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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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We are currently involved in a parking dispute with neighbours.

Resolved Question:

We are currently involved in a parking dispute with neighbours. After many years of parking on the privately owned shared driveway and public road, by us and other neighbours, one neighbour has now decided that they don't like anyone parking in either place. They have involved the police, threatening tickets for cars parked on the public road, and have also threatened to enforce the covenant we all signed stating that nobody can park on the private, shared driveways. This doesn't leave any space for visitors or our spare car.

My key question is simply, what can be done to enforce a covenant? The key wording is, "Not to park any vehicle on the Estate Roads or driveways used in common by the Transferee with the owners for the time being of any of the other plots on the estate." How can this be enforced (affecting both us and other neighbours who have parked on the shared land for over 10 years)? Related, who can enforce the covenant? Current residents, or is it only the original land owner who put the covenants in place?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Was the covenant imposed by the original developers and, if so, does it state that it is for the benefit of their "sucessors in title"?

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, successors in title is mentioned, and the transferor was the original developer, initially to the first purchaser of the house who we subsequently bought from.
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that on the information here he will be able to enforce the covenant against you/others.

Given that the covenant mentions “sucessors in title” (which would include you, he and others since by purchasing the properties you are in effect successor in title as well) and that the covenant appears to have been drafted for the benefit of each owner as against each other) then I can’t really see how you could attempt to construe the covenant as simply being for the benefit of the original developer.

However, it’s always worth having a look at the specific documentation and I would suggest that you arrange a consultation with a local property solicitor to confirm after specifically analysing the Transfer(s) and registered titles) to confrim absolutely. I would mentally prepare yourself on the basis that he would be able to enforce.

Unfortunately, the ten years period falls short of the 20 years required to claim a right to under prescription so this is not an option either.

Sorry, it could not be better news.

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Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But what can be done to enforce the covenant? Is a fine imposed? would it be imposed each time parking occurred?


 


My understanding is that covenants are there to increase or maintain the value of the land. Telling future purchasers that they can't park directly alongside their house, on land they technically own and that doesn't block other residents would surely devalue the property. Would this be taken into consideration at some point?

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi

There would be a Court order which stated that such parking should not occur. Therefore any such parking would be contempt of court, which is an offence, so you/others could be arrested if parked.

The valuation of the properties is taken in to account if you were to apply to the Lands Tribunal to attempt to have the covenant removed/modfied and I agree that there does seem to be a valuation argument in your favour but the cost and time to make such an application is pretty prohibitive (thousands of pounds, great deal of time) and is usually recourse sought by developers or those with considerable means.

That is not to say that you might not get anything by threatening an action and doing sabre rattling in the form of a solicitors letter, possibly co-signed by all other resident on your side.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks. Final mini-question before I rate. Would that court order apply to everyone, even the neighbour who started the action (who in the past has parked on the shared land themselves)?

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

It would apply to the person that the guy named as the respondent in the Court papers, though he coudl name as many as he liked.

Please rate my answer.

Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6660
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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