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HELP NEEDED!!! - Caravan on Driveway "Builders Covenant"

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  • HELP NEEDED!!! - Caravan on Driveway "Builders Covenant"

    Hi all

    We are currently having problems with neighbours in our street who have recently objected to the parking of my caravan on my private driveway. I have lived in the house from new which we bought almost 31yrs ago, we have owned a touring caravan for approx 27/28yrs and have parked a caravan on our driveway for approx 25/26yrs. We live in a semi detached town house with an elevated living room directly above the garage. Our caravan is parked on a sloped driveway which cannot be seen by neighbours unless you are standing looking out of the window. The caravan is a modern and clean van and is not obstructing the highway or path.

    The neighbours who have recently had a solicitor letter sent to us, stating we must move our caravan within 14 days otherwise the issue will be taken further and a court action will ensue. one of the neighbours in question have lived next door to us for 31yrs and the second couple have lived in the street for approx 22yrs and neither of these have objected in this way up until now. One of the couples have had a caravan parked themselves on their drive which seemed fine at the time for them. Now all of a sudden they are objecting to our caravan.

    We did not realise the builders covenant mentioned caravans in the deeds of our house which we have just recently recieved from the building society, however the document states ------ "Caravans" not caravan which implies that more than one caravan cannot be parked on the driveway

    Does this mean that if it states caravans, that we are not breaking the covenant by only parking 1 caravan on our drive???????

    Since we have parked the caravan on the driveway for over 26yrs without anybody complaining, do you think this will be taken into account if it was to go to court??????

    Can a covenant expire or not?????

    Any information or comments on this issue would be greatly appreciated as its causing great distress to my family.

    I can always type exactly what the covenant states if needed!



  • #2
    This is a pretty sad situation to read - not the most pleasant of neighbours to be living near by the sounds of it.

    However, if you've been served legal notice by a solicitor, you absolutely need to take legal advice from another solicitor to ensure you are professionally advised on your options, and a proper response is provided.

    Sometimes these things can be nipped in the bud, but if not, you absolutely need to ensure that you are informed of your legal options.



    • #3
      The Section of the covenant states :

      The Forth schedule:

      section 3

      Not to use or suffer to be used any unbuilt on part of the property hereby conveyed for any purpose except as and for a garden and to keep such garden tidy and free from weeds and rubbish and not to use or permit or suffer the same or any part thereof to be used for the keeping of poultry or bird nor for the parking of caravans.

      The document states: - "nor for the parking of caravans"

      Am i not right at thinking that is plural? where the form is usually represented orthographically by adding -s to the singular form therefore meaning more than 1 i.e.

      Caravan ------> Caravans

      We are going to seek legal advice too just with the bank holiday cant speak to anyone until tues and thought we night get some info on here for a start.


      • #4
        I had a situation several years ago with a covenant issue that may help you?

        I owned a small plot of land next to my last house which was large enough to build a dwelling on. However, the covenant stated that another property could not be built with 4metres of the rear garden of my existing house. This was a problem, as the new building would be within this distance. I decided to sell on the land and the new owner took an insurance policy out to cover himself if the covenant was enforced.(i.e, in case he'd built and then was told to tear it down).

        All I was informed from this was that the only person able to enforce the covenant was the original builder as they put the covenant onto the deeds.
        It may, therefore, be a good idea to check who did this covenant on your deeds. If it was the original builder, you maybe laughing as even if they're still around, odds on they won't give a damn any more...

        This was obviously my experience at the time involving a totally different situation to your own. At the end of the day, best take Brian's advice and get some professional help.

        Oh and with respect to singulars and plurals of what the covenant means when you talk of caravan(s). I really think they mean any amount, one or more!!!


        • #5
          I would be interested to see the actual verbiage used.


          • #6
            Originally posted by evetsnworb View Post
            The Section of the covenant states :
            ...... Not to use or suffer to be used any unbuilt on part of the property hereby conveyed for any purpose except as and for a garden and to keep such garden tidy and free from weeds and rubbish and not to use or permit or suffer the same or any part thereof to be used for the keeping of poultry or bird nor for the parking of caravans.
            "free from weeds" .... so by your logic applied to 'caravans', if you allow one weed to grow, then you are compliant, but if two grow, you're not.....?

            No. 'free from weeds' means free from any number of weeds. One or more.

            Not to be used for the 'parking of caravans' likewise implies any number of caravans. One or more. IMHO.


            • #7
              I agree with the last post. "Caravans" in this context includes a single caravan.

              However a breach of covenant that has continued for upwards of 20 years is beyond any enforcement.

              As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients
              RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
              As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.


              • #8
                Is there an update on this story? A pretty depressing thing to have to deal with on a daily basis!!