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  • FIRST POST
    • Fortyfoot
    • By Fortyfoot 23rd Mar 17, 8:27 PM
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    Fortyfoot
    Breach of Covenant Question
    • #1
    • 23rd Mar 17, 8:27 PM
    Breach of Covenant Question 23rd Mar 17 at 8:27 PM
    My son has received the letter below along with all the other house owners in the area. Does he need to act or not. He has lived here for about ten years and has not done any building or alterations.

    Is this company just trying to frighten people and make money out of them. Will this company be monitored by the FSA or other governing body?

    Thanks,

    Fortyfoot
Page 5
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 11th Jul 17, 4:07 PM
    • 35,515 Posts
    • 149,804 Thanks
    silvercar
    YentonMinsterHomes, I'm grateful that you have come along here to explain your position. can you let us know if you wrote to home owners as a result of being aware of individual breach(es) of the covenants or whether you have written to all the homes over which you hold such a covenant?
    • YentonMinsterHomes
      Verified User verified user
    • By YentonMinsterHomes Verified User verified user 11th Jul 17, 4:09 PM
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    YentonMinsterHomes
    No-one would buy a house from the company if they were made fully aware of this -

    "Restrictive covenants apply to changes to your property such as, sheds or outbuildings, conservatories, structural alterations, changing of windows or doors or any additions, alterations to fencing, addition of patio or pathways, driveway alterations, alterations to the facades, or external building additions such as aerials, sky dishes as well as registering a business at the address or parking business vehicles, vans or caravans on driveways. Each of these are considered breaches."

    Tenants have more power over the homes they rent than a home owner with these restrictions.

    Doesn't the law have things to say about unfair clauses? Would it be considered fair to have to pay the house builder because part of the fence was damaged in a storm and you replaced it or that you needed a new aerial for the TV?
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    We have built over 20,000 houses in the UK and all have the same covenants on as do most housebuilding companies. Everyone has been made aware of them when buying through their solicitor if not then the purchaser should ascertain why their solicitor did not advise them.
    I suggest that you also look at the other side of the coin as well which protects other properties from breaching the covenants
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Yenton. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • YentonMinsterHomes
      Verified User verified user
    • By YentonMinsterHomes Verified User verified user 11th Jul 17, 4:25 PM
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    YentonMinsterHomes
    YentonMinsterHomes, I'm grateful that you have come along here to explain your position. can you let us know if you wrote to home owners as a result of being aware of individual breach(es) of the covenants or whether you have written to all the homes over which you hold such a covenant?
    Originally posted by silvercar

    We have been notified about breaches by a resident of the estate built or previous owner. They would have notified us usually due to disputes with neighbouring properties or when they have sold through their solicitor.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Yenton. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • YentonMinsterHomes
      Verified User verified user
    • By YentonMinsterHomes Verified User verified user 11th Jul 17, 4:30 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    YentonMinsterHomes
    Update from my son-

    "The street have all chipped in for a solicitor and they are putting one test case through to check they get correct paperwork etc
    Although we have no major worries with extensions etc we do not want to be in the position of having to pay more at a later date selling house etc"

    Fortyfoot
    Originally posted by Fortyfoot

    Can you now confirm that the paperwork was correct and that the test case was successful. Land Registry accepted and the covenants have been removed from your Register of Title
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Yenton. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 11th Jul 17, 4:33 PM
    • 14,480 Posts
    • 14,170 Thanks
    Guest101
    This is not phishing. We deal with 100's of letters a week from Solicitors/owners when houses are sold or mortgaged. Poor English probably but legally correct. We have advised people to gain legal advice and preferably from a lawyer not from when they bought the property if they were not told at the time about the covenants.
    Please be aware this will affect any house sale as the owner will have disclose that we have informed that there is a breach of covenant.
    Originally posted by YentonMinsterHomes

    So explain the purpose of the covenant, other than to get £399 out of each buyer.....
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 11th Jul 17, 4:53 PM
    • 1,056 Posts
    • 1,592 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    No-one would buy a house from the company if they were made fully aware of this -

    "Restrictive covenants apply to changes to your property such as, sheds or outbuildings, conservatories, structural alterations, changing of windows or doors or any additions, alterations to fencing, addition of patio or pathways, driveway alterations, alterations to the facades, or external building additions such as aerials, sky dishes as well as registering a business at the address or parking business vehicles, vans or caravans on driveways. Each of these are considered breaches."

    Tenants have more power over the homes they rent than a home owner with these restrictions.

    Doesn't the law have things to say about unfair clauses? Would it be considered fair to have to pay the house builder because part of the fence was damaged in a storm and you replaced it or that you needed a new aerial for the TV?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Those clauses are pretty common on new estates, people do buy them and should be made aware during the process what the covenants are. The van one and satellite one is extremely common. People should just not buy if they don't agree.

    BTW, I'm not condoning the Yentons approach in any way whatsoever, does seem like a revenue generation exercise. But these types of covenant are common, and the old adage of don't sign for something you don't like should apply.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Jul 17, 5:15 PM
    • 862 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Not as yet. It may be that I won't until they have done some investigations of their own. I directed them to this thread and Yenton's website.
    Originally posted by jimbog
    No-one would buy a house from the company if they were made fully aware of this -

    "Restrictive covenants apply to changes to your property such as, sheds or outbuildings, conservatories, structural alterations, changing of windows or doors or any additions, alterations to fencing, addition of patio or pathways, driveway alterations, alterations to the facades, or external building additions such as aerials, sky dishes as well as registering a business at the address or parking business vehicles, vans or caravans on driveways. Each of these are considered breaches."

    Tenants have more power over the homes they rent than a home owner with these restrictions.

    Doesn't the law have things to say about unfair clauses? Would it be considered fair to have to pay the house builder because part of the fence was damaged in a storm and you replaced it or that you needed a new aerial for the TV?
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    I bought a house with many of these covenants attached and am very happy here.

    From our estate's point of view it makes it easier to manage (we own the freehold and I am a director). Some are a pain in the butt, of course.

    And, as with Ozzie, in no way am I on Yenton's side in this
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 11th Jul 17, 5:19 PM
    • 27,828 Posts
    • 70,693 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Restrictive covenants apply to changes to your property such as, sheds or outbuildings, conservatories, structural alterations, changing of windows or doors or any additions, alterations to fencing, addition of patio or pathways, driveway alterations, alterations to the facades, or external building additions such as aerials, sky dishes as well as registering a business at the address or parking business vehicles, vans or caravans on driveways. Each of these are considered breaches.
    Originally posted by YentonMinsterHomes
    From our estate's point of view it makes it easier to manage (we own the freehold and I am a director).
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I hope you haven't registered your company at your home address.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Jul 17, 5:23 PM
    • 862 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I hope you haven't registered your company at your home address.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 11th Jul 17, 5:37 PM
    • 170 Posts
    • 237 Thanks
    ProDave
    A lot of mass house builders put covenants on their new developments. I thought it was widely accepted their purpose was to stop someone doing something outrageous that might make it hard for the developer to sell the rest of the estate, and once the estate was complete and all the houses had sold, it was rare for the builders to ever bother enforcing those covenants.

    This seems to be a clear case of the builder trying to drag up old covenants with the sole purpose of extorting money from the owners, where even if they have erected an unauthorised shed, it would not be doing any harm to the builders, so there is simply no need to enforce it.

    I think the builder concerned should be named and shamed in the national press, and when people stop buying their houses (assuming they are still building) then they might have a change of heart.
    • jimbog
    • By jimbog 11th Jul 17, 8:57 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 907 Thanks
    jimbog
    Not sure that some of the items like sheds and fences need planning consent from the planning office so not sure where this fits in:

    We are currently updating our records in line with planning departments and our agents are reporting back with any changes found on all properties that have covenants.

    I'm dubious about this too:


    We have been notified about breaches by a resident of the estate built or previous owner. They would have notified us usually due to disputes with neighbouring properties or when they have sold through their solicitor.


    Indeed, in terms of motive:


    I suggest that you also look at the other side of the coin as well which protects other properties from breaching the covenants


    contradicts this:


    the covenants will be removed officially from the register of title once payment has been released.


    This has been said:

    it is up to you as the owner of the property and not for us to point out what changes may have taken place after the event.

    All a bit of a mess really
    The problem with quotations on the internet is that you can never verify their authenticity - Abraham Lincoln
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 11th Jul 17, 10:26 PM
    • 35,515 Posts
    • 149,804 Thanks
    silvercar
    We have been notified about breaches by a resident of the estate built or previous owner. They would have notified us usually due to disputes with neighbouring properties or when they have sold through their solicitor.
    Originally posted by YentonMinsterHomes
    So you are notified of a dispute arising as someone therefore wants the covenant enforced; your answer is to accept payment to remove the covenant. How does that help the neighbour?
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 12th Jul 17, 8:01 AM
    • 4,350 Posts
    • 17,956 Thanks
    Slinky
    So you are notified of a dispute arising as someone therefore wants the covenant enforced; your answer is to accept payment to remove the covenant. How does that help the neighbour?
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Bingo!!!!!
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 12th Jul 17, 8:34 AM
    • 3,283 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    So you are notified of a dispute arising as someone therefore wants the covenant enforced; your answer is to accept payment to remove the covenant. How does that help the neighbour?
    Originally posted by silvercar
    I look forward to seeing what answer they supply to this, although I expect there will be none.

    I would also like to know why if they have had complaints they have not specified to each home owner which covenant has been broken, why the owner is not given the option to do what the "complainer" wants and undo the break? and what are the odds on every single owner of one of their houses breaking at least one covenant, and everyone of those breaks reported by someone else?
    • helplessone
    • By helplessone 12th Jul 17, 2:43 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    helplessone
    Could Yenton be in breach of the original contract by allowing one neighbour to be able to get out of their restrictive covenant and cause trouble for their other neighbours by not having to be tied to covenants?
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Jul 17, 5:21 PM
    • 14,480 Posts
    • 14,170 Thanks
    Guest101
    Could Yenton be in breach of the original contract by allowing one neighbour to be able to get out of their restrictive covenant and cause trouble for their other neighbours by not having to be tied to covenants?
    Originally posted by helplessone
    No, covenants are only enforceable by the person who registers them, typically either the freeholder or, most usually, the developer.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Jul 17, 5:46 PM
    • 35,515 Posts
    • 149,804 Thanks
    silvercar
    Could Yenton be in breach of the original contract by allowing one neighbour to be able to get out of their restrictive covenant and cause trouble for their other neighbours by not having to be tied to covenants?
    Originally posted by helplessone
    I found an answer to this on another forum, it appears to be written in the style that the Land Registry rep on here uses, so may have a similar source:

    "As others have mentioned such covenants are often put in place to 'protect' the developer's estate whilst they sell off the house plots so you often see ones restricting what you can add to the property, parking a caravan on the drive, putitng a For Sale sign up etc - they want new buyers to buy a plot as the developer envisaged it.

    The developer then sels the plots and moves on so has no or little interest in what happens next.

    However such covenants are usually imposed to restrict successors in title, as in this case. That means that when Plot 1 is sold the developer's remaining part of the estate has the benefit and as each Plot is sold that benefit passes to them also - restrictive covenants run with and bind the land. So in an estate of say 40 Plots you now have poitentially 40 landowners who are bound by the same covenants but who also have the benefit of them over the other 39 plots.

    As others have posted most, but not all, owners are probably unaware of the covenants and you soon find that extensions are built, caravans parked and so on. Whether that lessens the risk of someone seeking to impose the covenant when breached is debateable but the risk is there and this is where your solicitor's advice comes in.

    Attitudes have changed over the decades so for example in Victorian times you would often see covenants restricting you from the sale of alcohol, running the house as an asylum or keeping chickens (considered to carry disease). Nowadays it tends to be the working from home and keeping a caravan on the drive and the not keeping of livestock is a modern way of avoiding the 'Good Life' couple moving in and running a small holding which then puts of potential buyers. Limiting the number of cats and dogs is a rare one though but you can see the logic perhaps from the developer's perspective.

    So, the covenants restrict your use of the land as the landowner. They are likely to benefit each of the plots on the estate and in return they are very likely to be bound by the same covenants. As such it is a question of weighing up the risks involved bearing in mind your solicitor's experience, what others may have or are doing on the development and then considering whether other factors about the house outweigh those considerations.

    In my experience, from reading a variety of online forums around such things, the attitude tends to be not to worry. Where these covenants tend to come home to bite is where you have two parcels of land involved only as the covenants in those situations are likely to have been imposed for other and very specific reasons. It is your legal advice though that you should rely on.

    Finally, such covenants can be removed if all the benefitting land owners agree to release them - never likely to happen on a large development. There is also a legal process whereby application can be made to the The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) www.gov.uk/appeal-upper-tribunal-lands but this can be complex and therefore expensive and again unlikely to be something you would consider in this example"

    IMHO and IANAL if Yenton pursued this as far as the Upper Tribunal, they could well lose, but your costs in getting that far would likely be higher than paying Yenton now to remove the covenants.
    • HughRote7
    • By HughRote7 13th Jul 17, 11:13 AM
    • 2 Posts
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    HughRote7
    Covenants have been used to impose restrictions and requirements on land for centuries, long before modern developers came on the scene and most importantly are attached to the land however long the covenant has existed irrespective of how many times it is sold on. Some covenants can become largely irrelevant and a judge can strike them out. For example a small parcel of land was sold 90 years ago with covenants stipulating only a single storey building can be constructed, limitations as to size of fence etc. in order to maintain the aspect and open views of the remaining land to the benefit of the original land owner. Over the intervening years other land has been sold off and a new village has sprung up in the immediate vicinity with 2 and 3 storey houses etc. now overlooking the original bungalow. The current owner of the covenant would thus now find it impossible to invoke it because the restrictions can no longer be justified.
    • helplessone
    • By helplessone 18th Jul 17, 10:21 AM
    • 2 Posts
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    helplessone
    YentonMinsterHomes you only answered part of the question on post#83, have you written to all your home owners or just a select section as in our street only one side of the street has received letters and you only seem to have written to those who are elderly or have already paid off their mortgage.
    Last edited by helplessone; 18-07-2017 at 10:27 AM. Reason: missed post no
    • helenanncooper
    • By helenanncooper 18th Jul 17, 7:14 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    helenanncooper
    A small estate Breeden Drive in Curdworth, Warwicksire has now received these letters. Has anyone obtained legal advice? If so, would you mind sharing it in a private email? Thanks very much.
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