What is a Flying Freehold?

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

A flying freehold is a term used in property law to describe a situation where a freehold property is built over land which does not form part of the property. It arises when your freehold property overhangs or projects out from underneath a neighbouring property’s boundary.

Flying freehold explained

A Flying freehold can be a bit confusing, so let’s break it down in simple terms. Imagine you have a property, and part of it extends over your neighbour’s property or reaches into it. That part is called a flying freehold. The owner of the flying freehold owns that specific area but not the buildings or land underneath it.

Here are a few examples of flying freeholds:

  • An upper-level room that hangs over a shared archway.
  • A balcony that sticks out over someone else’s land.
  • Properties built on steep hills that rely on the support of adjoining properties.
  • A bedroom located above a living room or a neighbouring property.
  • A basement that extends underneath a neighbouring property.

What are the problems with flying freeholds?

The concern with flying freeholds is that they can create difficulties in terms of maintenance, repairs, and rights of access. Without an explicit agreement, each landowner has limited rights concerning the other’s property. They can’t force the other owner to maintain or repair their property, even if the flying aspect relies on the neighbouring property or if it poses a risk to it.

These complexities can make it challenging to secure financing for either property because lenders prefer properties with clean titles. Problems also arise when one owner needs to undertake work on the property but faces limited rights of access. These issues clearly affect both the owner of the flying aspect of the freehold and the owner of the adjoining land.

From a mortgage lender’s perspective, selling a property with a flying freehold can be a significant hurdle. While some lenders have strict policies against lending on such properties, others may impose specific conditions. It is recommended to speak to a mortgage broker with knowledge of these properties as they will be better equipped to find the best deal available based on your circumstances.

Further complications can arise as buyers who share flying freeholds will be reliant on a collaborating neighbour. It is essential that buyers of flying freehold properties employ an experienced conveyancing solicitor as they will need to clarify access rights to ensure future repairs won’t be hindered by an uncooperative neighbour and that the covenants are sufficient enough to ensure that there will not be any issues.

What are my options with a flying freehold property?

If your property is affected by a flying freehold, there are a few options available to you to reduce the risks associated with a property that has one.

  1. Title Indemnity Insurance – Most mortgage lenders will ask for indemnity insurance and it will also protect you in the event of any issues or disputes that arise with neighbours as it covers potential damages due to lack of repair in the adjoining property.
  2. A New Mutual Agreement – This is known as a deed of covenant, between the owners of the two properties which sets out the reciprocal rights and obligations.
  3. Alternative Structure – It’s also possible to explore alternative legal structures like converting the flying freehold into a leasehold, although this can be complex and may require legal assistance.

Will a flying freehold impact the value of my property?

The impact of a flying freehold on the value of a property can vary and will depend on several factors, including the mortgagability of the property, the specifics of the flying freehold and the size of the area involved.

Buyers generally prefer properties with straightforward ownership structures and minimal legal complexities. The discovery of a flying freehold is likely to create additional considerations and potential challenges, such as limited rights of access and shared maintenance responsibilities. These factors can make a property less attractive to some buyers, which could impact its demand and saleability.

If a mortgage lender is imposing specific criteria or restrictions when it comes to lending on the property with a flying freeholds or refuses point blank to lend on it this will further limit the pool of potential buyers and impact the property’s market value.

In some cases, the impact of a flying freehold may be minimal or be outweighed by other positive aspects of the property, such as its location, size, or condition.

If you are concerned about the impact of a flying freehold on your property’s value contact Gaffsy for a free no obligation cash offer today.

Why sell a flying freehold property to Gaffsy?

As genuine cash house buyers we do not need to obtain financing thereby circumventing any complexities and difficulties that those requiring a mortgage may encounter.

We can buy any house quickly, as experienced buyers of problem properties selling a property with a flying freehold to Gaffsy will be a hassle free, streamlined process.

You will have peace of mind knowing that you are dealing with property professionals, members of NAPB and Property Ombudsman.

If you have been struggling to gain access to address structural issues you will be pleased to know that if you have problem property to sell no matter the condition Gaffsy will buy it. So you will not need to undertake any costly repairs or redecoration.

Gaffsy prides itself on transparency, we cover all your selling costs and provide valuations to back up our offers. So, if you want your property sold fast and with zero fees, get in touch with Gaffsy, start the process now with a cash offer on your flying freehold house today.

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