Can I buy my neighbour's garden?
FAQ questions and answers
How do I go about buying a strip of my neighbour's garden? She is an old lady who doesn't use her garden, and I'd love to have the extra space to create an extra car parking space. Where should I start?
The ownership of land is controlled by detailed legal requirements and you would be advised to engage a Solicitor to arrange for the legal transfer and Register with the Land Registry. However, the first step is establish exactly what area of land your neighbour wants to sell. You will need them to confirm they own the land and if there are any charges on the land, such as a mortgage. If there is, then the process will take longer, as the mortgagee will need to approve the sale.
An obvious point is to check that the current fence is actually in the correct place. Checking the deeds should help clarify this.
Similarly, you should check whether there any covenants placed on the use of the land, or height of hedges etc.
You should also check responsibilities for maintaining the existing boundary as well as agreeing responsibility for the new boundary. With regards value, this is largely dependent on the use of the land and in the end how much you want the land.
You should check whether your intended use needs approval. For example if you need to form a new vehicle access off the road, this may not be approved. It is worth checking with the Planning Authority whether the new car parking space requires Planning Permission, as some work involving traditional hard paving, or where changes of level are required may require permission. Similarly, if either you or your neighbour’s property is a listed building, you will need listed building consent for any significant works whether internal or external.
Chris Arnold FRICS
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