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covenant on land

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  • covenant on land

    Can anyone advise. I have bought a piece of land adjoining my property and would like to build a house on it. It has a covenant which was put in place in 1946 by the owner of a house that also adjoins the land. The covenant restricts building on the land to 2 garages and/or 1 dwelling house (if it is to enable you to operate a fruit/veg/dairy business from the land).

    The original detached property that had the benefit of the covenant has now been split into two sperate demi detatched houses (with two seperate owners) and part of the garden was sold in the 1970s and house built on it.

    so who now has the benefit of the covenant and would it be enforceable?

    Sheri RM

  • #2
    Re: covenant on land

    due to changes, go see a land surveyor who would be able to help you on the legal aspect to the land
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    • #3
      Re: covenant on land

      I thought it would be an issue for someone with legal knowledge rather than a land surveyor.

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      • #4
        Re: covenant on land

        You are right: you need a lawyer, not a surveyor.

        The answer depends very much on the wording of the original covenant

        Subject to this, if the covenant is potentially enforceable, you have two options:
        1: Negotiate a release from the current owners of the land that benefits
        2: See if you can get indemnity insurance

        Please note: pursuing option 1 will prevent you pursuing option 2, so try option 2 first

        Very first of all, speak to a solicitor, showing him or her the exact wording of the covenant

        I hope this helps
        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
          Re: covenant on land

          Thank you for this - it is helping to clarify the issue for me. I read a little on indemnity and if I'm right I have to breach the covenant first?? So if I build a house does the breach occur as soon as a brick is laid or on completion of the build.

          is it worth thinking of going to a land tribunal - I don't know much about it, but I'm trying to pre-empt/prevent problems rather than get into hot water

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          • #6
            Re: covenant on land

            I read a little on indemnity and if I'm right I have to breach the covenant first??
            No you don't. The easy to issue/online Restrictive Covenant Indemnity Policies usually require the breach to be 12 months old with no complaints about it, but some insurers will consider bespoke policies for breaches that haven't happened yet - but these tend to be more expensive and minimum premiums tend to be around £700
            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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            • #7
              Re: covenant on land

              Thank you the info I have gained from this forum is most useful and has been so quick.

              The original benefactor of the covenant (put on deeds of land when sold in 1946) was the owner of a detached house in large gardens, but this is now 3 properties - which one would be the benefactor, the original house is 2 semi's and a third house has been built in the gardens? I was hoping this might mean the covenant was not enforceable.

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              • #8
                Re: covenant on land

                It is quite possible that all 3 can enforce the covenant - it depends on the exact wording of the original covenant
                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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                • #9
                  Re: covenant on land

                  It is quite possible that all 3 can enforce the covenant - it depends on the exact wording of the original covenant
                  Yes. When you come to sell, if you have breached the covenant and don't have an indemnity policy it will be very difficult to prove that nobody can enforce the covenant.
                  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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                  • #10
                    Re: covenant on land

                    thank you very helpful. I shall get the deeds and read the exact wording.

                    someone told me that you can access anyone's deeds without them knowing, so I wondered about trying to access all 3 sets of deeds from the adjoining properties - do you think this is possible?

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                    • #11
                      Re: covenant on land

                      Yes: you can get copies of title registers from the Land Registry, usually on the basis of the postal addresses. However, the registers for the other properties will not necessarily set out the wording of the covenant that encumbers your land. The registers for your land should do so.

                      You can get copy registers yourself from the Land Registry, but frankly it would be more efficient to instruct a solicitor to carry out the research and report to you on your position
                      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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                      • #12
                        Re: covenant on land

                        I'm sorry, but are you going to sell the built house?

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                        • #13
                          Re: covenant on land

                          Indemnity Insurance is likely to be the most cost effective way of dealing with this.
                          Fridays Property Lawyers
                          Specialists in Leasehold Conveyancing

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