LEEDS OFFICE 
Trading as Avery Walters Ellis Solicitors 
 
HARROGATE OFFICE 
Trading as Powell Eddison Solicitors 
 
Whether as a result of Covid 19 or other factors there has been a definite rise in the number of people wanting their own piece of rural property paradise. However, there are some legal issues special to purchasing in the countryside which buyers should wish to consider. 
 
These can include:- 
 
Boundaries: 
As time passes properties can undergo boundary changes. You will want to be sure that the boundaries are clear so as to avoid any disputes with your neighbours. Also to be clear on any maintenance obligations. 
 
Listed Buildings; 
There are many wonderful properties in the countryside which come with a listed status. This means that you may have restrictions on renovations or extensions or where or what you can build in the grounds. A solicitor can advise on what can be done. 

 

Public Footpaths: 
As a buyer you should be clear if there are any public or private rights of way that pass through the properties land or garden as this may affect aspects of your privacy. 
 
Access to a Property for Sporting Rights: 
There may be legal access to a property for sporting reasons, such as hunting, fishing and shooting that are for the benefit of those other than the landowner. It is advised that you check for this in advance. 
 
Renting: 
Some of the land of the property you are wishing to buy may already be rented out to a third party, such as a farmer. It is important to establish what the legal rights are here. Existing rural tenancies may be difficult to terminate. 
 
Property Access: 
It is best if the property you are considering buying has direct access from a publicly maintained highway or has another private right of access. If the access to the property is owned by a third party you may, for example, be obliged to contribute towards maintenance. 
 
Restrictions to the Use of Land Via Restrictive Covenants: 
These can, for example, limit the building of extensions to existing buildings or to the building of new buildings. Always be sure you are aware of any covenants that may affects your plans for the property. 
 
Private Drainage System: 
A property in the countryside may not be connected to the mains drainage. It may have instead a privately owned septic tank or cesspit. There are regulations and environmental laws covering the use and discharge of private drainage systems. Systems should be compliant with all regulations and have suitable drainage rights. 
 
 
Summary: 
The desire for larger gardens and an increase in the number of people wholly or partly working from home has led to an increase in demand for rural properties. However, this can bring challenges in the legal processes which don’t exist so much with urban properties. A solicitor will be able to advise on these issues and ensure you are able to use the property as you plan to. 
 
If you are looking to purchase your next home and are looking for a residential conveyancing lawyers, then contact us on 0113 200 7480 or email us at info@averywalters.com to arrange your free initial, no-obligation consultation with a specialist. 
 
 
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* Laura Stafford is the SFE accredited member 
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