Restrictive covenants legally oblige the buyer of a property to do or not to do something in relation to the property they are purchasing. Contrary to the belief of many, restrictive covenants "run with the land", which means that they are passed on to all subsequent owners of the house, flat, land or premises.

There are many types of restrictive covenant a buyer might impose upon a seller, from a duty to not develop land to more trivial seeming restrictions such as the requirement that a house is only ever painted a particular colour. However, the following are some of the most common types of restrictive covenant dealt with by Oratto's residential conveyancing solicitors:

  • An order to prevent the use of a land or building for the use of commercial activities
  • Restrictions on developing land in a particular way – for example, commercial or residential developments
  • Restrictions on access
  • Restrictions on structural changes to buildings
  • Restrictions on the types of plants or layout of a garden
  • Restrictions preventing non-agricultural use of land

Breach of restrictive covenants

Restrictive covenants can sometimes be problematic if breaches have already occurred – perhaps continually over a long period of time and by multiple parties - but these have only come to light at a much later date. In such cases, an indemnity policy can be bought and passed on to subsequent buyers.

In other cases, restrictions may be removed if they are found to be outdated, unsuitable and no longer serving to benefit anyone.

In a small percentage of cases, residential conveyancing solicitors may be able to contest the validity of restrictive covenants at a Lands Tribunal, which has the power to alter or remove their power. However, in such cases the beneficiaries of the restrictive covenant might be entitled to receive compensation.

Residential conveyancing solicitors

A lawyer who is experienced in residential conveyancing can make sure that your interests are protected at all times and will help make the necessary steps as simple and straightforward as possible, including the challenging area of breach of restrictive covenants.

Oratto's member residential conveyancing solicitors will be able to deal with any issues that may arise and, because we put you in contact with most suitable professional for your circumstances, you can feel confident that your interests will have priority throughout the process.

Whether it's signing contracts, exchange of monies, assisting in a matter related to breach of restrictive covenants or dealing with mortgage lenders – Oratto member lawyers will have the knowledge and expertise that you need.