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Is a Restrictive Covenant from a defunct company enforceable

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  • Is a Restrictive Covenant from a defunct company enforceable

    Hello

    20 years ago I needed a electricity new cable laid from a sub station to my house because the voltage was too low and the lights used to dim when the kettle was switched on.

    It's a long story which culminated in the then "London Electricity Board" laying a cable and placing a covenant on any development of the 'easement land':

    "..."easement land" is the part or parts of the Grantors land within 1.5 metres on both sides of the electric line..."

    This effectively means that we cannot build an extension on the side of our house because the cable currently runs up to the side of it.

    The London Electricity Board ceased to exist in 1998. Does this mean that the covenant is no longer enforceable. It was explicitly drawn up between me and the LEB and not it's successsors.

    I would like to build there now if possible so I would appreciate any advice as to the best way forward.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Is a Restrictive Covenant from a defunct company enforceable

    My understanding buy DYOR, is that for a restrictive covenant to subsist there needs to be a beneficiary of that covenant. However in this case I'd bet that London Electricity Board didn't vanish completely, but merely changed into something else, as such I'd suspect that their liabilities/benefits transferred with them. Best of British with this one as it's a complicated question and suggest you're going to need specialist legal advice.

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    • #3
      Re: Is a Restrictive Covenant from a defunct company enforceable

      Thanks for your response.
      I was banking on the actual wording of the covenant being the panacea to the problem. It states only "The London Electricity Board" and not "The London Electricity Board and its successors" so my limited legal knowledge would suggest that the covenant can no longer subsist due to this point? Similarly I am listed as the grantor by name so if i wasn't around for any reason I would imagine that all bets would be off too

      Either way could anyone suggest / recommend a good solicitor that would specialise in these areas (Happy to take this offline of course)

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      • #4
        Re: Is a Restrictive Covenant from a defunct company enforceable

        My understanding buy DYOR, is that for a restrictive covenant to subsist there needs to be a beneficiary of that covenant. However in this case I'd bet that London Electricity Board didn't vanish completely, but merely changed into something else, as such I'd suspect that their liabilities/benefits transferred with them.
        I suspect that this is the case - in this sort of situation there may well have been statutory provisions about the transfer of electricity undertakings and it is likely that these would have included clauses that effectively meant that the new undertaker could enforce agreements/covenants entered into by its predecessor.
        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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