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Clucking_Mad

Checking house deeds to be able to keep chickens

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Hi everyone,

 

This may seem like a silly question but did you all check the deeds to your house before getting chickens to see if you were able to keep them in your garden?

 

The reason I'm asking is we are going to be moving soon and have been advised that we check the deeds as we may not be able to keeps chickens in the garden.

 

Thank you all in advance

 

LuLu xxx

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A lot of restrictive covenants (the things on deeds that stop you doing x or y) are no longer enforceable. In a nutshell, there has to be a beneficiary of the covenant to enforce it. If you have such a statement on your deeds you can get advice from a good property lawyer as to whether it is enforceable.

 

On the other hand, you also need to watch out for by-laws. A lot of councils have by-laws prohibiting the keeping of chickens, bees etc.

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It's a shame if that is the case today in our so called 'green' age that there could be such a restriction. I get it if private rent or shared garden etc but if your own space....? If a cockerel in built up area..I get that too. But a few chooks?

I know they make a little noise but no more than a lot of pets? Hope you are able to have them. :)

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This issue really annoys me as "Ooops, word censored!"ody needs permission to keep dogs which can be a huge noise nuisance (due to bad owners) or cats which can soil and dig up neighbouring gardens, or children who can cause a huge amount of noise, cause damage due to football games etc, keep a classic vehicle which is worked on at all hours involving lots of revving with an engine that could wake the dead. Don't get me started on hanger sized sheds.

 

Many bylaws state no commercial vehicles but "Ooops, word censored!"ody takes any notice of that

 

:evil::twisted::x:x

 

I think the chicken keeper gets a rough deal.

 

End of rant

 

I myself ran foul of planning with the chicken run (all sorted now) but the enforcement officer DID say the chickens themselves were not an issue just the run. My case was a very unusual one and most of you would be unlikely to get the problems we did.

 

I am also moving house, we have a wonderful conveyancer who keeps chickens herself so she will make sure all is in place for the chicken move. Worse case scenario council object to the chicken run being visible from the road so we go for electric netting instead of a run.

 

I hope that helps

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Yes and we are not allowed to keep livestock. It didn't say we couldn't have chicken pets. :wink: I also checked with the council and they were fine as long as we didn't keep a male bird because of the noise. I hasten to add that there are several rules and regulations in the deeds for this little section of houses and out of the 7 houses here 3 had already broken the rules in different ways, so as they set a precedent we carried on. Now that we have had the birds for almost 6 years now I don't think they can suddenly whinge about the birds. I have been told that they love to hear my girls - but hardly ever do (which is a relief as I did get a bit stressy with the orpies whining so much). With regard to noise the dog next door barks and attacks people (and the owners were happy to have some of our girls eggs) and on the other side their cats keep coming in my garden. And there are a fair few chicken keepers in quite close proximity to us now. After all I could have an aviary with budgies down the end which would mean a constant noisy chatter all day long!

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Its a complex subject and as said restrictive covenants need a beneficiary to enforce them. Some are drafted and are not transferable to 'successors in title', they were written to protect the seller while they still had interests in the surrounding property. But it depends on the wording as transfer is implied if not specified otherwise. We went to Appeal Court to enforce a restrictive Covenant and the judgement is now what is called a 'reference case'. That was one of the issues, because the previous owner said he hadn't meant it to be transferred and yet one of the selling points he specified years earlier was that covenant protection. Cost £40K to enforce, which fortunately we had insurance cover for. So even if it is technically enforceable, will the beneficiary bother? There are so many counter-arguements and one would certainly be the definition of 'livestock' against 'pets'. Specifying 'chickens' however would be rather more clear cut.

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In my last house there was a covenant saying something like we were only allowed to keep 'normal' household pets. I did ask neighbours first if they would mind and they didn't. Similarly I checked with the Council and they were very helpful. I never had any trouble there; but I had been living there a number of years before deciding I wanted to be a chicken keeper. as previously mentioned all sorts of others were broken like satellite dishes and works vans which were not allowed either. Not by me I might add!

 

In this house there are many covenants (luckily non mention chickens). However, I did consult my solicitor who said that as they were over 20 years old and the company that issued them had been dissolved there was no-one to enforce them. My solicitor advised me that if anyone did raise an issue they had to prove they had lost something if I broke a covenant (which I did by putting up a shed!) Luckily everyone else in the road has a shed too so as things stand no problem with that (yet!)

 

good luck

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DS is trying to buy a 1 bedroom flat with an extremely small balcony and the details so far say he is not allowed to to keep hoofed animals or chickens.

I think the only hoofed animal that would fit would be the little farm animals he had when he was small :lol:

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Just FYI, in the UK chickens are classed as livestock. When they die they should also be cremated (under the legislation).

As a general rule, even if your deeds prohibit it, I suspect unless you lived next to or near some miserable busybody, I doubt anyone would mind. Unless you're renting, then the owner might.

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On 9/8/2021 at 1:34 PM, Luvachicken said:

DS is trying to buy a 1 bedroom flat with an extremely small balcony and the details so far say he is not allowed to to keep hoofed animals or chickens.

Does that mean he could have pigs? Strictly speaking they have trotters rather than hooves

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