Jump to content

Caravan storage at home - covenants


Recommended Posts

I have a question about storing our caravan at the house. There is an original covenant (1961) which states:

 

"Not to allow any shed caravan house on wheels or other chattel adapted or intented for use as a dwelling or sleeping compartment to be erected or placed or used or allowed to remain upon the ppty thrby convyd"

 

Our solicitor pointed this out to us at purchase time, expressing an opinion that he felt the convenant unlikely to be enforced / enforceable - but no guarantees! I DON'T want this post to be about the rights and wrongs of the solicitors "opinon" - we are more than happy with the advice we received.

 

As we approach siting the caravan, I've looked more at the original documents. One states:

 

"For the benefit of the Vdrs adjoining estte the Pchsr for itself and its succors in title thrby conyd with the Vdrs to observe and perform the restrictions and stiplons contd in the First Schedule thrto."

 

The First Schedule containing the paragraph above.

 

As context, the people we bought from kept a motorhome for several years at the house; the ex mayor has a caravan sited in her front garden in which family lives!!!!! Previously they stored 2 caravans there. There are also other restrictions about not carrying on a business which many others are in breach of.

 

We do though have one neighbour who we suspect may try to create an issue over this. We don't believe he has lots of money to fight us but who knows. Maybe his house insurance includes legal cover...

 

Any thoughts and experiences about this?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite often the builder puts that covenant in place to  try to keep the estate looking spic and span until all the plots have been sold off.

 

So IMHO I think it will be down to individuals to take action to enforce the covenant, and as there are others (including the ex Mayor) keeping a caravan on the property, it will be a very brave or a stupid person that tries that just to make a point.

 

Personally I would just do it and deal with any fall out that comes as a result of it, because if they object to yours they are by default objecting to every other one on the estate covered by that covenant.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I would put my toe in the water and bring my caravan home. See what happens. If you get flak, just remove it again. No cost to you. Your neighbour can send all the letters he likes, if you ignore him until the point of court action it still costs you nothing and you get to see if there would be an issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a similar covenant on my relatively new build.

The covenants were originally set to by the builder to protect the the appearance of the estate whilst construction work was going on.

When they had finished and moved on their solicitor wrote to say they would no longer enforce the covenants and in future it would be up to residents should they wish.

Needless to say up went large garden sheds, grass was tarmaced over, rooms converted to offices, white vans and trade vehicles on driveways ...  most of the things banned by the covenant.

We still keep our caravan in storage, but do have it on our drive for periods of up to a week before and after trips and the neighbours are quite happy with this.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The covenant on our house says you can't have shed's or external TV aerials, also you can't have walls, fences or hedges on the front boundary, ironically nothing about commercial vehicles or caravans :) 

 

All of which over the years have been ignored and never complained about.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The covenant like most is implemented for the builder's benefit. Once the estate is complete they are very unlikely to enforce. Depending on the wording a neighbour could try to enforce it but it is very difficult to do. Of more concern to you should be the overall relationship with your neighbours rather than any legal standpoint. The last thing anyone needs is bad neighbours.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what you say about the original advice, it remains possible that enforcement of the covenant may still be possible but the question will be, by whom?

Convenants are often placed by the original land owner (who sold it to the builder), the builder or it could have been a condition of the original grant of planning permission which the local authority required to be placed on the deeds.

Your sensible path is to obtain professional advice by taking the documents to a solicitor for their (written) professional opinion of the covenant status and enforceability.

Other peoples' experience may be of little relevance as covenants and situations can be very different, even between neighbouring properties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the advice to try it and see what happens is about right. I think covenants can only be legally enforced by the party named (usually a developer or perhaps a local authority), so your tricky neighbour would have to report your misdemeanour to the named party, who would then have to have reason to decide to take legal action - all rather unlikely.

 

Edited by Ern
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a restrictive  5 year covenant  on our deeds, we were advised by the sales office staff to write to the builders to request permission to keep our caravan on the drive.

 

They wrote back and refused permission, but after they had left the site they would not legally enforce the covenant, as usual once the builder were of site it was a free for all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a similar issue in the early 80’s with a covenant in the deeds.

I consulted the local Planning Officer who advised (may be different for you of course): 

- the Covenant was not a planning issue imposed by the Local Authority, so they had no interest;

- the Development was complete, all properties sold and the Builder no longer present, so they were unlikely to want to take any enforcement action (in our case, builder had actually ceased trading):

- the likelihood of any householder wanting to spend money on court action was pretty limited; 

- there were already 3 other caravans at other properties visible from our house.

 

His advice was to consult those neighbours who would see our caravan, and if they had no objections, get on with it.

 

I don't know what leads you to feel one neighbour in particular might object, but that in itself might prompt you to follow Legal Eagle’s advice, although your dilemma would be what to do if their advice is not to do it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our 1964 deeds have a similar clause but I've never heard of anyone having any problems.  We keep our caravan in the back garden and I don't see how it could cause any offence to anyone.

          John.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

From what you say about the original advice, it remains possible that enforcement of the covenant may still be possible but the question will be, by whom?

Convenants are often placed by the original land owner (who sold it to the builder), the builder or it could have been a condition of the original grant of planning permission which the local authority required to be placed on the deeds.

Your sensible path is to obtain professional advice by taking the documents to a solicitor for their (written) professional opinion of the covenant status and enforceability.

Other peoples' experience may be of little relevance as covenants and situations can be very different, even between neighbouring properties.

I think the original view was that if someone could persuade the original vendors to take action that would be a risk but extremely small in my view.

 

What I was slightly more concerned with was the apparent "grandfathering" of those rights to other purchasers, based on this wording,

 

 

"For the benefit of the Vdrs adjoining estte the Pchsr for itself and its succors in title thrby conyd with the Vdrs to observe and perform the restrictions and stiplons contd in the First Schedule thrto"

 

I am gonna go ahead, I'm just working out how far I go if there's a complaint.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our builder put the No caravan in front of the building line covenant on when the houses were built in the late 1970’s.

When the site was finished the covenant was taken over by the local authority!

I have had letters from them over this. I can keep the caravan on the drive for a maximum of 28 days a year, for the purpose of loading and unloading!

2019 Bailey Platinum (640) Phoenix from Chipping Sodbury caravans, towed by our  2017 my Discovery Sport!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...