Common Legal Restrictions for Commercial and Residential Properties

A row of new homes

Getting your name on a title deed will be among your life’s highest achievements. This venture should, however, be handled with due diligence. There are many legal and financial documents involved in the ownership of property, which might be complicated for you.

You will, for example, need commercial property lawyers to help you understand a restrictive property covenant. This document has a substantial impact on the value of the property since it places certain limits on it. Here are the typical limitations in restrictive property covenants.


A restrictive covenant at times limits the use of your property for solely commercial or residential purposes. Private restrictive covenants and zoning ordinances might both restrict the use of property, but they have different powers.

In an event where a zoning ordinance is more limiting than the private covenant, then the former overrules the latter since it has more power.


Architectural restrictions control any new constructions or modifications to existing structures to maintain a neighbourhood’s overall outlook. An architectural committee is responsible for setting these regulations. The property developer has control over the committee.

But after selling it off, the home owners’ association board of directors takes over. Architectural review restrictions also exist on commercial properties to ensure uniformity in town structures. Typical architecture restrictions include paint colours, fencing, landscaping and structure designs.


Some restrictive covenants totally prohibit leasing of property or have particular regulations on your rental. Most, for instance, restrict property leasing to no less than six months. While this may not significantly affect commercial properties, it will change the leasing income from holiday homes.

In case of breach of a restrictive covenant or even a threat of violation, the usual remedy is an injunction, which stops the threat or breach. The court might also award the plaintiff compensatory damages which might burn a hole in your pockets.

Being aware of the specific legal ramifications of your restrictive covenant from the start is hence essential.