What the heck are ‘restrictive covenants’ and how do they affect Calgary’s housing situation?

Dave Robertson experienced an unfortunate lesson when he attempted to build a secondary suite on his Calgary property. Despite approval from city council, a restrictive covenant on his land title prevented him from going ahead with the project. Restrictive covenants are binding agreements attached to property titles which restrict what owners can do with the land and may also place obligations on them. Even if the city permits higher-density housing, restrictive covenants can still stand in the way.

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