What are the legalities involved in selling off your garden land?
PUBLISHED: 08:37 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:46 26 November 2018
If you’re thinking about selling part of your garden land for development, there are several things to consider. Carolyn Bunn, from Spire Solicitors, discusses.
Talk to appropriate professionals
These include the local planning department to see if planning for a dwelling would be permitted; a land agent for advice on how to maximise the value of the land; an architect regarding what type of property to apply for planning for; an accountant to assess whether you will incur any tax liability; a solicitor to ensure that your title deeds do not prevent more building on your land.
Decide whether you sell with planning permission in place, or as bare land
If you decide to apply for outline planning permission, you retain a level of control over what is built next door.
You can market the plot for sale with planning permission and your solicitor can include a binding obligation on a buyer in the transfer of the plot that any changes to the planning permission must be approved by you. You are likely to achieve a higher sale price, as a plot tends to be more valuable if it already has the benefit of planning permission.
Selling the plot as bare land places the cost of applying for planning permission on the buyer, but enables them to choose what to apply for. You may achieve less money at the outset, as the risk of whether planning can be obtained is on the buyer. If you wish to go down this route, your solicitor and agent can advise you on whether the land should be marketed with an uplift covenant, whereby if planning is obtained, an additional sum is payable to you.
This strategy is sensible if planning permission would not be granted now, but may be in the near future.
Plan your budget
Be aware of all costs you may incur before applying for planning permission because as well as professional fees and monies spent on fencing the site off from your property, the local planning authority may stipulate fees such as a Community Infrastructure Levy. Consider such fees prior to any sale and agree who is to pay them.
There are a number of other details to consider and these will all need to be agreed before any sale to ensure that your solicitor grants the necessary rights in the transfer to the buyer.
If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs.
Spire Solicitors has sponsored this column.