Q&A How can my neighbour legally gift me a strip of his garden?

Q:        My neighbour has a small strip of land running behind my garden that he does not use, and he has offered to give it to me if I want it. He does not want any money for it, but I would like to ensure it is legally transferred to me so that it doesn’t cause any problems in the future. What will I need to do?

A:        As your neighbour does not want to sell you the land it would be classed as something called an inter vivos gift. Inter vivos means something that is transferred from one person to another during their lifetime (as opposed to being gifted after death, in a Will). There are, however, certain legal requirements for making a valid gift. These are separated into two parts: requirements for general inter vivos gifts of land and requirements specific to the transfer of land.

Under s52 of the Law of Property Act 1925, for an inter vivos gift of land to be valid it must be evidenced in writing. The land must be registered using the Land Registry form TR1 and signed as a Deed by the transferor. There also needs to be a Land Registry compliant scale 1:1250 plan submitted, along with Forms AP1 and ID1 and the appropriate fee. Form ID1 needs to be signed off by a solicitor.

When making a general inter vivos gift of land, i.e. when a parent transfers their home to their child, there is a 7-year rule for Inheritance Tax. So if the donor dies within 7 years the recipient may be liable for IHT. In the case of an inter vivos gift specific to the transfer of land there may be a Capital Gains Tax liability when they come to sell. However, for land less than 0.5 hectares, without planning permission, i.e. garden land of little value, it is unlikely the recipient would be pursued for CGT. 

This question has been answered by Clare Lewis, a Licensed Conveyancer with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, please visit our website www.ghplegal.com and use the contact us form, or call us on: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Clare Lewis

Clare Lewis

Licensed Conveyancer

Licensed Conveyancer in our Wrexham office.