Splitting your property’s freehold title

A quick guide on how you can split your property into two plots with Land Registry.

Splitting a freehold title is becoming more common and can be beneficial in many scenarios. Whether you are selling off part of your garden or splitting a property in two, this may be a good option for you.

In simple terms, a freehold title is the ownership of the whole of a property and gives you the right to do what you like with the property. The freehold title doesn’t just cover buildings but includes all land in your plot, including any garden you have. The freehold title is attached to the ground and cannot be floating.

Most properties in England and Wales are now registered with HM Land Registry, which is the Government body that maintains a register of land and property ownership and deals with any applications in respect of any changes to the register.

The Property Register provides all the title details of each registered property, and each property is assigned a specific Title Number.
When you split a property freehold title, the old title number will remain for the bit you are retaining, and a new title number will be issued for the new plot. It is important to note that the plot isn’t just cut in two, the new part is taken out of the original part and becomes a new title.
One important point to note is a property can only be split vertically not horizontally. It can therefore only be split across along the ground rather than separating the top and bottom of a building. If you want to rent out or sell a floor of your property, for example a flat on the first floor, a straightforward title split of the freehold is not possible. In order to do this, you need to grant a leasehold for the flat. For further information on this, see our article ‘Freehold v Leasehold: what is the best option for you?’ https://lawdit.co.uk/readingroom/freehold-v-leasehold-what-is-the-best-option-for-you/

In order to split a freehold title, an application needs to be filed to the Land Registry explaining why you wish to split the title. There is no guarantee that your application will be successful as the Land Registry will only split the title if they deem it to be necessary.

With your application, we will prepare a transfer document which details exactly what part of the property is being taken out of the original title. The important addition here is plans. The plans submitted need to show exactly what is going to remain as part of the original title and what will become the new title. These plans need to be detailed and it is recommended that these are drawn up by a surveyor or architect.

This process can be complex, and it is recommended you enlist the help of an experienced solicitor or conveyancer to do this for you. Please contact our property team today for more information.

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