Understanding covenants

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Understanding covenants

Postby stufe35 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:39 pm

I am involved in purchasing some agricultural land. A field is being split and the vendor is keeping the other half of the field.

The vendor is suggesting on the TP1 document the addition of 2 clauses, one binding me in the form of a covenant, and the other a similar covenant binding him.
I will quote the covenant binding him, it falls on the form under ‘Restrictive covenants by the transferor’:

The transferor covenants with the transferee for the benefit of the property and each and every part of it, with the intention of binding the transferors adjoining land (ie the retained part of the field) and each and every part of it, not to do anything on the Transferors Adjoining Land that would cause loss, damage, injury, nuisance, annoyance, disturbance, or inconvenience to the transferee or the owners or occupiers of any neighbouring property.

My 1st question – If he sells his retained portion of the land 2 years down the line…will the new owner be bound by it ? ( I think im asking is this a personal covenant which won’t pass on or does it run with the land and hence will pass on ?)

My 2nd question- So I am bound by all these limitations by my equivalent clause ie not to cause loss, damage, injury, nuisance, annoyance, disturbance, or inconvenience to the transferor or the owners or occupiers of any neighbouring property..
What does this mean in reality? For example who decides what is an annoyance or disturbance ? Some people are annoyed by the sun rising! What if my cows moo too loudly ? What if one of the neighbours doesn’t like me spreading muck on the field on a Monday afternoon saying its annoying ? What if my kids have a few friends around and make noise playing football in the field and a neighbour says they are disturbed by it, ? What if we plan to have a marquee on it for our daughters wedding ..?

Thanks all for your thoughts and expertise.
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Re: Understanding covenants

Postby arborlad » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:49 pm

I think you should include something like: ...........normal farming activities excepted.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Understanding covenants

Postby ukmicky » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:44 pm

stufe35 wrote:I am involved in purchasing some agricultural land. A field is being split and the vendor is keeping the other half of the field.

The vendor is suggesting on the TP1 document the addition of 2 clauses, one binding me in the form of a covenant, and the other a similar covenant binding him.
I will quote the covenant binding him, it falls on the form under ‘Restrictive covenants by the transferor’:

The transferor covenants with the transferee for the benefit of the property and each and every part of it, with the intention of binding the transferors adjoining land (ie the retained part of the field) and each and every part of it, not to do anything on the Transferors Adjoining Land that would cause loss, damage, injury, nuisance, annoyance, disturbance, or inconvenience to the transferee or the owners or occupiers of any neighbouring property.

My 1st question – If he sells his retained portion of the land 2 years down the line…will the new owner be bound by it ? ( I think im asking is this a personal covenant which won’t pass on or does it run with the land and hence will pass on ?)

My 2nd question- So I am bound by all these limitations by my equivalent clause ie not to cause loss, damage, injury, nuisance, annoyance, disturbance, or inconvenience to the transferor or the owners or occupiers of any neighbouring property..
What does this mean in reality? For example who decides what is an annoyance or disturbance ? Some people are annoyed by the sun rising! What if my cows moo too loudly ? What if one of the neighbours doesn’t like me spreading muck on the field on a Monday afternoon saying its annoying ? What if my kids have a few friends around and make noise playing football in the field and a neighbour says they are disturbed by it, ? What if we plan to have a marquee on it for our daughters wedding ..?

Thanks all for your thoughts and expertise.




The land registry does not normally register the benefit of a restrictive covenant on the title of the benefiting land so your title must say it is subject to the burden in favour of your neighboring land and vise versa.

Successors in title.

A restrictive covenant can only be enforced under equity and therefore the wording needs to show there is a clear and a common intention by both parties that the burden should run with the land or it will not. . I see not much in that wording showing that intention .


Nuisance, annoyance, disturbance, or inconvenience. Good luck anybody trying to enforce those.

Any restriction must be reasonable and not prevent reasonable use of the land. Its the reasonable man standard. Would a reasonable man expect a farmer not to perform normal farming activities on the land. The answer is no.
If this land is agricultural it would therefore be unreasonable to prevent you ploughing it because the noise caused annoyance or disturbance. Placing a tent on your land would not harm the neighbour in anyway so don't worry about that.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Understanding covenants

Postby stufe35 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:08 pm

Thanks ukmicky, you have confirmed my understanding.

Since posting this I have found this article relating to a case where an annoyance clause was successfully enforced.

http://www.wilberforce.co.uk/wp-content ... b-2010.pdf

One of the possible plans for this field if I get it bought is to change its use to recreational.

I conclude that with this annoyance clause in place on a field that is agricultural at the point of sale.. neighbours to the field could launch a potentially successful challenge to activities such as sports days , village fetes, barbeques etc. based on this annoyance clause.....

Would others agree ?....
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Re: Understanding covenants

Postby ukmicky » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:30 pm

It would depend.


If he lived on the field then village fates and sports days could be enough of an annoyance for him to claim damages but would it be enough if your events only occurred once or twice a year and he only visited his field a few times a week for an hour or so each time.

You are asking a question that barristers get paid vast sums of money to argue in court because the answer is never know for sure until the verdict and would depend on my factors.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Understanding covenants

Postby stufe35 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:36 pm

Thanks again..the very fact that the clause opens up the chance for debate means I shall be suggesting/insisting it is removed. The issue being houses surround the field many of the owners are extremely wealthy and some are in the law trade.
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