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Restrictive Convenants and working from home

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  • Restrictive Convenants and working from home

    My wife is a part-time counsellor and sees up to 15 patients per week (only one at a time with no overlap). Our house has a restrictive covenant restricting its use to that of a private dwelling. When we bought our house we were advised by our solicitor not to worry - such covenants are quite common and nobody would seek to enforce for such an unobtrusive activity. Wrong!! We find ourselves in a small community with some very narrow-minded, vindictive neighbours.

    Any suggestions as to how we could fight this (including any legal precedents) would be very much appreciated.

  • #2
    So far as I personally understand it, it's fine to run a business from home so long as:

    1. The business does not take up majority occupancy of the property
    2. There is no manual labouring such as to cause mess, noise, or other potential pollution.

    However, if you give a local solicitors a ring I'm sure they could advise you simply over the phone as to whether this is something you feel neighbours could actively enforce against you.



    • #3
      Dear Fox,

      The solicitor is correct it is an extremely common form of covenant, along with no caravans and the like... This does not make it 'part of the furniture' and something that will not be enforced.

      first thing to remember is you are not breaking the law, just a private agreement - it requires them to seek enforcement for anything 'legal' to happen, and even then this is all civil.

      Lots of the time people will give all the talk of enforcement but never actualy do it (on avrage it cost about £ 7-10,000 to go for enforcement).

      You would be well advised to speak with a barrister on this mtter to see if what you are doing consititutes a breach according to the terms of the covenant, who derives he benefit (in many cases of a scheme of development it will be the roadway retainer who is often the developer, or a residents association - not individuals) and the likely ability of dischrge or adjustment to the covenant. You'll then know if you need to stop what your doing, if you can carry on without fear or if you need to make an applcition to lands tribunal.