Restrictive covenants

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Touchwood, May 21, 2013.

  1. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    Our current home is a terraced house with no drive, therefore nowhere to park the MH; I keep it in storage locally.

    We are planning to move house this year, for many reasons, and were looking forward to being able to keep the MH on the property. We have been told, however, that most of the estates in the area to which we were planning to move have restrictive convenants in place banning the parking of caravans and motorhomes.

    We have driven round the area and there are many caravans and MHs parked there, so it seems likely that the covenants (if they exist) are not being enforced. I am most unhappy, however, about buying there since I believe that it would any take one neighbour to take exception and I could be prevented from parking my MH.

    My current plan is to stress to my solicitor as and when I have a particular property in mind to establish whether any such covenants exist, and advise me accordingly. I also plan to canvass prospective neighbours to preclude as far as is possible any problems arising.

    Does anone have any experience of this problem? Is there anything else I can do (other than change our plans about where to move to)?
     
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  2. MichelleRyall

    MichelleRyall Funster

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    I believe my estate has covenants in place but we have many motorhomes, boats and caravans around here on driveways. I have lived here for 22 years, never had a problem. Worth looking into and viewing any areas before you buy.
     
  3. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I am on the move at the moment but once I stop I
    Will give you my 'take' on it.
     
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  4. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    I have seen housing associations remove vehicles quite easily both where restrictive covenants and other rules have been in place.

    They usually do this when the people concerned are regarded as nuisance families.

    I personally wouldnt buy anywhere that have a restrictive covenant as to get the restrictions lifted is extremely difficult especially if you cannot trace those that originally put the covenant in place. Apparently it can also be a very expensive process too.
     
  5. Bluemooner

    Bluemooner Funster Life Member

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    I always though restrictive covenant was between the builder and the 1st buyer must admit i don't really know think Chris will enlighten us when he wakes up
     
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  6. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    Restrictive covenants are normally placed by developers of new properties in order that their houses can be sold without what they regard as the blot of caravans, boats and motorhomes.

    Once all the houses are sold, whilst the covenant remains in place, the developers no longer have any interest.

    Any individual householder can choose to ask a court to enforce the covenant but they can expect to have to pay court costs, hence unlikely to occur.

    I speak from some experience.

    Steve
     
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  7. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    if its the original developer and that company has gone bust you are probably ok, unless the covenant goes on to say that it is enforceable by anyone else with the benefit of the covenant - ie your neighbours.

    In my road I have the right to tow away, burn or sell an offending caravan or motorhome without liability.

    Not sure I would risk it though.

    Just put your needs in writing to your solicitor and at least you would have a claim against them if it went wrong.
     
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  8. jaygee

    jaygee Funster

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    We recently parked next to an 80 year old couple who were having this very problem.
    They had lived in their house for over 30 years and up to recently had always parked their (large) motorhome in their drive. They have now downsized to a converted Sprinter so this is about the size of a large van.
    A house in their cul de sac was recently sold and the new owner is enforcing a covenant on the properties to stop them parking their motorhome (van) in the drive. When they said it was only the size of a normal van he said it didn't matter, it had cooking and washing facilities in it so legaly it was a motorhome. He is going to take them to court if they don't stop parking it in their drive. They cannot park it on the road as it is a cul de sac and they would be blocking everyone's access.
    I felt sorry for them as they had to face all this when they went home and find a solution!
    It's no good canvasing the residents who live there now as they may change in the future as houses are bought & sold.
     
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  9. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    What a charming neighbour.......:Angry:

    We have covenants like a lot of places but they go back over 30 years. We take the risk as above but luckily have good neighbours at the moment.
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  11. teddybard

    teddybard Read Only Funster

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    Just a thought look at local Park Home estates
    many will allow Parking on site:thumb:
     
  12. talaris

    talaris Read Only Funster

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    Odd and unnecessary most of the time.

    Covenants can be enforced against subsequent owners either expressly stated that they can be or if a chain of indemnity is given and they can be enforced sometimes by other homeowners in the locality if they have the right to do so and the benefit of them.

    That said they can be defeated by either delay ( someone sitting and looking at either yours or other vans or motorhomes cannot do so for a few years and suddenly take a dislike) or by the fact that many others on the estate already breach them.

    Of course if they seek to enforce against you they must also do so against anyone else breaching them. Similarly they must not be in breach of either this type of covenant or any other (he who seeks equity must do so with clean hands).

    They are often put in place by original developers who are looking to seek all the plots and don't want, in this case, a load of vans on the estate making it look untidy. They have little thought, or care, for what happens after they have built and sold.

    It is not strictly true if the company has gone bust that they cannot be before end as the benefit of the covenant in that eventuality vests in the crown but they will not enforce.

    Like wise some one seeking to enforce must have an interest in the land close to where the hoses with the benefit of the covenant is. For example someone living 100 miles away cannot seek to enforce saying your motorhome is blocking their view.

    Get your solicitor to check it out and explain to you whether it is enforceable or not. Read the wrong of the covenant as most are poorly drafted and ambiguous which dies not help them either.
     
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  13. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    I'm not a lawer but as I understand it, restrictive covenants are complex beasts.

    What is important is to determine who is the beneficiary of the covenant. Sometimes its each and every house owner on the estate, but it may be just the builder/developer. Its only the beneficiary who can enforce it. You need to ask your solicitor who can enforce it this covenant.

    Also beware that the restriction may be regarding a planning condition imposed by the council, your solictor should be able to check this as part of the local searches.

    Good luck
    Gordon
     
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  14. francour

    francour Read Only Funster

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    covenant

    Hi all
    I live in a new build no large vans or sign written vans no m/h or caravans and i go along with this rule we paid 225000 for our house to be able to live on a nice estate who wants a transit with ladders on parked out side front window all day and night .
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you can choose your friends but you can't choose your neighbours....

    I would let them sweat it out and continue parking at home.

    Their choice if they continue the legal action threat but it's going to cost them big money through the courts...let alone their solicitors fee....and I doubt cost would be awarded against the old couple as they would be able to prove they have parked at home for many years without problems.

    I can see the new neighbours being as welcome as a pork pie in a synagogue.
     
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  16. TheDogMan

    TheDogMan Funster

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    I would not ask anyone I would just park, its only houses built in the last 30 years that have this in the deeds and the early ones just mention caravans, a friend has been through this and I read a case in a feature concerning a caravan, its a civil matter and very expensive to pursue, the first bits easy as someone pays £100 to get a threatening letter sent by a solicitor. after that the big bucks start, this is not a magistrates court job they have to take a private action against you which involves instructing a proper high court brief, solicitors usually suggest talking to try to settle it and avoid the huge costs involved.
    Its in my lease and I have a 8.5m x 3.5m moho parked in my drive and a lot of houses round me have caravans & moho's on there drives
     
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  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Half the value of our pile and it doesn't bother me my sign written work van is parked outside most nights and weekends. :Laughing:
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
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  18. TheDogMan

    TheDogMan Funster

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    I think would only be able to enforce action against a commercial vehicle parking, I understand that only kicks in if its over 3.5tgvw, a lot of people use vans as private vehicles instead of cars
     
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  19. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Thanks funsters for a very interesting topic.

    They say you learn something new everyday,

    Just checked, we don't have one on our mansion, so we are ok. But they are a funny breed those non motorhoming neighbours, :Doh:
     
  20. Rocles

    Rocles Funster

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    I have had some experience of this. Be aware, the original Builder may sign over Covenant enforcement to a Management Company. If so, they have equal rights to enforce said Covenant.

    Legal advice suggests if no one has complained after 6 years, a presedent has been set, and you can refer to a previous test case, which was challenged in court, and won. Under 5 years, not much chance of challenging successfully.

    Wording of Covenants usually has a "catch-all" such as "no Caravans, Trailers, Boats, or SIMILAR CHATTELLS" ...that last bit can be made to apply to anything at all ! Worth noting, any MH that is taxed and insured can be legally parked on the roadway (I think under 3.5 tons, over gets more complicated)

    Of course, if you are a current MH owner, don't even consider a house with any such restrictions...

    It can all become a very stressful situation...in which case, walk away and rent some Storage.
     

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