Restrictive Covenant Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Restrictive Covenant, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Restrictive Covenant?

(n) Restrictive covenant is the agreement or provisions contained in a deed of transferring a real property which limits the scope and application of the property so transferred. Eg. A deed containing a restrictive covenent that the property may not be used for any business activity other than for charity

History and Meaning of Restrictive Covenant

Restrictive covenant, also known as negative easement, is a conditional agreement or promise that places a restriction or limitation on the use of a property. It is typically included as a provision in a deed or other legal document at the time of a property transfer. The goal of a restrictive covenant is to limit the use of the property in order to maintain its value or to address concerns of the community or neighbors.

Restrictive covenants can be based on various factors, such as location, land use, zoning or environmental considerations. For example, a developer may include a restrictive covenant in a deed that prohibits owners from building any structure that is taller than three stories. This is done to preserve the views or sightlines of nearby properties.

Examples of Restrictive Covenant

  1. A homeowner association creates a restrictive covenant that prevents residents from using their front yards to park automobiles or trucks, which can be an eyesore and create a disturbance.

  2. A real estate developer includes a restrictive covenant in the deeds of several newly built homes that prevent owners from renting out the properties for a set period of time, thus ensuring a stable community.

  3. A homeowner sells their property while including a restrictive covenant that prohibits the new owner from building a swimming pool, in order to prevent potential liability or accidents.

Legal Terms Similar to Restrictive Covenant

  1. Easement - an agreement between two parties that allows one party to use the property of the other party for a specific purpose.

  2. Zoning Ordinance - a legal regulation that controls the use of land within a municipality or jurisdiction.

  3. Deed Restrictions - agreements placed on a property by previous owners or developers that limit how the property can be used.