Conveyancing in Hampstead - Legal matters to look out for when Purchasing in Hampstead

Relevant conveyancing searches - Commons Registration Search

Many properties in the area of Hampstead have a grass area to the front of the of the property.   These areas may be considered common land for which there may be rights over the said areas that could adversely affect your property.   Please ensure that your conveyancing lawyer carries out a Commons Registration Search to check whether or not there are any rights over areas within the boundaries of the property or in close proximity of the property. This conveyancing search to establishes whether the land which is being purchased is registered as common land in accordance with the Commons Registration Act 1965.

If access to the property is gained to it over open land then it may be wise to carry out a search. If land is common then certain members of the local community (though not everyone as is the common misconception) may have a right to access it on foot and to use it for purposes such as village fetes etc. , however no one is likely to be able to use it for vehicular access.

The conveyancing lawyer should also check that you have adequate rights of access to the property.   Normally, property lawyer s who have experience in conveyancing London transactions will be familiar with carrying out such checks.

Conservation Areas in Hampstead

Much of Hampstead is designated as a conservation area.   This affects your rights to carry out alterations to the property. The London Borough of Barnet has designated a number of areas in Hampstead as conservation areas. They have done this because it believes that the area is of special character and is worth preserving. If a property is in a conservation area then works which would normally be covered by a general permitted development order, such as a conservatory or even putting up a satellite dish will normally need formal planning permission. Before any work is carried out to a property in a conservation area therefore the advice of the local authority should be sought.

Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust

If you are purchasing in the area known as Hampstead you should note large area covering  several thousand properties is  covered by the Hampstead Garden  Suburb Trust Scheme. The rules and regulations of the Scheme can be found at ( ) The Trust is an estate management company for the prescribes area and was established in 1968 to help conserve and preserve the Suburb. Freeholders are subject to a Scheme of Management passed by the High Court in 1974, while in the case of most leaseholders the Trust is the ground landlord.

Residents are required to get the prior approval of the Trust before altering the external appearance of their properties. Consent is also required for significant changes to gardens, erection of garden sheds and felling or pruning of trees. Within the London Borough of Barnet, the Suburb is the largest Conservation Area; and so local authority approval, too, is required for alterations. Around 500 buildings have been individually ‘listed’ and owners are required to get the approval of English Heritage for internal alterations. The Trust is a registered charity and membership is open to residents who have lived on the Suburb for three years. There are eight unpaid Directors, four elected and four appointed by professional bodies.

If you are buying a property in the area your conveyancing solicitor should check whether the property is subject to the scheme as, if it is the property will be subject to various restrictions and regulations as set out in the Scheme. There are detailed and specific requirements relating to proposed works to a property covered by the Scheme. Please take the specific advice of your conveyancing lawyer.

The Trust can be found at 862 Finchley Road, NW11 6AB.
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The Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents Association is a voluntary organisation open to all residents, with an elected Council and appropriate standing committees. It can call on members with a variety of specialised knowledge who give their services free for the community. Council meetings, which are open to all residents, are held on the first Tuesday of each month (except August) at 8. 00 pm in Fellowship House, Willifield Way, NW11. The Association is a watchdog for the welfare of the Suburb and acts as a strong pressure group. It conveys the views of its members to the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, to the Borough of Barnet and to Government on a wide range of Suburb issues such as traffic, conservation and amenities.   

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