Restrictive Covenants for Residents of Private Houses on Enfield Island Village

(Note: Additional restrictions may apply to residents of flats and housing association properties)

The Island is bound by certain Restrictive Covenants which each and every householder (Transferee) should observe.

Failure to abide by the covenants may result in legal action being taken against the Transferee. The Residents' Association (RA) is not responsible for enforcing the covenants per se; it is essentially a individual's/householder's responsibility. However, the current RA directors feel it is incumbent upon all householders to be aware of the covenants and to understand the implications if they do not observe them.

Accordingly, we have decided to post an extract of the main covenants here on the website, for your information, and also to give you OUR interpretation of the 'rules' for enforcing them. Please note that full details of Restrictive Covenants can be found in your Title Deeds.

The RA directors' view is contained within the following statement which was made by the RA Chairman on the 22nd December 2004:

"Many houses in the country are covered by covenants whether or not there is a RA. Government advice is that:

"If you are carrying out external building works, or works adjoining another property, always keep your neighbours informed to minimise the likelihood of problems developing. Check the title deeds of your house for restrictive covenants, and seek legal advice if you need to. Ask your local authority if there are any planning conditions on the permission for your house. You should also check that the council has not issued an ‘article 4 direction’ which takes away some of your permitted development rights. If this is the case, you will have to submit a planning application for work which does not usually need one."

We discussed this issue at our last directors meeting and it seems the legal view is that if someone breaks the covenant, then individual residents, Fairview and the RA association all have the right to take legal action. Although it doesn't come from the RA, it seems a good idea to make sure there is a copy of the covenant on the web site for information (for those people who haven't got their title deeds handy) together with the suggestion that if anyone is concerned about a potential breach they should take legal advice, perhaps from the Citizens' Advice Bureau, which is free.

Clearly the RA would need to consider acting on residents' behalf where a breach of the covenants was raised by a significant number of people, but there would be financial implications for residents' management fees if it tried to cover every issue where residents already have the right to take legal action.

A particular issue is likely to come when the house is sold, as there is every likelihood that the property would need to be put back into a condition that does comply with the covenants".

I am sure you can appreciate that the RA cannot give you definitive advice on what will or will not breach one of the covenants. It will depends on a number of factors.

Finally on the issue of changing the covenants, an owner should seek legal advice. I expect this would require an application by an owner to the land registry. It is not in the gift of the Residents' Association any more than other parts of our deeds, such as house boundaries.