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Restrictive Covenant - Insurance Validity?

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  • Restrictive Covenant - Insurance Validity?

    Hi All,

    In the process of buying a barn conversion my solicitor identified a covenant restricting the building of anything on the property. The covenant was placed by the original landowner 20 years ago, who still owns a neighbouring field which he rents out. A conservatory has been built (1995) which is in breach of the covenant but no action has been taken. We had plans to replace the conservatory with an extension and to build a seperate garage/home office.

    My Question is wether Indemity Insurance is valid in the following scenarios:

    a) The vendor has taken out indemity insurance with First Title to cover the conservatory but my solicitor is unhappy with this and beleives it will be invalid as the covenant owner still owns the neighbouring field and could in theory notice the alteration but there is no evidence of this. Also the vendor has applied for planning permission for a house (which failed) but the covenant owner did not react.

    b) The second issue is the building of a new garage. First Title offer 'Commerical Indemnity' which appears to cover new builds but again my solicitor does not think this will be valid.

    Any thoughts/advice would be gratefully received!

  • #2
    This is too technical to answer in a forum like this.

    It will depend upon the precise of wording of the policies offered and without seeing these it is difficult to comment.

    You must either trust your solicitor's view or pay for a second opinion.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.


    • #3
      Hi JasonW,

      As per above it is hard to offer definitive advice without knowing more about the situation. Something you may have not considered but would be worth doing is that of taking the opinion of a Barrister, they can carry out a Sanity Test which will check the water tightness of your case and establish whether it would be prudent to proceed and what options you have. This can be done for a fixed price usually, which is a concept i believe solicitors are quite unfamiliar with.

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