You may have been advised when you purchased your property that a restrictive covenant is contained within your title. You may also have wrongly assumed that it cannot be removed and you just have to live with it. Fortunately, this may not necessarily be the case.
What is a restrictive covenant?
A restrictive covenant is essentially an agreement within a deed which restricts or limits the use of land, by one landowner, for the benefit of another landowner. This could be anything from the style of windows on your house to restricting the use of the land to residential only. Restrictive covenants are automatically passed on when the title to the land is transferred.
Can a restrictive covenant be removed?
In short, the answer is yes. However, this is not without pitfalls.
Restrictive covenants can be removed by several methods:
- By way of agreement;
- By way of drawing up a Deed of Release of Restrictive Covenant or;
- By applying to the Upper Tribunal to have the covenant removed, if it meets certain criteria, such as, the beneficiary is unknown, the covenant cannot be enforced or the covenant is unreasonable.
What if you have a restrictive covenant insurance policy?
If you have the benefit of a restrictive covenant insurance policy, the policy will usually provide that you do not make contact with the covenant beneficiary. It’s important to note that such contact will likely invalidate that insurance.
We would recommend that you take advice on the covenant and the terms of any insurance policy before any steps are taken or any contact is made.