Preparing land for promotion: practical points

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Build Build Build! The government's message is clear. If you are a landowner looking to capitalize on the opportunity posed by the need for more housing, then here a few practical steps to get your land ready for sale:

  • If your land is not already registered at the Land Registry, consider making an application for voluntary first registration. An official, electronic record of title will make a sale simpler and quicker. It’s also a chance to check that there are no missing title deeds and documents, and to consider whether there are any rights or covenants which might affect the use or occupation of your land.
  • Check that your title plan accurately reflects the boundaries 'on the ground'. If you have informally agreed an amendment to your boundary, or think there has been a case of adverse possession, then consider whether you need to take advice on formalizing or rectifying this.
  • If your land is occupied, then it's a good idea to make sure you have the necessary tenancy agreements and licences in place, so that vacant possession can be obtained when the time comes to sell.
  • Does the general public use your land? It is possible to protect your land against claims for public rights of way or village green rights. You may wish to consider displaying notices, fencing your land and locking gates. There are also formal steps you can take depending on the circumstances, including making a highways declaration or a landowner statement.
  • Consider the proposed access points to your land. Is your land accessed directly from a highway maintainable at public expense? Ransom strips or areas of unregistered land are common, and often come up in land transactions.
  • Consult tax experts early on in any transaction to consider your estate planning and whether you are getting the most value out of your land.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! We deal in strategic land development and have in-depth knowledge of legal structures and issues relating to the delivery of strategic land to development stage. For more information, please get in touch with the Real Estate team.