In the case of Re: Zhang [2018] VSC 721, the Victorian Supreme Court was asked to assess whether a covenant prohibiting advertising on a residential property applied to real estate signage. In this case, the covenant stated that ‘no hoarding for advertisement purposes shall be erected on the said lot hereby transferred,’ which Derham AJ stated seems to literally prevent any form of advertising on the property, including real estate signage.

However His Honour highlighted the importance of context in this case, namely that the land was a residential property in a residential neighbourhood, as the purpose of the restriction was not to prevent real estate signage but to prohibit commercial advertisements that were ‘unconnected with the residential character of the land.’ Therefore, it was ultimately found such signage was not prohibited under the covenant.

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