchaser of WHAT EXACTLY? Then I wondered ; if people sell their land or property, get their money, and move, and never return, why are they worried about passing on restrictions, Covenants ,when it`s in someone else`s hands? Unless naturally , I`m probably missing something. She acquired it about 1985-6,she said, just after they were built about 1984. I wonder if this other couple had it first, and were in there for a VERY short time.
To sum it all up, I`m seriously wondering whether this Lady DOES in fact have enforcement, and whether it is a NEIGHBOUR COVENANT as you mention, or a private one to her? Not a mystery, but IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE HER PAPERS NOW, HOW CAN I FIND OUT? So the thing is: what steps do I need to take now, in order to achieve what I want to do? A local Solicitor knew ALL of this property History in a nutshell, felt it all nothing now, and mentioned I could get the erectors to do the job anyway, and chance it. The Solicitor I`m in touch with now for further help, mentioned the same, as did a friend of mine, and a builder I know. P.P doesn`t seem to apply for this; I checked online all the rules about Garages. But in all honesty, I`m dead wary about it, especially when I mentioned it to her a while back, to naturally let her know the situation, and she objected. and somewhat `scared me off`. But she didn`t object when I first moved there ! I fear her [without my legal proof,] putting me in deep trouble : Court, or big payouts. Maybe not her, but someone else putting up the money for her, despite a MINOR matter?
So ultimately, WHAT do I need to do now, as I want to get it sorted as quick, and simple as I can. Can I get it waived? I do remember when I spoke to her, she said she`d sooner I didn`t seek legal advice, and said you cannot build on the land,[which is obviously why I seek advice and help,] and that it`s a parking area and that it`s in B+W,Refering , no doubt, to HER Covenant.I have my space marked on the map though. IT WON`T block her entering/exiting. Nobody parks here about 98% of the time, in the visitors space, and then it`s tight, and they`d probably STILL have to move if she wanted to get out, WITHOUT a Garage anyway, and just my car there! IT could be locked up there , and me away a YEAR! This Garage would protrude about 20" - 24" extra. NOTHING ! Or I feel she just wants it HER WAY, and resents me doing anything. IF AND WHEN IT IS sorted, then could she take steps to open the Covenant back again - a feud - IF she DOES have benefit/enforcement over me, out of spite ? I really just want to know ; A Can it get sorted, B can I get the legal proof, C can she give me bad trouble if I do, D how can I POSSIBLY now find out, whether she has any benefit/enforcement power over me?
Sorry it`s SO long-winded.I REALLY NOW want to get this sorted and finished, so I can carry on - whatever way, with CONCRETE PROOF, so I have no worries.
Can you tell me what I need to do now please ?
David Walder.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Land registration has been voluntary since 1925. Over the years there have been various “trigger events” usually a sale, purchase or remortgage, which triggered a registration.

The various trigger events varied around the country.

Up until about the mid-1980s, there were no trigger events which meant that registration was optional

Since the mid-1990s, registration has been compulsory on a purchase/sale or remortgage.

There is therefore nothing unusual in this, it simply means that the property has not been sold or remortgaged since 1993.

What is unusual is for them to say it was registered before 1993 and they have no records. I think what they are saying is that it is unregistered.

If the neighbour wants to rely on the covenant which she alleges she has the benefit of over your house, and you ask for a copy of the deed where she alleges this covenant is, it is not unreasonable for her to let you have a copy. If she will not and takes you to court, you can ask the court to award costs against her for being completely unreasonable.

Indemnity insurance is only applicable if there is no existing dispute and therefore you would need to submit the details of this to the insurer to see whether they would be interested but they would need to see the wording of the covenant.

If she simply refuses to let you have a copy of this but is still threatening legal proceedings, you can threaten her with an application to court for pre-action disclosure and legal costs. That is a court order ordering her to let you have a copy of the document.

Can I clarify anything else for you?