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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14144
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I need UK legal advice. It relates to a. property in

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I need UK legal advice.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: It relates to a. property in Tiptree, Essex.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: England
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, I have information to share, but when I click send nothing happens.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I attach a document that explains the problem.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

how long have you been away from property?

who is giving you the updates about this issue?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
We officially moved December 2017, but have returned on a regular basis for short visits. The current and previous estate agent and a neighbour are giving us detailed updates and supplying photographs.

Thank you.

The covenant on the land is not going to help you unless whoever has the benefit of the covenant is going to enforce it and for whatever reason, it seems they are not bothered.

However the method of enforcing it is the same whether it you which wants to stop them trespassing on your land or whether you are enforcing covenant.

They are clearly taking no notice of the agent and no notice of you. Perhaps they will take more notice of a letter from a solicitor threatening an application to court for an injunction to stop them parking on your land (trespass) and an application for legal costs.

I would put together a diary/chronology along with photographs of all the dates and incidences where they have denied it but you have photographic proof.

One solicitors letter and if they don’t then start to play ball, it’s an application to court for an injunction to stop them. You also asked the court to award costs against them.

Don’t waste time in copious correspondence.

You may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually the need to get to court.

Check your house insurance to see if you have legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking this to court.

There is no reason why you could not DIY if you have experience of drafting legal proceedings but you really need the solicitors letter to try to avoid it if possible.

The problem for you, is that if you are not in the UK, you will be required to attend any trial hearing and you will not recover the costs of coming back from abroad.

The fact that you may have lost buyers is not a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the trespass.

There would be nothing at all to stop you putting a couple of parking posts to prevent this. Or gates or fences but to be honest you shouldn’t have to go to that trouble.

You potentially have a claim against the landlord of the next-door property for him allowing his tenants to cause nuisance but to be honest, why you would threaten that in the hope that he would have a word with his tenants, he is not one of the people I would be taking to court.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right-hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Many thanks for your reply. You didn't mention if we can do anything about them parking directly in front of our property which has a dropped kerb running all the way along the end of the cul-de-sac. By doing this they also block our driveway and this is creating a negative impression to people viewing our property. At present they have a freelander parked in front of our property blocking our driveway and my vehicle that's parked on our driveway. We're sure that we have the same wording of covenant in our deeds. I need to clarify if this wording in the covenant that I previously referred to refers to the actual owned land at the front of the building line (in this case our small front garden) or would this also apply to the pavement and road directly in front of the property. This would be very useful to us because a solicitor could threaten them with parking on our drive and in front of our house. Thanks in advance.

I apologise, I must have missed that. It is an offence to park in front of a dropped curb regardless of whether people are actually in the house or on holiday.

It’s a matter for the police. They will spend lots of time drinking tea and stopping people for speeding, dropping litter, and parking on double yellow lines because that’s easy. If they refuse to do anything about it, make a complaint in writing to the Chief Constable and if necessary to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Going to the police station to make the complaint, don’t try it on the telephone because you will end up speaking to an idiot who will fob you off.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
O.K, so the police is an option, but difficult because I'm not often in the UK and no local station. What about the covenant? Can you please answer this? I need to know if that's an option because that would be easier for us to arrange with a solicitor.

The solicitor can always put something in writing to the police.

The careful with the covenant because of this is what is called an estate covenant it means that it is indeed enforceable by all the properties against all the other properties and that would normally be the case if all of the properties have the same covenant.

If you want to enforce it, then you enforce it against the neighbour in respect of parking on their front and they would enforce it against you in respect of parking on your front which means in effect that the dropped curb becomes redundant because you cannot park in the area where these people are parking.

Further, it’s doubly problematical because by not doing anything about them parking on your driveway, you are breaching the covenant (!) By allowing it to happen. I advise caution in respect of the covenant.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I think there is some confusion. Can I attach a photograph without it being public?

I’m afraid that the thread is public forum.

You can send the photograph to *****@******.*** and it will be forwarded to be manually but it can take up to a day to arrive.

I am glad to help. Please don’t forget to use the rating service because it means that I can continue to provide affordable and timely legal advice to people with similar problems.

Although it says "rate to finish" it doesn't close the thread and we can still exchange emails.

You may need to login again to use the rating service.

Thank you.

Best wishes

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
It's no use us going to the police. According to ASK THE POLICE website in most areas local councils have now taken on responsibility for enforcing parking provisions under what is known as Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE). Under CPE it's an offence to park a vehicle so that it blocks a dropped kerb driveway. However, my local council has taken over this and refuses to become involved because I'm not currently residing at the property.With regards ***** ***** covenant from the early 60"s. I still don't totally understand. From your answer I deduce that the wording of the covenant does then apply to the road in front of the property, not just the owned land. We don't park on the road. Most of our aggro is caused by the neighbour parking on the road/pavement right in front of our house, blocking our driveway. We want to prevent them from parking on the road. Can I as an individual enforce this against the neighbour parking at the front of our house on the road, or do more people have to agree to it. That would probably be impossible. I can deal with them parking on our drive.

I think it might depend on what area you live because I know people in the area where I am who have had a knock on the door from the police. I think it’s one of those things where they are gradually devolving responsibility. Anything but do work.

If the local authority won’t get involved because you are not living there, then make complaint in writing to them and tell them that unless they enforce this, you will make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. The fact that you are not in the property is irrelevant.

Please note that is only in respect of parking across the dropped curb. They will not be the least bit interested if all these cars are parked on your drive while you are away.

The covenant says that you cannot park in front of the building line. Absolutely clear. If you have for example move to the front garden and paved it over and dropped to the curb, to provide parking, then you are in breach of the covenant if you park! Whether anyone would enforce it or not is a different thing altogether and in any event under the ruling Hall v Pickles, once you have been parking there without consent and without objection and not in secret, for 20 years or more, in contravention of the covenant then it’s no longer enforceable.

There is another issue and that is that even if there wasn’t a 20 year period, the neighbour must have “clean hands” if they want to enforce a covenant.

So if arguments sake there was a covenant not to park cars on the front and not have a satellite dish and not keep pigeons. They couldn’t keep pigeons themselves and then selectively try to enforce a covenant against you. Anyone wishing to enforce a covenant must be squeakyclean themselves. They must have, in legal terms, “clean hands”.

The covenant has nothing to do with parking on the road.

F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
O.K that's now clear regarding the covenant. I don't believe threatening with the ombudsman will make any difference, but I will write to them again and try. Thanks.