23 October 2020

Working From Where? - Moving To The Country Webinar

With the bright lights of city living suddenly dimmed, the fresh air and open spaces of the countryside have never felt more attractive. As working from home continues there has been much talk of home buyers looking to purchase property in more rural settings. Whilst the attractions of country living are clear there are a wide range of additional complexities that buyers should be aware of when purchasing rural property.

Our webinar explores the crucial legal issues to advise individuals on when considering a move to the country:

  • Property: country manor houses to agricultural barns, rural conveyancing to off-grid utilities - what additional considerations are there for purchasing rural property?
  • Employment: the right to work from home to employing your own staff - what are the legal requirements and consequences?
  • Planning: permitted development rights to change of use consent - how can you alter a rural property to suit your needs?
  • Tax: SDLT to inheritance tax relief – what tax reliefs are there and how can they be utilised?

Key takeaways

  • We have seen an increase in our clients moving to the countryside, and many property agencies have reported this trend too. Lockdown and working from home means that people they can afford a longer commute because not going into the office every day, and people want more space – especially a garden, and room for a home office.
  • There are a variety of legal issues to consider when thinking about such a move.
  • It’s important to think about where your employment contract says you should be working, to ensure your working from home plans won’t be in jeopardy.
  • Buying a large estate with staff on-site can present numerous challenges – it’s worth thinking these through at the start.
  • If you are buying land ensure you know how that land is held – agricultural tenancies can be restrictive for landlords and depress the land value by up to 50%.
  • Agricultural land carries potentially large inheritance tax reliefs, so make the most of them and factor this into your estate planning.
  • If you are selling land that may have development value in future you may wish to enter into an overage agreement, whereby you reserve some of that future development value.
  • What are the sewerage arrangements for my country house? Does it have a septic tank or a sewerage treatment plant? The regulatory requirements are strict and a new sewerage treatment plant can cost up to £15,000.

Our Insights

"They are dynamic and flexible in their approach to litigation, which can be very helpful in this area. They have strong litigation experience in their team and they always take a considered approach."
Chambers HNW, 2018