Look out for low-flying freeholds


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While that beautiful archway over the entrance to your property may seem interesting and unique, it is worth considering the effects this may have from a practical and legal perspective. If it appears that your prospective purchase may include a flying freehold, this will have a real effect on the title investigations and questions that are to be asked of the seller.

For a flying freehold to exist, part of the freehold needs to overhang (or lie beneath) another freehold property. This could come in the form of driveways and accesses (where these have been built over from the first floor upwards), property which is over a common or shared passageway or a balcony which overhangs a neighbouring property.

There are a number of issues that could arise for the owner of the flying freehold, for example rights of access for repair to the property, damage which may be caused by others accessing their property or difficulties in insuring the property.

For the owner of the land which is beneath the flying freehold, you will need to consider what would happen if that freehold 'collapsed' into your property and whether any prospective mortgagee would be happy to charge your property in the future. It is usually possible to obtain insurance which will satisfy a lender but costs of such insurance will need to be considered when budgeting for your acquisition.

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