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Breaking a covenant on title deeds

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  • Breaking a covenant on title deeds

    If some one was to break a covenant on his title deeds,what action can be taken against him. Such as building a wall where it is not allowed.

  • #2
    That depends on an enormous number of factors but, if the covenant is enforceable, the likely action would be to get an injunction to stop the wall being built (or to demolish it)
    This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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    • #3
      Thanks Justin. My neighbour has built a wall on the front and I know that there is a covenant saying that the front of the property cannot have a wall, and besides that no one in this area has a wall. A few resident who live close by have also told me that he can't build because if you could they would have done so. He has also broken another covenant which is having a huge impact on our daily lives he is a NFH. Is this a matter for the council or do I need to contact a solicitor?

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      • #4
        I don't think the council will get involved - you need to see a solicitor
        This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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        • #5
          Thank you Justin. Another quick question if someone was to buy the lease on their property do the restrictive covenants change or are they simply passed on to the freehold.

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          • #6
            Restrictive covenant are passed onto subsequent owners, so nothing would change if he sold the property.

            Is your neighbour aware that this covenant exists on his deeds?

            Your course of action is through the county courts, who will order him to demolish the wall.
            www.ownerhome.co.uk
            commission free property sales and lettings

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            • #7
              Zack: You mention "the lease" now

              Is the covenant imposed by the lease or is it imposed on the freehold title? If it is imposed by the lease, you need to check the terms of the lease to see whether only the freeholder can enforce the covenant or whether other leaseholders (which I assume includes you) can enforce it

              If it affects the freehold title, the issues relating to enforceability are different (and more complicated!)
              This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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              • #8
                As far as I am aware there property was leasehold and they have purchased the freehold, hence there property is now freehold. From my understanding after a lot of reading if there are any restrictive covenants these are usually passed on with the freehold purchase. Is this correct ? Thanks

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                • #9
                  It is true that the burden of restrictive covenants imposed on freehold land usually remains with that land as it changes hands

                  However, the benefit of those covenants (ie: the ability to enforce them) does not necessarily pass with changes of ownership of the land intended to be benefited by it - enforcing covenants can be a complicated thing and a lot depends on the full, exact wording used
                  This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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                  • #10
                    If the dvelopment is of an open plan design then there may be a planning condition preventing the construction of walls etc in front and if so then the Council may take enforcement. This is a lot cheaper than personally applying for aninjunction in the Councty Court. As Justin N says it is not straightforward and it does not necessarily follow that a neighbour can enforce the covenants.

                    If the wall has been allowed to stand for a significant period then if a neighbour has an entitlement to enforce the covnenants the judge may refuse an injunction (whichis a dsicretionary remedy) and decide that damages are an adequate remedy. Difficult to assess a large figure of damages to refflect annoyance that someone has got away with something otheres wanted to do - what real loss in value would neighbouring houses suffer by reason of the wall being built?
                    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
                    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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                    • #11
                      The development is open plan, and local residents have also pointed this out. This wall has not been in place long. With regards to the council, I know that normally if anyone was to ring them up they do say that you can go upto a metre high. Covenants I think are more of a private and legal matter, unless its council land.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Breaking a covenant on title deeds

                        My husband and I and our young family have been living in a Redrow home from new for almost four years. All the houses on the small 15 house development have been sold. There are restrictive covenants on the properties. One of the covenants is that the house cannot be altered/extended in any way, even a shed added, without permission. Over the previous four years, three properties have built conservatories on the reverse of their properties, and one property has built a massive summer house.

                        One of these extensions acquired permission from Redrow, thus 'allowing' them to build and break the covenant. Another acquired permission form Redrow when actually the covenants had already been passed onto the road’s Management Company. The other two didn't acquire permission, and built anyway.

                        In the mean time, our road set up a Management Company which is 'owned/equally shared' by all the 15 houses. This company took on the covenants to the road.

                        My husband and I have planning permission to add a bedroom onto the front of our property, above the garage. This is in keeping with the road and will look like Redrow built it and it will not overlook or take anybody's light. However, houses that cannot even see our house, say we cannot undertake the extension as we are breaking the covenants and they will ‘fight us through the courts and all the way’, as they say if we are allowed to break the covenants and extend, this will open up a can of worms for anyone to extend their house, thus spoiling the feel of the road and devaluing their properties. (We live in a lovely village but on a pretentious road). We disagree and believe it is in everybody's interest that if we are to extend our house, it should be done subtly and will therefore in reality, have no impact on others lives (with the exception of the time the building work is being performed). We are desperate for room after the arrival of our fourth surprise baby (there will not be anymore).

                        None of the neghbours argued for the covenants when any of the other conservatory extensions took place. Planning was not needed so these went ahead without neighbourhood discussion. We feel victimised and unfairly treated being the only young family on the road in one of the smallest properties. Do the other homeowners have a legal right to vote against us and prevent us from undertaking the extension? Even though others (albeit on the reverse of properties) have gone unchallenged, or when Redrow were in charge, permission granted?

                        What rights do the homeowners have?
                        How much power does the management company have?
                        We are desperate to extend but cannot afford to get this wrong.
                        Please can you tell us our options?

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