Why do I need Covenant Consent from my Council?

This blog answers the question “Why do I need Covenant Consent From my Council?” Covenant Consent from your council can be required for renovating your garden, garage or property in general. There are certain planning requirements attached to each covenant consent which are discussed in detail later in the blog.

Why do I need Covenant Consent From my Council?

You must get covenant consent from your council if you plan to renovate your property by extension, repairs, modifications to parking zones in the front yard, building a fence or convert your attic.

Under the Law of Property Act 1925, all new construction or modifications to property require permission from your council known as covenant consent. The procedure to apply for covenant consent must be followed and once your application is approved, you may start building the proposed structure.

When might I require covenant consent from my council?

You might require covenant consent from your council in the following situations

  • For making ownership changes to your property
  • For building an extension on your property
  • There is no restrictive agreement preventing building on the ground of a property. There may be a restrictive covenant regarding a construction that prevents light or air from reaching a neighbour’s property. 
  • For doing certain things with the property or using it for certain things like constructing an annexe
  • For other activities such as building a new fence or changing the color of your property or renovating the parking zone in your house

All properties sold under the Right to Buy program are subject to restrictive covenants. A restrictive treaty is an agreement in an act that restricts the use of land. 

The restrictive covenant stays on the property no matter how many times it changes hands.If you own a home

If your property has restrictive covenants, you must apply for a permit to make alterations to your property of certain types:

  • Exterior extensions and alterations
  • Additional apartment construction within the limit of the descent
  • attic conversions
  • Changes in the front or back garden
  • Parking in the front yard

All permits issued under a Restrictive Covenant are separate from the Building Permit and Building Control Permit. If this covenant is granted, it does not mean that a building permit or approval from the building authorities has been granted. Planning and construction control covenants do not imply that consent is given under the agreement.

In any case, you will need local Council approval before making any changes to your property. If you don’t have the proper permits, you may have a harder time selling your home in the future. If you intend to change the use of your home

To apply per for permission you need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be the current registered owner of the land
  • Fill out the agreement request form for the agreement
  • Provide plans / drawings of the proposed changes
  • Pay the correct administration fee

How much do I have to pay for getting covenant consent?

Fees for covenant consent at Harlow Council are as follows:

  • For proposed changes of window replacement, minor conversions, sheds and trees: £61.20
  • Extensions (including porch): £125.46
  • Retrospective decisions on proposed changes of window replacement, minor conversions, shed and trees are £93.84
  • Extensions (including porch) are £188.70
  • Proposed new apartment for £153

All of these charges are nonrefundable even if your application is not successful

How do I apply for covenant consent?

You can apply for covenant consent by:

  • sending a completed covenant audit request form (pdf) toyour council’s covenant audit team 
  • paying the appropriate fee

How do I apply for a front garden parking restrive covenant from my council?

For a front garden parking on your property you need direct access to the courtyard in front of the street or public road.

Your parking must:

  • be built with a standard size of 5.5m x 2.9m
  • Not occupy an area greater than 75% of the total area of ​​your garden
  • ensure proper drainage of surface water
  • Have no influence on the view of the property
  • It is not allowed to drive through vehicles where the parking depth is less than 5 meters, 

The application procedure for getting a front garden parking covenant is as follows:

  • fill in the free parking application form 
  • send your application form to Open Front Parking
  • add a drawing of your front yard, showing the size of the yard and the area you want to pave
  • pay the fee of £ 102 (non-refundable)
  • obtain consent signatures from two neighbors

Once we receive your request, your council will process it within 5-8 weeks.

What are the rules for Covenant Consent for fences and walls?

The following rules apply to Covenant Consent for fences and walls.The main objective is to keep the open character of the fence where possible and to avoid it

“tunnelling” along the trails.

The covenant consent is for

  • Erecting or growing a small barrier up to 0.5m (or possibly higher if the barrier is 50% open) in situations where the use of resident property as a sidewalk should be discouraged
  •  replacement of existing fences and walls on a ‘like for like’ basis. 

Approval will not normally be given for the installation of a new border fence in the following circumstances:

  • where the fence or wall extends beyond the construction line (the furthest point reached from the front of the property)
  • where an unreasonable nuisance such as dim light would cause problems for immediate neighbours
  • where “tunnelling” would result from the construction of a fence and when there are properties on both sides of a path.Under certain circumstances, the fence or wall should not be placed within 1 metre of the path edge. 
  •  where the fence / wall is too high or made with unsuitable materials. Usually 1.8 metres 

would be the maximum allowed height of a fence

What are the covenants regarding alterations or improvements to property?

The covenants regarding alterations or improvements to the property are given as follows:

  • Replacing windows with aluminum, hardwood or PVC frames to match the sashes

style of the original

  •  Installing white, grey or brown replacement frames as repairs
  •  Installing clear glass replacement frames to repair damaged glass
  • For the replacement of house and garage doors
  • For the replacement cladding of a similar style (tile or shiplap effect) to match neighbouring properties
  •  rear and side additions which are proportionate to the original building and not interfering with neighbouring properties
  •  Garage conversions where it is proven that two parking spaces are still available on site

Permission to alter or extend a property will normally not be granted in the following circumstances:

  •  Replacement windows where leaded, Georgian or similar glass is suggested resulting in many small windows
  •  a drastic change in trim color, style, or materials from those used before
  • . where the extension / modification extends beyond the construction line, as defined above
  •  where the size of the extension / renovation is clearly disproportionate to the rest of the building and the surrounding properties
  •  where the design or materials used clearly do not match the rest of the property or the

surrounding properties

  •  where the proposed extension or modification could have a particularly negative effect on the neighbours or close environment

If substantial changes to buildings or borders are proposed, remarks and approval from the immediate neighbours (of the property)is required. They must be searched for by the applicant and presented with the application for approval of the agreement.

On what grounds can a covenant be discharged?

Section 84(1) provides that a covenant may be discharged on the following grounds:

  • The covenant has become obsolete over time. This could be owing to planning changes in the council neighbourhood
  • the covenant prevents efficient use of the land and there is no foreseeable genuine advantage to the beneficiary of the covenant, or if the restriction is against the public interest
  • the beneficiary of the covenant has consented to the cancellation of the covenant
  • The beneficiary is caused no “injury” or made to suffer from the covenant discharge 


This blog post addressed the question “Why do I need Covenant Consent From My Council?” It is a legal requirement to obtain covenant consent from your council before preparing any construction or repair plans for your property. The houses in your council area also form part of the community and need to be kept within the legal dimensions for their size to maintain the beauty of the neighbourhood or street (landscape)

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Why Do I Need Covenant Consent From my Council?

What is Covenant Consent?

Covenant Consent is required if the title deed requires it before taking a specific action.

Covenant consent is usually a requirement for obtaining consent to something constrained by a restrictive covenant. Commitment approval is also necessary if you don’t want to do something required by a positive commitment.

Approval of the undertaking is required by the party benefiting from the undertaking. This may be the party or parties who recorded the agreement in the title deeds when the property or land was previously sold. The covenants are intended to work legally with the land so that they survive if the land is resold.

What happens if I end up breaching a restrictive covenant?

If you own property and unknowingly violate a restrictive covenant, you may be forced to cancel a disputed construction plan . In cases where a landlord has spent more than 12 months without contesting a deal and then decides to sell the property, he should be able to purchase limited-term insurance to protect what he has done.

What can I do if I have breached a restrictive covenant and I am selling my property?

Because issues surrounding covenant consent can often be very technical or convoluted, seek legal advice as soon as possible.During the liquidation procedure, your lawyer will check whether the agreements concerned have been entered with H M land registry. 

If the agreement is correctly framed, a lawyer typically looks for options where insurance can be obtained to cover liability in the event of further breach of contract. Including any damage or compensation, modification costs, depreciation of the property and legal costs incurred. Restrictive covenant indemnity insurance can only be purchased if a covenant has been breached for at least 12 months (without complaint) 

But once obtained, the policy has unlimited validity and can usually be passed on to future owners of the property. The cost of these policies depends on the number of covenants breached and the perceived level of enforcement risk. Fees can range from around £50 to hundreds of pounds.


Law of Property Act 1925