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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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Hi, I have recently purchased some land where a covenant was

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Hi, I have recently purchased some land where a covenant was put on the deeds between the seller to me ,and original owner of the land, and it was to erect a boundry fence and gate to make the properties separate, the original owner still owns the land adjacement to the now my land and refuses to erect it now,stock keeps getting on mine and I have offered to erect it, but they refuse

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

Customer: What do I do now to get your opinion
tdlawyer :

If the covenant to erect the fence is in your favour, as it sounds, then you can force the adjoining landowner to erect a fence if you wish to as this is simply complying with the terms of the agreement reached with you.

tdlawyer :

Alternatively, if they refuse to put the fence up, you could do it yourself (or have a third party do it), and then render an invoice to them for your costs/expenses in doing so.

tdlawyer :

This is treated in a similar way to a breach of contract claim.

Customer: As the fence runs down the edge of a farm track( Tarmac ) how far off the edge is reasonable,they said they would have me for trespassing ?
tdlawyer :

Does the covenant not say exactly where the fence is to be erected?

Customer: all it says is between A and B which is alongside the drive then a 4.5 metre gate at the end of it.the drive is 3 meters wide currently.
tdlawyer :

okay. It's difficult to say exactly then, but usually, you would assume that the neighbour was to put the fence on their land, and right up to the boundary with yours. It's a matter of looking at the facts in every case and trying to work out what was intended where it's not absolutely clear from the document itself.

Customer: So if I put the fence up say half a metre off the road, this would allow it not to be hit by wing mirrors etc and run it into the 4.5 metre gate at the end,could they make me take it down?
tdlawyer :

Would this mean that it is on your land?

Customer: No, half a metre onto there land,
tdlawyer :

Okay. Well, in that case, they might be able to force you to remove it, and sue you for trespass. I would strongly recommend you take the deeds, together with some photos and an OS map (if you have one) to a solicitor to investigate this more fully for you.

tdlawyer :

If you don't have the OS map, don't worry, as the land registry plan should be taken from the OS map anyway.

Customer: the 4.5 metre gate at the end would finish 0.75 metres onto there land as agreed in the deed.
tdlawyer :

It sounds to me like that should be fine, if that's what the Deed says.

Customer: are you a solicitor or barrasters ?
tdlawyer :

However, legal documents can be strangely worded sometimes, (not sure if this one is!) and it's often best to get some professional help before committing to expenditure and exposing yourself to being sued.

tdlawyer :

Yes, I am.

tdlawyer :

A solicitor.

Customer: why don't they just let me put it up (akward) what would happen if I take them to court, would it have to be put up?
tdlawyer :

Because some people like to be awkward!

tdlawyer :

If you went to court and establish they are obliged to put this up, you could get an order requiring them to do it. Or, perhaps, a declaration declaring that you were entitled to do it on their behalf.

Customer: Thanks very helpfull
tdlawyer :

You're welcome.

Customer: Last question is there any time limit on a covenant ie years from when signed, can't understand why previous owner never bothered?
tdlawyer :

No, not always, you don't have to have time limits for things to be done. However, for something like what you're talking about, I would imagine that there is a time limit imposed on that to do something - you would expect that the be expressly stated in the deed itself though. If you don't have that in your case, that would be a bit odd, as otherwise, they would say "there is no time we have to do it - we will do it in 20 years time".

tdlawyer :

Usually, you get an immediate obligation to erect a fence and thereafter to maintain it. ... or something along those lines.

Customer: Would I win in court to get the fence up? Thanks Dave
tdlawyer :

Dave, it's really hard for me to say, given I've not seen anything, but ... I see no reason for you not to win if what you've told me is correct and they're in breach of their obligations to erect the fence and you're only doing what they should have done.

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