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Restrictive Covenants And Parking

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Jarrv | 01:18 Mon 30th Mar 2020 | Law
8 Answers
Hi everyone,

I have a question regarding restrictive covenants enforcement especially around parking.

So I live on a small estate of 10 houses, the homeowner who's property is at a 90 degree angle to mine constantly parks 2/3 vans on the estate shared drive.
Yet leaves his driveway completely empty.
This partly blocks access to my drive and all I can see out of my windows is his vans.

Now I have politely asked him if he could park in his drive and he told me to *** off as its none of my business.

My property and I assume all the others have a list of restrictive covenants including around parking.

Only private motor cars in road worthy condition are permitted, and must be parked on designated parking areas or driveways only.

Will I be able to start legal action to enforce the covenants?

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Be prepared for a long and expensive battle! A covenant is a contract between two parties, usually the developer of the land and the first purchaser of a property, that can be passed to their successors (e.g. firms which take over the developer and subsequent purchasers of the property). As such, it's generally only one of those two parties that can obtain the...
08:20 Mon 30th Mar 2020
Welcome to Answerbank Jarrv - don't think you are being ignored please - those more versed in legal and property issues will no doubt be along in the morning.
I would think you have a case for law if he is restricting your access.
Be prepared for a long and expensive battle!

A covenant is a contract between two parties, usually the developer of the land and the first purchaser of a property, that can be passed to their successors (e.g. firms which take over the developer and subsequent purchasers of the property). As such, it's generally only one of those two parties that can obtain the help of the courts in dealing with disputes over covenants.

As an example, there's a covenant on my property stating that the front lawn must be laid mainly to grass. That covenant is between the developer of the property (Barratt Homes, who built the house in the 1970s) and myself (as the umpteenth owner of the house). If I were to pave over the front garden, and my neighbour objected, he could, of course, approach Barratt Homes and ask them to get the covenant enforced. However the answer he'd almost certainly get is "On yer bike, mate! It's nearly half a century since we built those houses, we've no longer got any interest in them and we're certainly not going to spend lots of money on court costs just to get a minor covenant enforced".

That would leave my neighbour needing to seek a court injunction against me himself. In order to do so, he'd need to be able to show that the breach of covenant 'touched and concerned' his own land. (e.g. that the value of his property had fallen because I'd paved over my lawn). It would NOT be sufficient for him simply to say "the covenant has been breached and I strongly object to it". (His feelings would be irrelevant; he could only obtain an injunction if he was able to show that his land had been adversely affected in some way).

So (unless you believe that the developer of the land still has any interest in enforcing the covenant), your first step should be to ask a solicitor if he/she is of the opinion that the van owner's actions 'touch and concern' your land. (I suspect that the answer might well be 'No'). Irrespective of his/her answer though, you might be able to get the solicitor to write to your neighbour, indicating that you're considering seeking an injunction against him (even if the solicitor actually knows that you've not got a moggy in Hades chance of obtaining one), as sometimes the simple threat of legal action is all that is needed to push someone into action.
Question Author
Thank you all for the quick replies.
I really don't understand people like him, it's quite an expensive estate where all the neighbours are really nice except them.

If we and the other residents were to form a residents committee to enforce the covenants would that help?
I know a few of the neighbours feel the same as us and one has said they are thinking of moving due to the estate going downhill.

The houses are about 6 years old and we have only been in the property for 6 months, but it's getting to the point we are also considering moving again .... Once the coronovirus pandemic is under control and the property market is on its feet again, but will probably end up losing thousands.

When we purchased as specifically asked the vendor if there were any issues with parking, to which he replied no. This has turned out to be a complete lie.

It's starting to affect our daily lives and putting undue stress on us.

If your seller lied to you, and other residents confirm that this person's parking was an issue while your seller was in residence, then I would be talking to my solicitor if I were you.
Question Author
Had a run in with the same neighbour today, because I mentioned his parking as he had left 4/5 feet for me to get out of my drive..
He threatened me with violence saying he's going to get some friends around to kill me.
He's a lovely bloke.
If he has threatened you then this is a Police matter. They will go see him and maybe his attitude might change, maybe not, but at least he will know you are serious.
Question Author
I did speak to the police unfortunately they weren't particularly helpful, unless the threat is imminent (at my door with a knife) its not something they would get involved in.
Good old West Yorkshire police.

So looks like the only option is to wait until the coronovirus situation is over and try to sell.
I expect we won't be the only people in the street doing so

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