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Aussie rules ok?

William Batstone looks at the enforcement of restrictive covenants in the light of the recently reported activities of the sixth Earl of Stradbroke

25 October 2002

Sir Robert Keith Rous, the sixth Earl of Stradbroke, claims from householders in Chigwell, Essex payment of one per cent of the value of their property to avoid legal action to enforce restrictive covenants affecting the property. What sort of issues are likely to arise in connection with the threatened legal action, assuming the following reported facts to be accurate? Facts In the 1930s the fourth Earl sold part of the Stradbroke Estate in Chigwell for development, subject to covenants restricting the use of the new buildings to private residences; prohibiting their sub-division into multiple dwellings; and making consent a condition precedent to any extension or alteration. Seventy years on, the houses have passed through the hands of a number of owners and are now worth between £300,000 and £1.3m. The sixth Earl lives in Australia; there is a substantial Stradbroke Estate in Suffolk but in Chigwell, in the outer reaches of North East London, there is now no...

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