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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Property Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10585
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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We purchased an Ex Council House from a private sale in

Customer Question

We purchased an Ex Council House from a private sale in March 2016.We have full Portsmouth Council planning permission to build an additional 2 storey 2 bedroom house at the side of the existing ex council house and extend the existing house.We are approaching finance provider to split title, so separate side plot can have own title.I looked through the land registry and sale paperwork, I want to check on this:Third schedule - point 3 - Not without the prior consent in writing of the council to make any alterations or addition to the exterior of the property.Well the Council have given Full Permissions to extent and add on a new additional house.Then there is the wording: not to construct or allow to be constructed a separate dwelling unit within the curtilage of the property. To me that means a flat in the main house?The land was sold in 1921 from the sale by a private individual to Portsmouth Council.There is a high demand for houses in Portsmouth and we have Full Planning, there are no separate departments.Could you please confirm as we have this Full Planning do we take out an insurance or not bother?Who would wave their hands about as the Council want their £13,000 CIL fee for allowing the build?Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thanks for your enquiry.

Many ex council houses have restrictive covenants placed on them. This was a cause for concern for many homeowners in ex Council properties until a recent decision which was passed by the Lands Tribunal.

The basis of the case involved former local authority properties which had restrictive covenants placed on them which prevented their use from anything other than a coach depot and an associated residential bungalow.

The local authority received an application for residential development but refused it on the basis of the covenant and they also refused any modifications to the covenant. The applicant then appealed the decision which went on to be approved by the Secretary of State.

When the appeal was made, the Lands Tribunal was asked to consider that the covenant be modified based on Sec 84 (1) of the Law of Property Act 1925. When the Lands Tribunal looked at this they decided that the covenant did not allow for reasonable use of the land and that the local authority, who would be the party that benefitted from the covenant, would not actually gain anything from the covenant being upheld.

As a result of this ruling, many owners of ex council properties will be more likely to have the covenant which had been placed on their property lifted than before the ruling was made.

In your situation, as the local authority have already granted planning permission for development, the position is even better in that in the circumstances, the covenants on your property are normally deemed ineffective, and the Council can not argue otherwise. You should therefore get your Solicitor to write to the Council and request covenant consent on this basis. I hope this assists and sets out the legal position. If I have helped, please don't forget to rate my answer. Kind Regards Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Please don't forget to rate my answer, if I have helped. Thanks Al