Our Property team has considerable experience in helping clients to understand restrictive covenants and either enforce them or protect themselves against the enforcement of the restrictions.
What is a restrictive covenant?
A restrictive covenant is a promise by one person to another not to do certain things with specific land or property
We regularly advise clients in relation to the validity and enforceability of restrictive covenants whether they are considering purchasing a property to live in, for redevelopment or simply as an investment.
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A restrictive covenant is effectively a private agreement between two parties affecting their respective pieces of land. As such only the parties to the agreement would normally be able to enforce it.
Typical restrictive covenants
The possibilities are endless, but some of the most common covenants that we come across are:
- Not to allow hedges to grow to a certain height on the property
- Not to build a certain numberof properties
- Not to build a certain type/style of property
- Not to keep any animals on the property
- Not to run a businessfrom the property
Are restrictive covenants important?
Yes, if someone purchases land that is subject to a restrictive covenant, you may be able to obtain a court injunction against them, ordering them to stop certain restricted activity.
Enforcing Restrictive Covenants
Covenants can be enforceable, especially between the original contracting parties. They can also be enforceable on those who are successors in owning the property.
Where the person seeking to enforce the covenant and the owner of the burdened land are both successors in title, there are several important pre-conditions that must be met for the covenant to be enforceable. Legal advice is essential to make sure that the pre-conditions are satisfied.
If a neighbour threatens to breach a restrictive covenant binding on them you will probably want to obtain an injunction to prevent breach rather than simply claim monetary compensation.
An injunction is a discretionary remedy which a court is more likely to grant if it is applied for promptly. However before taking legal action it is important to establish that you do have the right to enforce the covenant.
There are technical reasons that might mean the covenants are not enforceable in certain situations, for instance if the land is unregistered and the original developer did not register appropriate protections.
Our lawyers are here to assist with applications for injunctions to stop other parties from proceeding with their breach of covenant. This area of law is at times complex and can cause lengthy disputes.
How we can help
Our aim is to resolve property disputes as swiftly as possible using our experience and wealth of knowledge.
We have been involved in a wide range of property cases, many of which have involved complex issues, and some have involved niche and unusual points of law.
We are able to explain clearly the legal issues and provide open, honest and professional advice.
How to make contact
For an initial discussion and to see how we can help, simply call us on 0161 929 0121, or allow a member of the team to get back to you by filling in our online contact form. We are well known across the country and can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices based in Cheshire and London.