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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10779
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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We are in the process of purchasing a property. Next door to

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Dear Sir/Madam
We are in the process of purchasing a property. Next door to the property a developer has recently (in the last six months) added a mansard loft conversion to a bungalow. In summary:
Property A - the property we are purchasing.
Property B - a neighbouring property which has had the loft conversion added with newly added windows overlooking Property A which are above 1.7m from the ground, not opaque and are opening.
The developer has put Property B up for sale with the same agent that is selling the property we are purchasing (Property A). I have discussed the matter with the planning office and they have confirmed that the configuration of the overlooking windows without planning permission is a contravention of planning rules; the planning office also confirmed that the windows do not have any planning approval. We have raised the issue with the estate agent and they have suggested we discuss the matter with the neighbouring property owner (the developer).
We have reached a mutual and amicable agreement with the developer so that the overlooking window configuration is altered and all the over looking windows are opaque with a reduced and changed opening capacity i.e. it is restricted to allow limited forward view only. We have also agreed that the developer will arrange for a restrictive covenant to be added to Property B so that future owners are aware the overlooking window configuration cannot change without attaining formal planning approval.
Our question relates to the covenant: We understand the process of restrictive covenants involve the adoption of an agreement by the purchaser of a property at the time of purchase. How do we as the purchasers of the neighbouring property ensure that the developer of the extended property implements the restrictive covenant with the future owners of the Property B prior to us completing the purchase of Property A?
Thanks in advance

Hi Mark, thanks for your enquiry. The only way you can guarantee that the owner of B (and his successors in title) enters into the covenant for the benefit of Property A, is for a Deed to b drawn up between B and the existing owner of property A. This should be executed either before you exchange Contracts, or between exchange and completion. The Deed will stipulate that the restrictive covenant will bind Property B forever and is for the benefit of Property A. This Deed will then need to be registered at the Land Registry, and this could be done by your Solicitor, when registering your ownership, o save a further delay in the Conveyancing process. The preparation and execution of the Deed may delay your completion date I'm afraid, and is of course subject to your Seller agreeing to get involved (you may have to agree to pay their additional Solicitors fees in dealing with the Deed). If you were to delay entering into the Deed after you have purchased, B may at that time just turn round to you and go back on his agreement to do it. I hope this assists and sets out the legal position. Kind Regards Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Al, many thanks for your response it is most helpful In your response you state that it is necessary for the Deed to be drawn up between the existing owners of Property A and Property B. From your response and reading further into the matter based on your response I have ready that a covenant can be created by separate deed (a Deed of Covenant). The deed will need to be protected by the entry of a notice on the register of title and needs to be signed by the covenantor though not necessarily by the covenantee. Is this correct and if so would this be a viable and reliable way to move forward.Many ThanksMark

Hi Mark, you are absolutely correct in all you say and the Deed would be a separate document, which is then lodged at the Land Registry, so the covenant can be registered against both Titles. If I have helped, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer. Kind Regards Al

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