How to Remove a Restrictive Covenant on a Property



Contact Us Today

Sign up to our newsletter


What are restrictive covenants on properties?


Restrictive covenants affect and limit what an owner can do with a property. These legal agreements are typically included in the property deed or other legal documents when the property is transferred from one owner to another. The purpose of restrictive covenants is often to maintain certain standards or to preserve the character of a neighbourhood.

Common restrictive covenants might include limitations on the type of structures that can be built on the property, restrictions on the use of the property (such as prohibiting commercial activities), requirements for maintaining the property in a certain condition, or guidelines for landscaping and exterior appearance.

These covenants are legally binding and enforceable, and violations can result in legal action by other property owners, homeowners’ associations, or local authorities. Successors in title are bound by the restrictive covenants that apply to the land, even though they did not originally agree to them.

Many people who buy a property or land with restrictive covenants may choose to take out indemnity insurance, a type of insurance policy that provides protection to property owners against potential losses or liabilities arising from breaches of restrictive covenants.


How to remove a restrictive covenant on a property


Removing a restrictive covenant from a property can be a complex legal process and may require the agreement of various parties involved. Here are some general steps that may be involved:


  • Consult a Solicitor: Start by consulting a qualified solicitor who specialises in real estate law. They will advise you on the legal implications of the restrictive covenant and guide you through the process of removing it.
  • Negotiation: If the covenant involves other parties, such as neighbouring property owners or a homeowners’ association, attempt to negotiate with them to voluntarily release or modify the restrictive covenant. This may involve offering compensation or other concessions in exchange for their agreement.
  • Deed of Release or Variation: If all parties are willing to remove or modify the covenant, they can execute a deed of release or variation. This document formally releases the burden of the covenant from the land, either completely removing it or altering its terms. The deed should be properly drafted and executed in accordance with legal requirements.
  • Apply for Modification or Release: In some cases, if it can be demonstrated that the restrictive covenant is obsolete, impedes reasonable use of the property, or is contrary to the public interest, an application can be made to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) to discharge or modify the covenant under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925. Applying to the upper tribunal can be complex and may involve a hearing.
  • Obtain Court Order: If the court is satisfied with your case, they may issue an order to have the restrictive covenant removed or modified. This order will need to be registered with the Land Registry to officially remove the covenant from the property’s title.


It is important to note that the process for removing a restrictive covenant can be complex and time-consuming, with the average timeframe being between 18 and 24 months. Working with a knowledgeable solicitor who understands real estate law in the UK is essential to navigate the process effectively.


How can ARC Costs assist?


ARC Costs has a network of solicitors who can provide practical advice and assistance on removing or enforcing restrictive covenants on properties. In addition to introducing you to a solicitor, we can also assist in the recovery and negotiation of legal costs in land dispute cases, whether you are the paying or receiving party.

ARC Costs are highly experienced in advising and assisting with costs issues and disputes in different areas of law. As Costs Draftsman and Costs Lawyers, we can assist in your Commercial Litigation Costs issues.

If a costs award has been made, allowing you to recover costs from your opponent, we can assist with preparing a Bill of Costs on your behalf to ensure maximum recoverability. We can also assist in Costs Negotiations and represent you at detailed assessment proceedings, which can determine the amount of costs you may be able to recover.

If you have been ordered to pay costs to your opponent, we can assist in disputing costs which may be sought and which you may deem to be excessive and unreasonable. We can do this by way of preparation of  Points of Dispute and also through negotiations to ensure you will only pay for costs which are reasonably incurred and not exaggerated.

Should you wish to discuss your costs query with us, please contact us on 01204 397302 or via email at Alternatively, you can complete our online query form and we will contact you to discuss your query further. We can provide expert legal advice on costs in our free, no obligation initial consultation.

We may receive payments from third party solicitors on our panel to whom we may refer your claim. We will never charge you for any referrals made to our panel of third parties.


4 Bark Street East, Bolton, BL1 2BQ

01204 397302

Follow Us