What is a Restrictive Covenant on a Property?

Author:
Sarah Ryan
Head of Property, Licensed Conveyancer
Date:
08/08/2019

Put simply, a Restrictive Covenant on a property is like a rule or a term in a contract that prevents someone from carrying out certain work on the land or the building itself.

Property Deeds and Titles often come laden with small print. The terms set out are not always obvious. Without using a Conveyancing Solicitor, you could end up making a very expensive mistake.

It may come as a big surprise if you’ve recently bought a house or a flat that you can’t make improvements or carry out work. Some Restrictive Covenants can date back many years, especially on period properties. They are often very specific, relating more to the time period they were originally drawn up. Despite this, these Covenants are probably still enforceable in many cases.

More recently, housing developers place Restrictive Covenants on properties to uphold the interests of the neighbourhood and surrounding residents, but sometimes a property developer will place Restrictive Covenants that benefit them financially; so understanding the small print can save you thousands of pounds.

For free initial advice or a free, fixed fee Conveyancing Quote online get in touch with our Conveyancing Solicitors.

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How a Restrictive Covenant Can Affect You

Restrictive Covenants often hide in plain sight. Our Conveyancing Solicitors will highlight any specific Restrictive Covenants which affect the property, and make sure that you know what you can and can’t do.

Examples of Restrictive Covenants include:

  • Not erecting any structures or buildings on the land
  • Not making any further alterations or additions to the property without the consent of the original developer
  • No using the land for business purposes

It’s important to discuss any future plans you have for your property with a specialist Lawyer. Our specialist teams of Conveyancing Solicitors and Lawyers have years of experience and expertise dealing with both residential and commercial property transactions; and we have eleven offices in England and Wales.

What Happens If I Breach a Restrictive Covenant?

In the event of breaching a Restrictive Covenant, you could be forced to undo any work you’ve done on the property, and face a hefty fee. And legal action could be taken against you.

If you find you’ve breached a Restrictive Covenant on your property, get legal advice as soon as possible.

Our Conveyancing Solicitors will establish how enforceable the Covenant is, as well as advising you on insurance that can be bought to cover the liability of any breaches.

Overcoming a Restrictive Covenant

If you discover that a Restrictive Covenant is in place on the property you want to buy, get in touch and we will explore your options for you, such as:

  • Find out who the beneficiary of the Covenant is, and whether they can prove that they can enforce the Covenant
  • Help you negotiate the release of the Covenant from the property
  • Arrange a payment to the beneficiary of the Covenant in order to agree a release or amendment to the Covenant
  • Obtain indemnity insurance to protect against a former owner seeking to enforce a Restrictive Covenant on your property
  • Help you apply to the Upper Tribunal for the discharge of the Restrictive Covenant.

For free initial advice call our Conveyancing Solicitors

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