The property which I am looking at has a Flying Freehold. What does it mean and are there disadvantages to it?
A Flying Freehold exists where part of a freehold property overhangs a freehold property owned by a third party.
While somewhat rare these days, such circumstances would arise where the first floor bedroom of one house overhangs either a lounge or kitchen on the ground floor of another property – or the first floor bedroom of the first house overhangs a pathway or alleyway between two houses belonging to the second house. More particularly, the situation can arise where an old country mansion has been converted into three or four separate units.
As these older properties were not necessarily constructed with first floor rooms precisely the same size as those on the ground floor if first and ground floor rooms are of inconsistent size it is possible that the first floor of one unit can overhang the ground floor of an adjacent unit.
The crucial issue in a definition of “Flying Freehold” is the word “Freehold”.
Those who live in flats will not see any difficulty in the concept of a first floor flat overhanging a ground floor flat in separate ownership. The crucial difference is that with a flat this will be Leasehold and the individual Leases of each flat will contain the various rights of support etc, which enables one property to exist above another in separate ownership.
Where one freehold property overhangs another, these rights of support will not be intrinsic in the legal titles to either property – hence the term “Flying Freehold”.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Director of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org