“Snobby” restrictive covenant comes in for criticism

A man poised to buy a new home pulled out of the deal after discovering that he would be unable to park his van outside the property.

It was reported earlier this month that utility worker Oliver Smith had intended to purchase the address in Colchester.

But the 27-year-old was dissuaded from doing so after he learned of a clause in the contract which would have prohibited him from leaving his vehicle outside.

The restrictive covenant on the new homes, which form part of the town’s Oakwood Meadows development, is also understood to ban boats or caravans from being parked either on the kerb or the driveway.

Persimmon Homes, the developer behind the new dwellings, has faced criticism from local MP Will Quince.

“I am a former property solicitor and am well used to these kinds of covenants and there’s always a reason why they are included,” he told the BBC.

“The commercial vehicle one has always seemed unreasonable to me, particularly in a county like Essex which is an entrepreneurial county and many of those people will operate out of vans.

“They cannot always afford to own a car as well so effectively you’re saying van drivers are not welcome in Essex which is a particularly snobby attitude.”

The case serves as a useful reminder about the possible restrictions that covenants can place on people buying a home. Common clauses may ban erecting fences, keeping animals other than domestic pets, washing the car on the premises or pulling up grass verges.

If you need guidance on buying or selling your home, including the implications of restrictive covenants, our experienced conveyancers can provide support at every stage of the process. For further advice please contact the head of the Property team Michael Stock or visit.

Go to Top