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The Principles of Land Law

The Principles of Land Law (1st edn)

Emma Lees
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date: 29 May 2024

p. 41713. Freehold Covenantslocked

p. 41713. Freehold Covenantslocked

  • Emma LeesEmma LeesLecturer in Environmental and Property Law, University of Cambridge

Abstract

This chapter assesses the law relating to freehold covenants. Freehold covenants are, at their heart, voluntary agreements entered into by one freehold owner with another person, according to which he promises to behave in a particular way in relation to his land. Strictly speaking, a ‘covenant’ is a promise made by deed. There are two types of freehold covenant: positive covenants and negative covenants. A negative covenant is one by which the covenantor agrees not to use his land in a particular way. Positive covenants, by contrast, require that the promisor ‘put his hand in his pocket’ and pay money to achieve a certain end. The chapter then explains how freehold covenants are created and interpreted. It also considers the different routes by which the benefit and burden of these rights attaches to land, and how this affects successors in title. Moreover, the chapter examines the rules relating to positive covenants and the limited ability of such rights to bind successors in title, as well as the power of the court to modify or discharge restrictive covenants.

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