Tim Sharpley
Partner & Solicitor
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Date Published:06 Feb 2020 Last Updated:18 Jan 2022

​Love Thy Neighbour…

Commercial Property

Have you received notification from a neighbour of a planning application that your neighbour has logged at the Local Authority, or heard that a Developer is considering redeveloping an adjoining property?

Your property may have the benefit of restrictive covenants which restrict what your neighbour can or cannot do on the property that they own. These are called restrictive covenants and they are found on the majority of legal titles. Restrictive covenants stem back to an era before there were planning controls, when private landowners effectively imposed controls over land that they sold to third parties restricting building works. With the increase in infill developments and subdivision of land and back garden developments which create smaller plots, restrictive covenants are becoming more and more important.

Restrictive covenants are very varied in their nature but usually restrict the control and appearance of future developments and what activities are carried out on land. One interesting fact about covenants is that the Land Registry only note covenants against the land that is burdened by the covenant and is subject to it. They do not provide any notice on the title to the land which has the benefit. You cannot, therefore, just by looking at your title deeds tell whether or not to hold covenants over your neighbour’s land.

We are able to undertake that research for you and to confirm whether or not you may have the benefit of covenants over adjoining land, which provides you with control over what is or is not built on any adjoining land. We can then advise you on the enforceability of any covenants to enable you to restrict any development which is to be carried out on adjoining land. For more information contact Tim Sharpley at Tim.Sharpley@ellisjones.co.uk or telephone 01202 709898.