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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I would like to ask a general question about restrictive

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Hi I would like to ask a general question about restrictive covenants please?
Hi, What is your question please?Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have covenants on my house and land in favour of my neighbours, so need their approval to make changes to my property and driveway. The previous owners agreed to changes and then sold to my current neighbours 2 years ago. They are now raising an objection to changes I have made. Are they able to do this, or are they bound by the historic owner approval, who also approved and supported the planning application for some of the works they now dispute. If they were still to have rights to do this, should they have not raised this objection sooner. ie 2 years ago?
Hi, What is the specific wording of the covenant please?Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The purchaser for himself and his successors in title herby covenants with the vendor for the benefit of the said remaining land of the vendor known as WH and so as to bind the property herby sold into whosever hands the same come as follows:
To keep the said entrance drive leading from the lane through the land herby conveyed in good repair and condition the vendor paying on demand one half of the cost thereof.
2. Not to obstruct or permit the obstruction of the said entrance drive and not to permit any litter or rubbish to be deposited thereon.
3 not to erect any fence or hedge along the sides but to retain the land on each side of the driveway as open grassland and to keep the same tidy and in good condition and not to use or suffer the same to be used so as to be a nuisance or annoyance to the vendor or the owner occupier for the time being of WH or the adjoining property.
Hi I should be able to answer at about 9:30 a.m.
Sorry, just one last question. What changes did you make and which of those covenants did you seek consent about (retaining the driveway as grassland perhaps?Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We opened up one side of the driveway to make a carriage driveway, which the previous owner of the property had closed. So originally the house did have the carriage driveway. We asked for approval for this though as well.
Hi Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.I think your neighbours are going to have a hard time enforcing any breach that has actually occurred. It is unclear from the covenant whether or not their consent would be required. If the driveway is no longer open grassland then it could be regarded as a breach unless consent was obtained to make the changes. Ideally this consent would have been in written form and possibly also in the form of an Express Deed of Covenant. However, if there is any question of interpretation over whether or not this constitutes a breach and /or you obtained consent from the previous owner to do this (and you have evidence of this) then the chances that your neighbours would be advised they have a claim of merit would be relatively small. In any event, any such claim they may be advised of would have to be privately funded and so they would have to pay the costs in legal fees for seeking to enforce this covenant. If your neighbours appear quite firm in pursuing this then I would not materially communicate with them any further and would instead attend a local property solicitor with pictures of the land and your evidence of consent, together with a copy of the covenant and ask for their specific advice over whether their neighbours have any kind of claim worth pursuing. I expect that you will probably be ok. My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question. Kind regards,Tom
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