Is there a building plot in your garden?

The taxman is rarely your friend these days, but if you sell your personal private residence any gain is tax free. This also extends to your garden, although there are some limitations, depending upon exactly how much land your house sits in.

The tax free gain applies if planning permission is obtained on part of your garden which is sold for development. If you decide that you do not want to stay in your house and wish to sell that too you must ensure that you do not sell the house before the garden building plot or you will lose the tax free gain when you sell the plot.

Building plots are becoming increasingly rare and are starting to command a high price, so it is well worth considering any potential.

If you do believe there is a plot there or perhaps in conjunction with a neighbour, the next step is to seek to obtain planning permission. You can do this yourself by engaging a local architect who knows the planning officers well, or you can agree to sell the “potential plot” to a local builder on a “subject to planning” basis leaving the builder to obtain the planning permission…….and paying the costs of doing so!! These days the planning process can take far longer that you might expect, particularly with ecology interests needing to be considered, e.g. bats, slow worms, badgers, etc. Yes I know you don’t have any of those. Phew!

The contract with the builder needs to be carefully prepared and you will need expertise. Your Solicitor should meet you at your home so he / she can see for themselves the potential plot and its relationship with your property. Whilst you are happy to sell the land you would not wish its development to have any adverse impact upon the amenity of your home or its saleability or value when the day comes that you do wish to sell. Those legitimate interests can be protected by imposing restrictive covenants in the Transfer of the plot, for example, restricting use to a single private dwelling and precluding business use, restricting the development to the house for which planning permission has been approved; the plans of which you will have had an opportunity to approve, preventing the parking of caravans, motor homes and commercial vehicles, and so on.

At Thursfields we specialise in residential development work and are able to make sure your best interests are served, so if you are looking to release the potential in your garden, then do not hesitate to contact one of our professional property lawyers to help guide you through the process.

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