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Thomas
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My query relates to a restrictive covenant in my propertys

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My query relates to a restrictive covenant in my property's deeds. "Not to erect any wall fence or other erection whatsoever in the front gartden or on the boundaries thereof. For the purpose of this clause, the front garden shall include every part of the site which lies between the dwellinghouse or other building erected thereon and the public roadway or footpath on which the site abuts."
All the houses on this estate were built in the early 1990's (we moved here in 2003). We planted a small (currently 3'6" high) privet hedge along one side of the property at the front which was recently vandalised. With the agreement of our neigbours on both sides, could we erect a 3" high picket fence along the sides, even if we only planted shrubbery along the front of the property adjoining the public footpath? Many similar houses on the estate have done so, presumably with their neighbour's permission. I rang Redcar & Cleveland Concil, and fences up to 1 meter high are permitted at the front of properties subject to local covenants. Are all the other fences and walls illegal, or are the restricitve convants just being ignored or overlooked? If permission is needed, to whom would I apply? Mr A Goodacre
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ms Gooacre,

Thanks for your question.

The fence would appear to be in breach of the restrictive covenants. The other fences in the estate would also appear to be in breach of the covenant.

The person who imposed the covenants upon the land is (most likely – unless they were for the benefit of their successors in title) likely to be the person with the benefit of the covenants now. This is the person who could release or modify the covenant so that your fence would no longer be regarded as a breach. You shoudl ask your neighbours if they applied for consent or what otherwise they did.

However, these covenants are usually imposed by developers who wish to ensure the continuity of the estate so that the remaining unsold properties are more marketable. Usually they are not interest once all the properties have long since been sold. However, in theory they could still take enforcement action against breaches but if other properties on the estate have erected fences in breach and no consent was applied for then they would appear to not be interested. So, you could count yourself massively unlucky if they took enforcement action against you now.

You can attempt to trace the person with the benefit, however you may be letting the cat out of the bag in that they may then decide to take enforcement action or charge a fee for release. It would also prevent you from getting insurance

In conveyancing this would usually be dealt with by obtaining a restrictive covenant indemnity policy once there has been a breach for a year. This would cover the costs of any enforcement action being taken by the person with the benefit of the covenant.. If you google "restrictive covenant indemnty policy providers" and there will be a number of insurace companies offering the service. You will need to give them details of the property, the covenant, you efforts at obtaining a release from the covenantors and the nature of the breach. It will not be that expensive (Around £100.00 approx).

You could apply to the Lands Tribunal to have the covenant modified or removed, but this is a lengthy and expensive process. You may take the view that this is overkill in light of the age of the covenant and low probability that enforcemet action will be taken.
If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question. You will not be charged any further money for clicking accept.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.


Kind regards,


Tom
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your question.

The fence would appear to be in breach of the restrictive covenants. The other fences in the estate would also appear to be in breach of the covenant.

The person who imposed the covenants upon the land is (most likely – unless they were for the benefit of their successors in title) likely to be the person with the benefit of the covenants now. This is the person who could release or modify the covenant so that your fence would no longer be regarded as a breach.

However, these covenants are usually imposed by developers who wish to ensure the continuity of the estate so that the remaining unsold properties are more marketable. Usually they are not interest once all the properties have long since been sold. However, in theory they could still take enforcement action against breaches but if other properties on the estate have erected fences in breach and no consent was applied for then they would appear to not be interested. So, you could count yourself massively unlucky if they took enforcement action against you now.

You can attempt to trace the person with the benefit, however you may be letting the cat out of the bag in that they may then decide to take enforcement action or charge a fee for release. It would also prevent you from getting insurance

In conveyancing this would usually be dealt with by obtaining a restrictive covenant indemnity policy once there has been a breach for a year. This would cover the costs of any enforcement action being taken by the person with the benefit of the covenant.. If you google "restrictive covenant indemnty policy providers" and there will be a number of insurace companies offering the service. You will need to give them details of the property, the covenant, you efforts at obtaining a release from the covenantors and the nature of the breach. It will not be that expensive (Around £100.00 approx).

You could apply to the Lands Tribunal to have the covenant modified or removed, but this is a lengthy and expensive process. You may take the view that this is overkill in light of the age of the covenant and low probability that enforcemet action will be taken.
If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question. You will not be charged any further money for clicking accept.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.


Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6428
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 6 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
I note you have not clicked accept to my answer. Is there any further information you require?

If you do not click accept then your deposit simply stays with the website and I receive absolutely no credit for the time I have taken to answer your question. Only when you click accept does a portion of your deposit actually transfer to me and you will not be charged any further money simply by clicking accept.

Please click accept. You will appreciate that I cannot work for free

Tom

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