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Jason Tann and Christobel Smales write for Property Week on the impact of restrictive covenants on developments

Covenants of debatable enforceability can often be dealt with by defective title insurance. If insurance is not available or agreement cannot be reached, an application can be made to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) for the modification or discharge of a restrictive covenant. A release or modification can be sought if a change in the character of a neighbourhood means the covenant has become obsolete; the covenant impedes some reasonable use of the land; or the covenant in question no longer secures any practical benefit. However, as e developers discover to their peril, this is not always the end of the story.