What are covenants?

A Covenant is a restriction on the land that is registered on the certificate of title. A covenant remains associated with the land indefinitely unless removed by the land owner. Covenants are common and most date back to when large tracks of land were subdivided and sold off. Common covenant restrictions include preventing quarrying/excavating/mining the land, restricting the materials and colours used to construct buildings on the land and restricting the number of dwellings allowed on the land.

A Covenant that restricts the number of dwellings can prove difficult for people intending to build a granny flat (Dependant Persons Unit). Whether or not a covenant restricts the construction of a DPU comes down to the way that particular document is written. If purchasing property people should always check the certificate of title for covenants and if they exist do their research into what it means.