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Restrictive Covenants

The Property (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 (1978 No. 459 (NI 4)) provides for the Tribunal to modify or extinguish certain restrictive covenants and other impediments affecting land.

NOTE however that some cases may require reference to other legislation. The updated Statutes of Northern Ireland are available at the UK Statute Law Database.

The first step is to complete a Other Statutory Provisions (Form F) and send the form to the Registrar together with the appropriate fee (see the Rules).

The Tribunal will also require the application to be advertised. In many cases tracing the beneficiaries of an old restriction will be difficult but the Tribunal will require affidavit evidence of sufficient enquiries. The Tribunal has a discretion as to whether to modify or not and will require expert evidence to assist it to reach a determination.

The case will then be listed for Mention before the Tribunal. This is an informal meeting to identify the issues. Once those are clear the Tribunal will make detailed directions for the preparation and Hearing of the case.

Usually sometime after the hearing, the Tribunal will give its decision with reasons in writing. An index of previous decisions is set out in the Table of Cases together with links to downloadable copies.