Restrictive Covenant Definition

An agreement (covenant) in a deed to real estate that restricts future use of the property. Example: "No fence may be built on the property except of dark wood and not more six feet high, no tennis court or swimming pool may be constructed within 30 feet of the property line, and no structure can be built within 20 feet of the frontage street." Also called "covenant running with the land" if it's enforceable against future owners. Restrictive covenants based on race (for example, "the property may be occupied only by Caucasians") were declared unconstitutional in 1949.