Easements & covenants

Easements and covenants are registered on the Certificate of Title and/or Survey Plan for each property.

You can order a title search online, by phone 1300 255 750 or 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or by emailing titlesinfo@dnrme.qld.gov.au. Fees apply.

Easement

An easement is a set of rights to use a section land in particular way. Easement rights are typically owned by public authorities (e.g. Council or electricity supplier) and are registered on the Certificate of Title.

Easement rights provide limited access for works such as sewerage, drainage and electricity supply, and owning authorities may enter easements at any time to conduct work. The landowner’s permission for entry is not required, and landowners must not obstruct entry on to the easement.

Current and future landowners will be bound by the terms and conditions of the easement registered on the Certificate of Title.

Building on or within an easement

You can apply to locate a temporary (removable) structure within a drainage easement. This allows for certain low impact, temporary structures which do not interfere with the intended use of the easement.  You will need to provide Council with detailed information and drawings of the site, along with a Survey Plan and easement document. The application must be signed by the landowner.

If the easement contains sewerage infrastructure, you must also apply for permission to build over a sewer main.

If you propose to build a permanent structure (eg shed, garage or dwelling extension), you must apply for surrender of the easement or part thereof. Additional approvals may be required eg building approval.

Covenant

A covenant - also known as a statutory covenant - is a legally binding written agreement that aims to protect, preserve and enhance specific features on private property eg, environmental features (Conservation Covenant), built form or development.

Covenants are registered on the Survey Plan and Certificate of Title, and are designed to last in perpetuity (ie, binding on subsequent landowners). To obtain a copy of a Covenant affecting your property, you can order a title search online, by phone 1300 255 750 or 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or email titlesinfo@dnrme.qld.gov.au. Fees apply.

Covenant terms and obligations

Covenant terms are unique and usually specific to the feature for which the Covenant is entered into. It's important that you check the terms of any Covenant affecting your property to ensure that you understand your obligations.  

Parties to a Covenant are usually:

  • Council or the State of Queensland (Covenantee) – The Covenantee ensures that the terms of the Covenant are complied with
  • Landowner (Covenantor) – The Covenantor is subject to the obligations within the Covenant.

Covenant terms may include:

  • restrictions on vegetation clearing within the Covenant  Area (which will usually be surveyed);
  • restrictions or prohibitions on building structures within the Covenant Area;
  • restrictions on planting certain species of vegetation within the Covenant Area; and / or
  • requirements to install and maintain a fence between the Covenant Area and the rest of your property.
Benefits of Covenants

Landowners can benefit through:

  • long term commitment to retaining important natural features on the property;
  • potential for financial or ‘in kind’ assistance for long term maintenance of the covenant area;
  • security for good management;
  • pride and civic responsibility.

Council benefits through:

  • long term security of stewardship of land;
  • certainty of recognition and commitment by subsequent landowners;
  • long term commitment to rehabilitation of land in certain circumstances;
  • protection of open space and natural areas;
  • performance obligations and requirements.

For queries about management of a Conservation Covenant on your property, including species selection, building structures in the Covenant Area, or other matters, contact Council’s Environmental Officers on 1300 69 22 47.

EVENTS, NEWS & REMINDERS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DEVICE
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EVENTS, NEWS & REMINDERS STRAIGHT TO YOUR DEVICE
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Last updated: 11 January 2021