A restrictive covenant is a contractual obligation contained within the deeds of a property. They can have the effect of restricting a landowners use of their land and are particularly troublesome for property developers. But for a property owner facing a difficult neighbour, they can be a useful line of attack.
Restrictive covenants are used in all manner of ways. They can be used to ensure that a property with a view maintains that view; that no trade or business can be carried out in a residential setting or to prohibit any nuisance or annoyance.
If you are considering relying on a restrictive covenant to adjust your neighbour’s use of their land, you will need to assess whether the restrictive covenant is or remains enforceable, as well as whether the benefit and burden of the restrictive covenant has passed to you and your neighbour respectively.
The enforceability of restrictive covenants is a complex area of law. It will be necessary to consider amongst other things, the specific wording of the covenant to assess whether or not the restrictive covenant has been breached.
The usual remedy against your neighbour would be an injunction restricting the continuing or anticipated breach. But take note that not every breach of a restrictive covenant will warrant an injunction. You may therefore wish to seek independent legal advice before embarking on a restrictive covenant claim against your neighbour.