One may need to disable chat history for users without an option to turn it on. So history should be disabled and the option removed from the Preferences when this setting would be turned on in the default.properties file. This should also disable the quick history in the chat window. History viewing button should also be removed from the chat window (and entry in the context menu of a contact).
Removing options from the preferences is not necessary. The setting will still take effect, but maybe it is a more clear approach, so it doesn't appear to users as a broken feature.