Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenant is a legal term for a promise not to do something made by someone buying land or property. Some common examples of the types of things restrictive covenants can prohibit include:

  • Running a business from your property
  • Keeping certain types of animals on the property
  • Extending your property beyond certain points
  • Altering the property’s appearance

Restrictive covenants will be written into your title deed or lease agreement and, if breached, can be enforced by the party who benefits from the restrictive covenant.

As you can tell, this is a complex area of law, so if you have concerns about a restrictive covenant or need advice, it is a good idea to speak to a specialist residential property solicitor (such as ourselves).

We provide clear, simple-to-understand advice about restrictive covenants. We can offer our advice either as a standalone service or as part of our other conveyancing services.

Get in touch with our restrictive covenant solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley today

Get in touch with our friendly, expert conveyancing solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley. We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form, and we’ll give you a call back as soon as possible.

How our restrictive covenant solicitors can help

Our Conveyancing team help people across Sheffield, Barnsley and the wider South Yorkshire area buy, sell, transfer, and otherwise deal with property. As part of our service, we regularly advise our clients on restrictive covenants, including:

  • General advice about restrictive covenants when buying or selling a property
  • Entering into new restrictive covenants between landowners
  • Negotiating and drafting restrictive covenants in new lease agreements
  • Carrying out building work, alterations and improvements to land and property affected by restrictive covenants
  • Advice about restrictive covenants on new build properties
  • Resolving restrictive covenant disputes, including:
    • Challenging restrictive covenants
    • Enforcing restrictive covenants
    • Defending restrictive covenant claims

Where a disagreement has arisen about a restrictive covenant, we can act swiftly to provide practical advice and protect your position. In most cases, disputes can be resolved amicably and informally. However, we also have experience making and defending legal claims to modify or discharge restrictive covenants in the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal.

Why choose us for advice about restrictive covenants?

Our conveyancing solicitors are accredited members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) for our independently recognised skills in residential property law matters.

But what does this mean for you? It means:

  • We have a long track record of success.
  • You can trust that whatever issue arises during your case, we will be equipped to deal with it as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
  • We’re honest and transparent about our fees for helping with your restrictive covenant matter.

For information about how we can help with your specific matter and our fees, please get in touch.

Restrictive covenant FAQs

What is a restrictive covenant?

A restrictive covenant is a legal condition that affects what a homeowner can and cannot do with their land or property.

Restrictive covenants cover just about any issue you can imagine that might arise between homeowners, but some examples include prohibitions on:

  • Building extensions or erecting structures on your land
  • Running a business or trade from your property
  • Converting the property (e.g. from one home to a block of flats)
  • Changing the appearance of your property
  • Subdividing your land
  • Excavating or mining on your land
  • Erecting masts or satellite dishes
  • Growing hedges or trees above a certain height
  • Keeping animals on the property

Should you think about restrictive covenants when buying a new home?

Definitely, yes. Restrictive covenants can have a major impact on the way you are allowed to live and operate in your home.

How could a restrictive covenant affect you?

You have to follow restrictive covenants, so it’s vital to check that the ones affecting your land and property aren’t going to limit you in unacceptable ways.

For example, developers will often add restrictive covenants when selling new build properties that prevent you from doing things that impact the wider development, such as parking a caravan on your driveway or installing a satellite dish.

Depending on what type of restrictive covenant is in place, you may even struggle to get a mortgage for the property. You should also consider the future saleability of the property when entering into new restrictive covenants for this reason.

Restrictive covenants could affect you even if you didn’t agree to the original covenant with the original beneficiary. This is because restrictive covenants ‘run with the land’, which means that they affect successive landowners, not just the landowner who agreed to the restrictions.

What happens if you breach a restrictive covenant?

You can be sued by the person who benefits from the restrictive covenant (the beneficiary) and may be forced to stop doing the restricted activity, return the land to its original state (such as pull down an extension) or even pay damages to the beneficiary.

Who can enforce a restrictive covenant?

Because of the successive nature of restrictive covenants, it can sometimes be hard to work out exactly who can enforce them. Typically, it will be the landowner who benefits from the restrictive covenant. It can take some investigation to establish exactly who this is, so it’s important to seek legal advice.

Are all restrictive covenants enforceable?

Restrictive covenants must fulfil specific legal criteria in order to be enforceable. Our solicitors can review your title documentation to assess whether a restrictive covenant is enforceable and provide advice.

Can you change or get rid of a restrictive covenant?

It may be possible to negotiate with the beneficiary of the restrictive covenant for consent to do the restricted activity or work.

If the beneficiary declines to consent, tries to charge an expensive fee, or cannot be located, you can apply to the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal to modify or discharge the restrictive covenant. This can be a lengthy and stressful process, so careful consideration is needed before you take action. We can provide practical advice about making an application and represent you during proceedings.

Get in touch with our restrictive covenant solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley today

Get in touch with our friendly, expert conveyancing solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley. We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form, and we’ll give you a call back as soon as possible.

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Meet the team

Anees Rehman - Hillsborough Office Manager & Residential Conveyancer
Anees Rehman
Assistant Head of Dept
StJohn Wright - Commercial Property Solcitor - Woodseats - Sheffield
StJohn Wright
Head of Commercial Property
Taiba Choudhry - Solicitor - Conveyancing, Wills, Trusts & Probate - Sheffield
Taiba Choudhry
Solicitor