Get the Right Advice on Buying a Rural Dream; Alex Robinson, an Associate in the Agricultural and Rural Business Department of Lodders Solicitors, Warns to Stay Aware of the Hidden Problems That Can Crop When It Comes to Buying a Rural Retreat: PROPERTYEXPERT
Byline: Alex Robinson
Many of us yearn for that idyllic country home, but pitfalls lie in wait for the unwary.
Opportunities to turn barns, cow sheds, watermills and deconsecrated churches into that dream home are still out there, but be sure to involve your solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
And not just any solicitor,m but someone who understands the law as it speci.cally relates to rural matters.
Issues like access, services and covenants that prevent residential use, whatever the type of property, require checking out at the outset by someone experienced in this area of law. Your lawyer may also need to work closely with other advisors such as surveyors, architects, planning consultants and lawyers for the landowner or seller.
The key at all stages is to use professionals who know the system, and the perils that lie in wait for the inexperienced when dealing with rural property issues, that can predict and deal with potential dif.culties at an early stage.
The nightmare scenario is when someone has spent good money on a broken down old place in the middle of nowhere on a whim and then .nds that they cannot obtain planning permission or has to bear the cost of obtaining services such as power and sewerage - at a horrendous additional cost.
There may be no or very poor access, and consider that the nearest shop may be miles away when you need an extra pint of milk.
Some churches and other ancient buildings come with restricted covenants such as no gambling or alcohol on the premises, which could rather put a damper on that dinner party or your Christmas celebrations. Sometimes people get carried away seeing an ancient barn on a summer's evening with stunning views in all directions - but think about days when the snow is drifting, the wind is howling and just getting to work or the kids to school is a major expedition calling for expensive four-wheel drive vehicles. …