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Putting a window into a brick wall overlooking neighbour

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Oneeyedvic | 17:26 Thu 28th Dec 2006 | Law
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We are looking to put a window into a wall that overlooks a neighbour's property. The title deeds state that we are not allowed to do this - however, there is one existing window in this wall already and the neighbours (who we get on well with) have indicated that they have no problem with it (it will not over look them and we have agreed that we will put obscured glass in).

Question is: do we need anything apart from a letter from our neighbours - ie what would happen if they move out? Do we need to get a solicitor involved?

A similar question in Home & Gardens has already established the need for Planning permission - it is specifically what will need to be done re the deeds that I am looking for an answer to.

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What exactly do the deeds say? Is the restriction stated to be a restrictive covenant for the benefit of the neighbouring land? How old is the restriction? Do your neighbour's deeds also mention this restriction? If so, what do they say?

If it is a restrictive covenant you could probably insure against the possibility of a claim from any future neighbour for a fairly small premium - there are specialist insurers who do this. An alternative, if the present neighbour is the only beneficiary of the covenant and they agree, would be to get the covenant wiped off the deeds of both properties by agreement. You would probably need a solicitor.
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So that seems to be the end of that little episode.

For what it's worth, I believe Themas is close to the mark. The Restrictive Convenant (if that's what it is, and it seems to be likely from your description) can be removed as Themas describes. The bit I'm not so sure about is the insurance aspect - I believe one can only get indemnity insurance in situations where the individual owning the land which has the benefit of the Convenant cannot be identified (and one therefore places insurance in the event that they turn up at a later date).
But as I said in the original posting, remember that the Planners are not concerned about any land title legal aspects and you must deal with both aspects independently.
Good luck.
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thanks themas & BM
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