Restrictive covenants


RestrictedIt is quite common in real estate agreements to see a paragraph where the buyer agrees to accept basic easements, subdivision agreements and restrictive covenants. These are often on title and have been for years or even decades, and would be very difficult for a seller to remove. While it is a topic for another day about whether the buyer should investigate what these are before agreeing to accept them, today I want to talk about what exactly restrictive covenants are.

Basically, they are rules that prevent you from doing certain things on your property for a certain amount of time. In Angus, for example, a town just outside of Barrie, almost every property has a restrictive covenant on title that prevents them from interfering with the rail line that runs through town. Sometimes they prevent you from having signs advertising anything other than your house for sale or rent; sometimes they prevent you from building a pool or an accessory structure; sometimes they prevent you from having a trailer parked on your driveway. They can be for a variety of things.

If you are concerned about what you could be prevented from doing, you should include a lawyer review clause in your offer and have your lawyer look at what is on title before you agree to buy the house.