Advice on easements/covenants please?

Advice on easements/covenants please?

Postby geosprite » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:08 pm


I've read several pages of this forum re: boundary disputes which have enlightened me regarding this matter, but anyway, views would be appreciated!

I'm buying a remote detached cottage with garden. Basically a rectangle fronting the road, with farmland on the other 3 sides.
The farmer currently owns it all, and is dividing a plot in order to sell the cottage.
The deed I have been sent to sign contains numerous negative easements and negative & positive covenants.

I'm new to this so the extent of the restrictions and retained rights horrified me initially and I feared they might badly restrict the resale value but my conveyancer tells me these are 'normal' these days. What do you guys think?

I am fine with the clauses about not objecting to or restricting his normal farming activity, not causing a nuisance, even with not planting a hedge within a metre of his boundary nor trees within 2 metres (given the hedge issues on here I can see his point).

What did bother me though were these easements:

He reserves full and unrestricted right at any time or times hereafter to erect or permit to be erected any buildings or other erections and to alter any buildings... in such a manner to obstruct or interfere with the passage and access of light and air to any building which is or may be erected on any part of the (my) property.
Also all rights of drainage, passage of light, air and water and all liberties and advantages, whether or not continuous apparent or reasonably necessary over the (my) property.

He also specifically denies the above rights being exercised by me or my successors over his retained property.

These seem excessive, especially all liberties and advantages, whether or not reasonably neccessary, being retained over my freehold land.
Am I being a mug to buy it or a mug to be so shocked at this??
He is unlikely to get planning permission to develop beside me, but could plonk 30ft barns all around me should he choose. My solicitor says I can appeal any such planning application but I am assuming these clauses mean I am relinquishing my rights to any such objection.
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Re: Advice on easements/covenants please?

Postby mr sheen » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:53 pm

You are paying a solicitor to give you clear advice and clarify everything for you.
Put your concerns in writing to your solicitor and ask for a response, in writing, explaining all your issues. This way you will have a chance to complain later if incorrect advice is given to you.
You will also be able to consider the legal position carefully before you make one of the biggest purchases in life that is in effect a 'buyer beware' situation. If you are not happy with the conditions, remember it is your cash and your life. You make the decisions. Fighting issues with property after purchase can be costly and stressful. Get all the info you need before parting with your hard-earned cash.

My philosophy where there is likelihood of hassle later is simple......I walk away and keep my cash in the bank.
mr sheen
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Re: Advice on easements/covenants please?

Postby geosprite » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:30 pm

Thanks for your reply mr sheen.

I will try again to get my solicitor to advise me. She has dodged this, probably because she does not want to be accountable for any advice she gives. She just replied with 'do you want to end the transaction?'.

I have read up significantly on land law in the last few days. I can understand a landowner who is dividing a plot trying to protect against the new owner claiming rights that were enjoyed previously, as this could include claim to rights the farmer enjoys (as previous owner of both plots) on the adjoining land, including access, rights of way etc that he never intended to bestow. I am referring to section 62 and the rules in Wheeldon v Burrows. I would like to renegotiate the easements so as to expressly relinquish any such rights, but to have him do the same.

This was the dream home. Not least because there were no neighbours! But there is always a neighbour, even if it is a farmer.
Walking away would literally break me. I will try every avenue first.
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