Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

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sallyann871
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:09 pm

Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by sallyann871 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:24 pm

Hello, I'm a first time home buyer so I apologise if this is a stupid question!

I'm in the process of buying a semi-setached house on a cul-de-sac which has a fairly large garden. Our solicitor has just sent us the covenants on the house, one of them saying that we are not allowed to remove any plants or plant anything that will grow to be over 9 inches. Problem is that the yard is a dump, with really hideous over-grown shrubs all over the place and also some unattractive bamboo trees all over. We basically had the intention of ripping everything up and just planting grass.

So my question is- is there anything we can do about this? Our solicitor said something about if the previous owners had breached the convenance, then we could get some sort of coverage that would allow protect us from the breach and also allow us to change the garden. I'm also wondering if this is something that we can simply ignore, providing we don't plant something ridiculously large or distasteful? Any suggestions would be great!

Lilac Frost
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:13 am

Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by Lilac Frost » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:31 pm

I'd rip everything out and replace with grass. Just keep it short so it does not grow over 9".

mr sheen
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Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by mr sheen » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:46 pm

Or you could request that the current owners return it to a situation where it complies with the covenants before you proceed.

There is a method by which the current owners retain responsibility for the contraventions they have carried out, your solicitor can advise.

pilman
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Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by pilman » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:16 pm

In over 40 years of buying property I have never heard of such a ridiculous covenant that seeks to stop plants growing more than 9 inches.

The covenant has to be for the benefit of an adjoining property, but it seems that such a covenant is of no benefit whatsoever, nor is it likely to be enforceable.

Even daffodils and tulips grow more than 9 inches high and if anyone could explain what adverse effect growing those sorts of flowers would have on a property, I would be interested to hear that opinion.

sallyann871
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:09 pm

Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by sallyann871 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:02 pm

Thank you for the posts, I've contacted the estate agent about this to find out why it's in place but she has yet to get back to me. My husband thinks it might have something to do with the fact that the house is on a fairly steep slope, so it might be a structural issue if you remove anything large or plant anything. There's no one living directly next to our garden, it's just the street so I couldn't imagine it having something to do with the adjacent property.

juliet
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Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by juliet » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:32 pm

Pilman will know better than me but from somewhere in the depths of my brain.....preventing stuff from growing over 9ins would mean that you would have to take positive action to prevent the growth - making it a positive (if that is the right word) covenant - and I thought that positive covenants couldn't transfer to a subsequent owner? Or am I way out?

Anon
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 11:07 am

Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by Anon » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Sallyann871, are you still interested in receiving replies on this issue? I've had a few thoughts.

Conveyancer
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Re: Restrictive covenant against removing any plants?

Post by Conveyancer » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:55 pm

A covenant not to plant anything that will grow more than 9" high is restrictive.

A covenant not to allow any plant to grow higher that 9" is positive.
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