Restrictive Covenants

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Restrictive Covenants


What is a restrictive covenant?

  • A restrictive covenant is a private written agreement between landowners to restrict the use or development of land for the benefit of other land. The land where the restrictions apply is called the ‘burdened’ land. The land that benefits from the restrictions on the burdened land is called the ‘benefited’ land.
  • Restrictive covenants are most commonly applied when a developer subdivides land for sale and wishes to apply some restrictions on the use and development of the lots to benefit or protect other land.
  • A covenant that limits the use and development of a lot to a single house is a common type of restrictive covenant. Covenants that restrict the type of building materials that can be used for new buildings and fences are also common.
  • A registered restrictive covenant is a restrictive covenant that is recorded on the certificate of title for the burdened land.

How to remove or vary a restrictive covenant

There are three main ways to remove or vary a covenant:

  1. By applying to the Supreme Court for an order under section 84 of the Property Law Act 1958.
  2. By amending the planning scheme under Part 3 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
  3. By applying for a planning permit under Part 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.


If you want to remove or vary a covenant under any of these procedures, please contact one of our property and planning lawyers to give you expert legal advice about the option best suited to the particular circumstances of the case. We will also provide you a cost estimate which should be taken into account before starting any action.

Contact Us today on 03 8320 2955 to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.

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