Restrictive Covenants

First, Some Lighter Reading (or perhaps not)

The following is reproduced with permission of the Calgary Real Estate Board and is by Calgary real estate lawyer Lubos K. Pesta (Legal Lou) and was first published in the Alberta Real Estate Association’s (AREA) April newsletter.  You can download the complete article by clicking HERE.

Let's dive into restrictive covenants

It is, or ought to be, routine for real estate professionals to obtain a current copy of title before writing an offer.


There is significant, critical information contained in the title to a property. Ownership and legal description aside, members need to dig deeper to ensure they are fully informing and protecting their clients.


It is not sufficient to pull title, review the legal, LINC and owner’s name and then file the document away.


Members should be reviewing the registrations on title for important insights into the status of the property and for potential red flags. Among other things, the title alerts REALTORS® to financial encumbrances, health orders, rights of way, access agreements and restrictive covenants.


This deep dive into the title is equally important for residential and rural properties. Section 6.1 of the purchase contract (both residential and country residential) provides for significant warranty by the seller with respect to the condition of the property, which includes both municipal and restrictive covenant compliance.


Restrictive covenants can apply to such things as roofing material, fences, outbuildings, setbacks and a myriad of other items that go beyond the municipal land-use regulations. Therefore, it is possible to obtain a stamp of municipal compliance without being compliant with the restrictive covenants registered on title. This could pose substantial complications at closing and could jeopardize the transaction entirely.


CREB® advises members to carefully review title with their clients and to advise them to seek professional counsel. Members should also carefully document the explanation they’ve given their clients.



On a Lighter Note


I would like to thank all those that entered my April photo contest featured in my monthly e-mail newsletter, “The DreamWeaver” and congratulate Maxine F. for correctly identifying the Scotiabank Saddledome.  You can sign up for “The DreamWeaver” by clicking HERE and be sure to enter the contest next month!

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