If you are planning to buy rural land or if you are taking part in country sports on someone else’s land you should find out what sporting rights exist and who owns them. In most cases sporting rights are classed as profits à prendre – that is, they are concerned with the right to do something on and take something from the land (rather than owning the land).
Sporting rights are automatically owned by the landowner unless they have been formally separated. If they have been separated the sporting rights can be sold or let in the same way as any other property.
Most sporting rights are separated in one of three ways:
The landowner sells the land but retains the sporting rights
The landowner keeps the land and permanently sells the sporting rights to another party
The landowner keeps the land and grants a licence to a person or group for a set period of time
In some cases, sporting rights are agreed verbally. However, this can cause disputes and lengthy litigation. We would always recommend a formal lease, licence or sale agreement that sets out the relevant details.
It is a common misconception that if you buy a piece of land, you own everything connected with it. However, others can enjoy the right to enter your land for a specific purpose, sporting rights being one of the more unusual...
Most of us are aware that our land might be subject to other people’s rights over it. For example, it is very common for a householder to have the right to enter their neighbour’s land to repair and maintain sewers or...
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