How To Buy/Sell Part Of My/Neighbour’s Garden (UK)
It may be that you wish to buy or sell a section of land from your/neighbour’s garden to build an extension, enlarge a garden, build a shed, extend farmland ground, or have extra space to move.
Or maybe a house buying company is up to acquire the property next door and your land is of interest?
Whatever the reason, do you wonder if it’s possible to purchase or sell a small strip of your or your neighbour’s garden?
As a professional landscape & gardening company, we dealt with properties for many years.
Although subject to the same legal rules, the process of selling and purchasing land is not always straightforward, and you need to decide how much of your own or neighbour’s garden you want to transfer/acquire and how far one can pay for it.
It is best to work with a professional solicitor or a trusted property buyer to avoid regrettable investments. If you seriously want to expand your domain, read on.
Legal Requirements & Buying Garden Land
Before you decide to buy or sell a section of your/neighbour’s garden, you must first verify if it’s legal to transfer or acquire.
Zoning restrictions may dictate a minimum lot size, which can make it impossible for you or your neighbour to sell parts of a garden.
Other restrictions may apply, for example, how close the neighbour’s house can be to the property line.
Additional factors to consider are utility easements like gas, water, electricity, and sewers.
You should also check whether your intentions for the garden section need approval.
For example, if you need to make a new parking space, you must verify with the planning authority whether it requires planning permission. If you find the process overwhelming and don’t think you can do it on your own, it’s best to call the local zoning department for a consultation.
If there are no legal issues, the next step is to contact a local real estate appraiser for valuation. This will help you gain market insights to figure if the sale is worthwhile or not.
Buying A Neighbour’s Garden / Selling Yours?
Where to start?
You can’t buy a section of your neighbour’s garden if it’s not for sale, right? So, the first thing to do is make sure that the person next door is open to the idea.
If your neighbour has an interest to sell, then consult a local real estate agent to clarify the fine details specific to your area.
The rules, process, and procedure for this kind of lot adjustments are different for each property and municipality.
Save yourself time and effort and consult a professional. Otherwise, you may have a nerve-wracking experience and lose money in the end.
Property & Garden Land Ownership
Answer this: Is the fence standing where it should?
When you decide to buy or sell a strip of garden land, it’s crucial to identify and verify the owner and if the land in question is registered.
If the garden strip is enclosed in the curtilage – the part of land attached to your neighbour’s house – then he or she is most likely the legal owner of it.
Throughout the process, you may find that your neighbour has a leasehold title (i.e. they are a tenant). If that is the case, there are two options to consider – to purchase your neighbour’s leasehold interest or approach the owner and try to purchase the freehold title.
And if you sell, expect the same being done from the other end.
As a buyer, research at the HM Land Registry (for £4) and check if the land is registered. If so, further search (costing £3) to clarify the identity of the registered owner. If everything checks out, then you may proceed with the acquisition of the land part you want.
If the garden is not registered and you proceed with a sale, then you must make sure your neighbour gives you sufficient documentation to prove they own it.
If you’re not sure about the technicalities of the process, we recommend you contact a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to assist you in either case. Professionals will also advise you on whether there are issues with the land or other inconveniences.
For instance, if your neighbour has a mortgage, you will want the bank or building society to remove the fee over the strip of land that you invest in. Otherwise, you may be covered in debt and lose the land if your neighbour falls behind with their mortgage payments. Of course, this can only happen if you have the consent of the lender, to begin with.
As you see, the legal technicalities are crucial and you must have all the information before you decide to invest.
How to Set the Price of Garden Strip Sold/Bought?
Before you sell or buy a section of your or your neighbours’ garden, we recommend thorough research beforehand. There might be different courses of action that you didn’t explore that can determine your failure or success.
Chances are that your neighbour didn’t advertise the land for sale, so it’s hard to determine how much it costs. It is sensible to seek the help of an estate agent or valuer at an early stage and determine a price.
Factors of Garden Strip Valuation
To determine a basic price, consider the increase in the value of your land and the reduction in your neighbour’s property value.
For instance, the strip of garden land might not be worth much to your neighbour but if it adds significant value to your home they are likely to sell for a higher price.
Likewise, the worth you may have in mind for what appears to you to be a bare patch of land might not suit your neighbour if they have plans for said section.
If some of the following are present in the piece of land you wish to buy, then the value of the section in question will increase:
A garden shed;
A patio area;
A boundary fence or wall;
Water features or decorations;
A summer house;
The condition of lawn or artificial grass.
Professional Services to Help
Depending on how far you’re in the matter, professional tradesmen could help you raise the value when selling.
Check our outstanding reviews or learn more about us. As experienced professional we are equipped with: chainsaws, ladders, petrol-charged grass trimmers, lawnmowers, petrol-charged hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, also petrol-charged, petrol-charged stump grinders (this machine is only used by arborist teams), jet washing machines (needs electricity and water supply), gutter vacuum systems for cleaning gutters and downpipes (needs electricity), green waste shredding machines, rakes, secateurs, shovels, pruning scissors, moon spade shovels, and more.
Back to the matter of selling or buying a piece of your or your neighbour’s garden.
Boundary Line Adjustments
Once you negotiate a price, it is necessary to draw up a plan which identifies the land in question. This will allow the Land Registry to update records for both your title and the neighbour’s title. If you work with a surveyor, he or she will take care of the details and prepare the plan.
The step is crucial, as it determines where the new boundary will lie. You need to agree with your neighbour, precisely where the line adjustment will lie and how to mark it, and who will have the responsibility to maintain it. Your neighbour may try and sign a restrictive covenant. It is a binding condition to determine what an owner can or cannot do with their property under specific circumstances. Such a contract may prevent you from making alterations to your new strip of the garden such as building an extension, for example.
If you and your neighbour are in full agreement, the solicitor should be able to act on behalf of both of you. This will keep the costs involved to a minimum.
Then, both you and your neighbour will need to sign the transfer of part and plan. The conveyancer will then carry out the administrative tasks and complete the sale. Then, he or she will register the changes at the HM Land Registry. The process should be straightforward and finalised in a short period no longer than a week or two
To purchase a strip of your neighbour’s garden can be a daunting process if you are not familiar with the technicalities of the procedure. If you feel like you are in over your head, it’s best to work with a real estate agent or a solicitor to help you sort things out and make a solid investment!