In simple terms, they’re conditions which have been written into a property’s deeds or contract by a seller. Essentially, they prevent the buyer from making certain changes to a house – or from using it for a certain purpose. They differ from other restrictions which may be put in place via a leasehold agreement or by local councils, in that they are legally enforceable. If a buyer fails to comply with a restrictive covenant, they could face legal action.
But these covenants shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a bad thing. They’re often designed to maintain the image of a housing estate or development, preventing changes that could damage its reputation. As a result, they might prove beneficial if you want your area to hold onto its kerb appeal in the long term.
Here, we take a look at what restrictive covenants actually involve, as well as the potential implications for home-buyers.