Legal Help Required re Covenant (1 Viewer)

Aug 17, 2011
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Hi

We keep our van in storage and bring it home occasionally to load and unload. There are restrictive covenants on our property and one that covers the roads of the estate for a caravan or boat trailer. One of our neighbours several doors away in the cul de sac has taken an issue with our van when her direct neighbours also bought one. She has caused them issues including calling the police!

Most of our cul de sac are happy and I screen shot messages to prove that. She is the only one with an issue and has now sent a solicitors letter so I need to find a solicitor to write to her solicitor within 12 days.

Can anyone recommend a solicitor who is an expert in covenants?
 
Sep 29, 2019
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From my knowledge the only people that can enforce a covenant are the original developers. It is a complex area of law though and this advice is worth what you paid for it. 😆

Do you need to spend the money on a solicitor?

For the odd night, I would just chuck the letter in the bin.
 
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Sep 29, 2019
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I presume the Police gave her short shrift; it’s a civil matter (unless the vehicle was parked illegally).

Ian
That’s also correct, even the local council will probably not be interested in the slightest. They are so skint they can’t do what they are legally obliged to, let alone get involved in this stuff.
 
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OP
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Aug 17, 2011
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From my knowledge the only people that can enforce a covenant are the original developers. It is a complex area of law though and this advice is worth what you paid for it. 😆

Do you need to spend the money on a solicitor?

For the odd night, I would just chuck the letter in the bin.
Unfortunately it’s the actual deeds that could also be an issue as they have a clause that says no caravan or boat trailer to be parked on property or roads of the estate.

My argument to that would be well we are a taxed and insured vehicle so surely I can park on an adopted road?

The builders covenant states no more than 3 consecutive days at anyone time or for a period of fifteen days in any year unless screened from view to the satisfaction of the vendor and behind the building line and in any case not in any open aspect of the property.

They argue it’s a caravan. Which it is under one act but there is a stated case where the definition was only meant for caravan sites act! So complex!

We obviously breach the builders covenant as I brought it home Friday night, went away Sat came home Sunday and took it back Monday!

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Apr 9, 2018
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Depending what is in her solicitor’s letter can you not just reply yourself?

A lot depends on how old your property is. If it is quite old and all the development has been done the developers won’t be interested.

As above, it’s not a police matter unless there is obstruction of the highway.
 
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Aug 17, 2011
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I presume the Police gave her short shrift; it’s a civil matter (unless the vehicle was parked illegally).

Ian
Yes they have installed CCTV after the threats and said it looked like she was harassing them! The problem we have is our storage is not 24/7 and we still work so sometimes it home to pack.
 
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This will not solve your problem but we once had a problem with a neighbour he was nit picking at a small issue. I made sure I replied directly to his solicitor who in turn would have then written to the neighbour. After a few letters back & forward where I always wrote direct to the neighbours solicitor I got a reply from the neighbours solicitor saying they were no longer working for the neighbour. The reason being every time they wrote to me & then forwarded my response it was costing the neighbour money. So I suggest you send a basic polite letter back saying you only have the van there for loading/unloading etc, no different to a say Asda grocery van, not an answer they want but letters can continue back & forward at a cost.
 
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Aug 17, 2011
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Depending what is in her solicitor’s letter can you not just reply yourself?

A lot depends on how old your property is. If it is quite old and all the development has been done the developers won’t be interested.

As above, it’s not a police matter unless there is obstruction of the highway.
I would rather get a solicitors letter if possible. There have been some letters back and forth between us and her. Well from her to us to which I have defended ourselves.
 
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Abacist

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The general rule with covenants is that the person or organisation who put the covenant in place is the only one who can enforce it. It is generally done on new developments by the developer to prevent people from making the site look unsightly. Quite often once the developer has sold all the units they are no longer concerned at what happens.

I can't imagine that the police would do anything as its a civil matter. The roads belong to the developer until adopted by the relevant Highways Authority so subject to the developers covenant.

Is the estate still under development and if finished, how long ago?

It will be costly to enforce the covenant! My father persuaded a builder to successfully enforce a covenant by committing to pay all the legal fees against a neighbour who parked his caravan in his drive right outside my parents dining room taking away the view and light.

if you are just loading up before a trip or after one and then driving it to storage elsewhere then it should not be a problem. If you are hoping to park it permanently on the road or at your house it will be a case of telling her solicitors to put up or shut up and take a chance!

Any reasonably sized firm of solicitors with a property/conveyancing department should be able to advise you.

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Aug 17, 2011
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This will not solve your problem but we once had a problem with a neighbour he was nit picking at a small issue. I made sure I replied directly to his solicitor who in turn would have then written to the neighbour. After a few letters back & forward where I always wrote direct to the neighbours solicitor I got a reply from the neighbours solicitor saying they were no longer working for the neighbour. The reason being every time they wrote to me & then forwarded my response it was costing the neighbour money. So I suggest you send a basic polite letter back saying you only have the van there for loading/unloading etc, no different to a say Asda grocery van, not an answer they want but letters can continue back & forward at a cost.
Yes I could do this and may have a solicitor friend who could help out but he doesn’t do … property!
 
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Sep 11, 2014
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This has been discussed. I don't know how to link a thread but search "is a motorhome a caravan" by SpeedyDux
There may be something in there of help
 
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slowcoach65

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We had this until our neighbours moved! The covenant requires civil action to enforce. From what I understood, action could be taken by an individual or the developer. In essence, the covenant simply states what all parties agreed to when the property was purchased. It is for the courts to decide what to actually enforce. This is my interpretation, please take legal advice before making any decisions.

So what did we do? We agreed with the estate management to give them (not the complainant) advanced notice of when we would bring the MH onto the estate and that we would have it on site for less than 2 hours in order to load / unload. This translated to an email to them as we rolled down the street to our house.

I did confront the neighbour who was an "unusual" character. It turned out that his main concern was that he was trying to sell his house and did not want to any prospective buyer seeing a MH parked in front of the house. I offered to avoid doing so or moving it out the way if he called me to let me know when he had a viewing planned. He wanted me to tell him when I would have the MH there but I refused for security reasons. Anyway, he moved and the new new neighbours are lovely and not bother if we leave the MH outside for a few hours. The estate managers are also happy as there is now one less owner calling them very 5 mins!

My advice, speak to the individual to find out what there concerns are and look for a compromise if you can. good luck.
 
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Outdoors Dad

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I bet she's a miserable old c#3t who lives on her own all bitter and twisted at people who enjoy and make the most of life. Sorry if that's a bit strong but I hate people who always complain at the most trivial things. I suppose she's paid her solicitor, so I'd call her bluff and ignore her:LOL:
 
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slowcoach65

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This has been discussed. I don't know how to link a thread but search "is a motorhome a caravan" by SpeedyDux
There may be something in there of help
In our covenant, it was clear that it related to caravans, vamper vans and motorhomes.

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TheBig1

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The points made that the covenants generally belong to the developer and can not be enforced by a resident usually. The explanation you give sounds like it is a case of harassment by the neighbour though which you can take action on. How old is the development and are the developers still in business?

I have dealt with this before and put it in writing to the neighbours that the covenant is unenforceable and the complaining neighbour in doing so is harming property values. You have a legal obligation to divulge any neighbour disputes should any party wish to sell the property. Just pointing out to the complainer that she has just devalued her own home is usually enough
 
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OP
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I bet she's a miserable old c#3t who lives on her own all bitter and twisted at people who enjoy and make the most of life. Sorry if that's a bit strong but I hate people who always complain at the most trivial things. I suppose she's paid her solicitor, so I'd call her bluff and ignore her:LOL:
Wow do you know her? Yes on her own with teenage child all other inc husband have left! Has issues with nearly everyone in street. We have lived here for 14yrs and had a motorhome for 12 years. She has been her about 8!
 
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Apr 9, 2018
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I would reply to her solicitors. You see being able to load and unload your Moho as reasonable and legal. If you continue to do this what does their client intend to do? If nothing else this will buy you some time.
Enough letters like this and you can hope she will give up.

Edit. Post #16 is about right I reckon.
 
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OP
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We had this until our neighbours moved! The covenant requires civil action to enforce. From what I understood, action could be taken by an individual or the developer. In essence, the covenant simply states what all parties agreed to when the property was purchased. It is for the courts to decide what to actually enforce. This is my interpretation, please take legal advice before making any decisions.

So what did we do? We agreed with the estate management to give them (not the complainant) advanced notice of when we would bring the MH onto the estate and that we would have it on site for less than 2 hours in order to load / unload. This translated to an email to them as we rolled down the street to our house.

I did confront the neighbour who was an "unusual" character. It turned out that his main concern was that he was trying to sell his house and did not want to any prospective buyer seeing a MH parked in front of the house. I offered to avoid doing so or moving it out the way if he called me to let me know when he had a viewing planned. He wanted me to tell him when I would have the MH there but I refused for security reasons. Anyway, he moved and the new new neighbours are lovely and not bother if we leave the MH outside for a few hours. The estate managers are also happy as there is now one less owner calling them very 5 mins!

My advice, speak to the individual to find out what there concerns are and look for a compromise if you can. good luck.
wow that’s really inconvenient and just 2 hours 😱!
 
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Outdoors Dad

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This will not solve your problem but we once had a problem with a neighbour he was nit picking at a small issue. I made sure I replied directly to his solicitor who in turn would have then written to the neighbour. After a few letters back & forward where I always wrote direct to the neighbours solicitor I got a reply from the neighbours solicitor saying they were no longer working for the neighbour. The reason being every time they wrote to me & then forwarded my response it was costing the neighbour money. So I suggest you send a basic polite letter back saying you only have the van there for loading/unloading etc, no different to a say Asda grocery van, not an answer they want but letters can continue back & forward at a cost.
This response and way of thinking seems good. From what you describe I wouldn't engage directly with her as this will most probably fuel her negative attention issues. Just out of interest how old is the estate etc and how close is your van to her house.

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Abacist

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Wow do you know her? Yes on her own with teenage child all other inc husband have left! Has issues with nearly everyone in street. We have lived here for 14yrs and had a motorhome for 12 years. She has been her about 8!
So we now know the development has long been finished. I suspect that she is therefore just being a thorn in your side which is an inconvenience. A series of polite responses to her solicitor as previously advised making them spend time and charge her will soon stop the legal process. That won't stop her herself being unpleasant towards you unfortunately.
 
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OP
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Aug 17, 2011
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The points made that the covenants generally belong to the developer and can not be enforced by a resident usually. The explanation you give sounds like it is a case of harassment by the neighbour though which you can take action on. How old is the development and are the developers still in business?

I have dealt with this before and put it in writing to the neighbours that the covenant is unenforceable and the complaining neighbour in doing so is harming property values. You have a legal obligation to divulge any neighbour disputes should any party wish to sell the property. Just pointing out to the complainer that she has just devalued her own home is usually enough
It’s the covenant that is on the actual land registry document/transfer that concerns me most. The builders one I’m not as worried about and that does give us some leeway at least. We live at the top of the cul de sac and parking it in the road would be ok not great but we could manage just as long as the clause re caravan or boat trailer on the roads of the estate doesn’t cover a taxed motor vehicle.

I think some of you are correct too - I could proabably ask her solicitors to clarify thing then it would cost her? But there is no reasoning with someone who clearly has issues.
 
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Abacist

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You obviously want peace of mind so go and and see a property/conveyancing solicitor armed with your deeds with the offending clauses and get advice!
 
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You don’t have to reason with her, you are either able to or not. It seems from the very limited info, you are able to do as you are doing.

It is awful falling out with neighbours. We own the flat next door and rent it out, neighbour downstairs wanted the shared drive resurfacing. We offered half the cost but he refused mumbling something about parking.

Transpires he now thinks he owns the whole drive. 😂

He does make everyone’s life a misery though, constantly moaning and picking fights over ridiculous things.

Some people……

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In our covenant, it was clear that it related to caravans, vamper vans and motorhomes.
The thread I referred to was a discussion re covenants generally, for instance

"Within a couple of weeks I received a letter from the developer giving us written consent from their solicitors to park our motorhome in a designated place (agreed by us) on the driveway. We went ahead and purchased soon after that."

Just suggesting it may be worth a read
 
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I would start by writing to her solicitor requesting details of why they are applying the covenant definitions of caravan and boat to your motorhome, which is coincidentally neither, but a lawfully registered and taxed vehicle for road use? Keeping the innocent questions and answers bouncing back and forth for a while and, as others have suggested, they may back off or she’ll not want to spend money on a lost cause.
 
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OP
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The thread I referred to was a discussion re covenants generally, for instance

"Within a couple of weeks I received a letter from the developer giving us written consent from their solicitors to park our motorhome in a designated place (agreed by us) on the driveway. We went ahead and purchased soon after that."

Just suggesting it may be worth a read
Thanks these properties are almost 25 years old and the builders are not interested in fact they no longer exist in the same name anyway
 
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