The New Forest is, of course, an outstandingly beautiful area, and a great place to live. But buying property there has a few peculiarities of its own.
Buying land or property in the New Forest – it’s different
As those of you who have already bought land or property in the New Forest area will already know, the area has some unusual issues when it comes to buying local property – and it’s easy to be caught out.
The vast majority of conveyancing solicitors who are not local to the Forest, are often totally unaware of these legal traps – and that’s why if you’re buying in the Forest, you need to appoint a reliable and well established local solicitor with plenty of conveyancing experience.
70 years of New Forest property experience you can rely
The conveyancing team based at our Fordingbridge office [following our merger in October 2017 with Fordingbridge Solicitors, Jacksons], have between them over 70 years experience of buying land and property in the New Forest.
So if you instruct us to buy or sell land or property in the New Forest, you can rest assured that your legal team really do understand conveyancing issues utterly unique to the Forest
So what are those two issues? Rights of way and commoners rights.
Rights of way over Crown land
Much of the New Forest is still technically owned by the Crown, and has been since the New Forest was established by William the Conqueror as a royal hunting area in the 11th century
And why does that matter? Simple – it’s just not possible to get a right of way over Crown land by simple long established use.
So, if you buy a house in the New Forest, and your property doesn’t sit right on the road (i.e. there is some sort of verge between you and the highway) you need to check who that verge belongs to. If it belongs to the Crown then you will need to pay for a licence from the Forestry Commission to cross that verge.
The need for local conveyancing knowledge
If you need an access licence from the Forestry Commission and don’t get one, this you can end up with problems when you come to sell your property – because you, or the new purchaser, is going to need to get a licence – and that means additional costs and potentially considerable delay in selling your property.
Common rights in the New Forest
These rights, which exist in and around the New Forest area, attach to ownership or occupation of a particular property – not to people. That’s why these rights are transferred to the new owner when land or property is sold.
But the catch is that these rights don’t show up on normal land searches. To find out whether or not your property has the benefit of any commoners rights, your solicitor will need to conduct a special search with the New Forest Verderers.
What are these common rights?
There were originally six different types of commoners rights – but the only four which still exist are;
- Common of pasture: this is the most important of the forest grazing rights. The New Forest sees over 3,000 cattle grazing in the summer, though less in winter – along with 5000 ponies and around hundred and 50 donkeys;
- Common of pasture for sheep: this is generally limited to a few of the bigger estates. This right is not use much these days;
- Common of mast: the right allows you to let your pigs out in the ‘pannage’ season in the autumn to eat Forest acorns;
- Estovers (Fuelwood): this right provides a preset amount of firewood for certain properties
Looking for Specialist Conveyancing Solicitors To Help You Buy Or Sell Property In The New Forest? Call us now
For a FREE no obligation fee quote from local solicitors who really understand the New Forest, get in touch with us today.
- Call our property team on FORDINGBRIDGE (01425) 652110 OR
- E-mail us using the online enquiry form below
5, Provost Street,