In Deed Quite Pointless

Last year I wrote about a clause discovered in the title deeds to my house preventing me from, I quote, “parking or permit to be parked overnight on the Estate road any vehicle other than the vehicle of a temporary visitor to the premises”. My solicitor insisted at the time that I pay for a Restrictive Covenant Indemnity Policy which may cover me for something like £150,000 for a one off premium of around £65. On the face of it this seems crazy. After all, everywhere across the country people have their cars or work vans parked in the street overnight – they can’t all be visitors. Then I thought, apart from the obvious, such as building a block of flats on ones land, what other unknown restrictions might there be which are unwittingly gnawing away at my perception of the word ‘ownership’? Well, I guess, to some extent, it depends on where the land is. For example, if one lives in a street with neighbours surrounded by other such houses then they are the very people that might object should you wish to start a kennel business in your back garden. If however one owned land well away from other homes down by a railway line, then the likelihood of any complaints may be quite minimal. Some people complain purely on the grounds of the way others live: after all, we all have a right to be individual, don’t we? Well, only insomuch that what we do doesn’t affect others. ‘His garden’s a mess’: ‘Surely she can’t store a Sherman tank on the front lawn’. There are words and phrases that continue to gnaw away at any perceptions of ownership like ‘compulsory purchase’ or ‘mineral rights’. If oil were discovered under your home would you instantly become a multi millionaire or would ‘they’ simply make you the proverbial offer you couldn’t refuse – literally – as your home is demolished and you move on to another set of unread land registry deeds.

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