Restrictive covenants


Guide to the law on restrictive covenants in England and Wales. Please click on the graphic to enlarge it.


Basic Land law: civil  Restrictive covenants  As our Live Law video shows, the use of land can be permanently restricted.  The aim in such cases is to provide some benefit or protection to property nearby.  A restriction may be a minor, common-sense type of restriction, which just forbids activities which anyone would regard as antisocial.  On the other hand, there may be a restriction which badly affects the use, and therefore value, of land.  The subject is bound up with planning, because the local planning regime may make it easier (or more difficult) for the restriction to be altered or cancelled.  The current owners of the two plots involved can alter or cancel a restriction if they wish. But they may not agree!   So you shouldn’t buy land without being clear about the scope of any restrictions and the possibility of altering or cancelling them. 

Questions answered in this Live Law file  How restrictive covenants are created.  What types of restriction can be imposed.  When they will be passed on to later owners of land.   How they may become unenforceable.  How they can be altered or cancelled by current landowners.   The rôle of the Lands Chamber in altering and cancelling restrictive covenants, and the significance of planning policy.  How restrictive covenants can be enforced.

For more information about Live Law files generally, please see also our Terms and Conditions and FAQs.   And for more about our publishing work see also our print publishing website,


Back to shop        See our Terms and Conditions