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Easements & Restrictive Covenants

Easements have been known to the common law since early times. Indeed, the “modern” law of easements, particularly as regards to the acquisition of rights, remains firmly rooted in the past, with the concepts of the “lost modern grant” (the legal fiction of the deed that has since been lost or destroyed by accident) and the Prescription Act 1832. To the present day landowner the extent of an easement may be critical to the value of his land. Without access he may be land-locked.

Similarly, landowners who wish to impose positive or negative obligations on the owners of adjoining lands impose covenants for the purpose of preserving the value or amenity of their own retained land. As between the contracting parties, the agreements are personally enforceable. Subject to registration, enforcement against successive owners of land subject to negative obligations presents few problems. However, the enforceability of positive obligations against successors in title may present considerable difficulties.

Furthermore, issues frequently arise as to the enforceability of “old” covenants.

Members of chambers have considerable experience in restrictive covenants and easements in the courts and in the Lands Tribunal.


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