• In the case of London cc v Allen 1914 3 KB 642, it was held that when a covenant is annexed to the benefitting land, the covenantee is prohibited from enforcing a covenant once it has sold off the benefitting property.

Facts of the Case

  • A promised London City Council (LCC) that he would not build on a stretch of land that was needed for the continuation of a road.
  • A conveyed the burdened land to his wife (D) who then proceeded to build upon it.
  • As a result, LCC sued to enforce the covenant even though they had sold the land benefitting from the covenant.

Issues in London cc v Allen 1914 3 KB 642

  • Can LCC successfully enforce the covenant even as they did not hold the legal title to the benefitting land anymore.

Held by Court of Appeal

  • LCC’s appeal failed.


  • It was held that a claimant must have title to the dominant land in order to successfully enforce a restrictive covenant.
  • “For I regard it as very regrettable that a public body ” should be prevented from enforcing a restriction on the use of cru 0D ‘ property imposed for the public benefit against persons who bought the property knowing of the restriction, by the apparently immaterial circumstance that the public body does not own any land in the immediate neighbourhood. But, after a careful consideration of the authorities, I am forced to the view that the later decisions of this Court compel me so to hold. In my opinion, therefore, the demurrer of Mr. Norris and of Mrs. Allen succeeds. The action against Mr. Norris must be dismissed with costs. I regret that I do not see my way to depriving Mrs. Allen of her costs, ^aa, whatever may be her equitable rights, I am not at all favourably impressed with her conduct as a good citizen. I see no reason for interfering with the judgment against Mr. Allen in respect of plots No. 1 or No. 2, and his appeal must be dismissed with costs.” Pg. 678