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I am just buying a small piece of land from my neighbour – do I need a conveyancer or solicitor to act?  

If the seller does not have a mortgage in theory you could do it yourself. However, regardless of the size of the land or value actually dealing with the transfer of a piece of land can be one of the most complicated transactions. A conveyancer will ensure that it is done properly and you don’t hit problems at a later date.

You need to look at things such as:

  • What is the current use?
  • What is the intended use?
  • Do any services run under the land?
  • Do you need to have any rights on the land not being sold e.g. to maintain your land or erect any boundary feature?
  • Does the seller need to reserve any rights to come on to the land e.g. to inspect repair or replace any services that run under the land?
  • What are the Land Registry’s requirements for the plan?
  • Should any restrictions be imposed to restrict the use on the land or ensure it is maintained satisfactorily?
  • Should searches be obtained?

Unfortunately, it is never always apparent what lies underneath the land and sometimes precautionary provisions should be included.

Whilst the Land Registry are helpful in the processes they are unable to provide legal advice which would include what provisions should be included in the transfer.

If the land being sold is subject to mortgage is likely that that lender will require the seller to instruct a solicitor to act for the bank, approve any documentation on their behalf and deal with the necessary discharge of the land from their mortgage.

Due to the nature of the transaction any solicitor acting will be unable to act for both parties due to a conflict of interest.   

In answer to the question above whilst you may be able to do it yourself our recommendation is that you do need a conveyancer to buy land

Kathryn Yates
Solicitor and LLP Member
Residential Property Department
01246 231288


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