Acquiring Land from Onward

As one of the largest housing associations and landlords across the North West, Onward owns not just buildings and property, but also land for a variety of uses.

In some cases, Onward is able to sell small pieces of land to individuals.

We have produced the following guide with important information for anyone hoping to buy land from Onward. A guide to acquiring land from Onward

Before getting started.

Please read these important considerations before contacting Onward.

We are unable to give away any land for free.
All land sales come with some associated costs. The initial cost is for a valuation of the land in question. This would be payable by you and is non-refundable, even if you choose not to proceed once the value of the land is known.

If you are happy to proceed, you will be required to provide a written undertaking to pay
the value of the land and Onward’s legal fees. If the sale does not complete for whatever reason, you will still have to pay Onward’s legal costs as per the undertaking. You will also be liable for your own legal costs.

We cannot sell any land that has existing access agreements in place.
This includes any land containing street lighting, telecoms posts or manholes.

Reasons why land sales may not be possible.

We are unable to sell any land that might be needed for building new homes in the future, or any land that may be needed to provide access to new developments.

There will be some areas of land which Onward owns but cannot be sold because of legal restrictions. For example, the land may need to remain undeveloped, boundary treatment may not be permitted or the land must remain in public use. These types of restrictions are very common in the Hattersley area.

What kind of costs should I expect?

Onward legal fees: £500 (for processing land transactions)
Your own legal fees: £Unknown (depending on your chosen solicitor)
Land valuation fee: around £400 – £500 (set by an independent agent)
Cost of land: £Unknown (determined in valuation report)
Change of use: You must seek advice from your local authority if any land that is part of the ‘public realm’

Extending your home or garden.

If you are planning to buy land so that you can extend your garden, you will not be able to erect any structure on it without first gaining written consent (not to be unreasonably withheld) from Onward Homes.

If anything is built on the land without the consent of Onward, such as an extension to your home, court proceedings may be taken for its removal, and you may be liable for any associated costs.

If you are buying land to increase the size of your home and are likely to add value to the property, then the valuation of the land will reflect this. A clause may also be included in the legal documents that allows Onward to claim a percentage of any future property sale. This is called ‘overage’.

What happens next?

  1. Your Neighbourhood Specialist visits to inspect the land and take some details.
  2. Onward’s Property Team checks the ownership and any restrictions on the land’s future use.
  3. Onward gets a quote for an independent land valuation, which will decide the cost of the land.
  4. Once you have approved the quote and paid in full, a valuation report will be provided.
    As a registered charity, we have to deliver best value and cannot negotiate on any land valuation.
  5. When we receive written confirmation from your solicitors of your intentions, our legal
    team will progress the sale. You will be responsible for finding your own solicitor and paying all their fees.
  6. Your solicitor will keep you updated on progress with the sale and any potential issues.

How long is the process likely to take?

Like buying a home, the process for buying land can sometimes face unexpected delays, which are out of our control. Every case is different, so there can be no guarantees about the timescales involved.

If you understand and accept all these conditions, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0300 555 0600 and arrangements will be made for your Neighbourhood Specialist to contact you.