Robert Williams Estate Agents, Exeter

A flying freehold applies where part of one property – for example an upper room or loft space – physically extends over another. This means that the owner of a flying freehold does not actually own the structure which supports that part of his or her property. They are therefore entirely dependent upon the goodwill of the owner of the adjoining property for its upkeep and structural integrity. A flying freehold can also exist where part of a property sits over a communal access area, like an archway.

Of course, this sort of thing happens all the time with houses that have been converted into separate flats, or purpose-built apartment blocks. These are invariably leasehold, so there is always a freeholder somewhere who retains the power to compel each leaseholder to maintain their part of the communal fabric.

Fortunately, they’re relatively rare in freeholds in most parts of the country these days. Nevertheless, they do persist in some areas, particularly with older properties.

In practice, flying freeholds have been around for donkeys’ years without causing anyone any trouble. However, because they are different to the ‘norm’ and something of an anomaly, solicitors, banks and building societies tend to be rather wary of them.

So, you fall in love with the property you’ve seen and want to buy it… well, while it’s undeniable that the flying freehold could complicate matters and your solicitor will certainly want to check it out thoroughly, however, most of the difficulties associated with flying freeholds are easily surmountable – for example, by taking out indemnity insurance.

So, if you’re faced with a flying freehold on a property that you really can’t resist, my advice would be to go for it.

If you’d like to discuss this in more depth, give us a call on 01392 204800.

Vouch Tenancy Deposit Scheme The Property Ombudsman RICS Rightmove Zoopla OnTheMarket Prime Location