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How to secure your views by buying neighbours' air

Richard Brown and Gill Nadler are pleased their city views are protected from being built out.
Richard Brown and Gill Nadler are pleased their city views are protected from being built out. Jono Searle

HOME owners are spending hundreds of thousands to secure the air rights above neighbouring houses to ensure they never lose their views.

A great view can add a substantial amount to the value of a property according to Place Paddington Real Estate director Tim Douglas.

And he said after having invested so much to buy the perfect home with views, savvy owners were now going to the extra expense of ensuring they are never built out.

"A view is a massive advantage to value per square metre. A number of streets do have views, and do command a lot larger sale price than streets that don't have a view,'' he said.

More owners are using volumetric easements to protect their outlook from adjacent structures or high vegetation.

They create an invisible but impenetrable 'floating ceiling' that stops neighbours encroaching on your panorama, according to town planner, Brian Matthews.

"It's not difficult but it does require a process," he said.

Gill Nalder and Richard Brown bought their high-end Auchenflower home in big part because of its magnificent and protected city-skyline outlook.

Ms Nalder said their sellers not only designed a house to maximise the vista, they also bought the neighbouring home and created a volumetric easement to lock the views in.

"There's views from every level of the house," she said.

"I think a view not only adds to the aesthetic value of the property but it certainly increases the price you pay for the property."

Ms Nalder said without the easement, their neighbour could have blocked the outlook.

"Given that our view is protected and will be preserved, I'm certain that was well calculated into what we were prepared to pay for the property," she said.

Mr Matthews said a three-dimensional survey plan was created by a surveyor and shows where the easement will sit above the neighbouring property.

"Then they work that in with an easement document that a solicitor has prepared, and then they register that on title," he said.

When a property sells, discovery of the easement plan and document will be part of the title search.

Of course most neighbours won't volunteer to have restrictions placed on their property, but there's a solution … if you have the means.

"People are purchasing the (adjacent) property and then putting the easement on. Then, when they're ready, they sell the property and the easement remains," Mr Matthews said.

He said the cost of creating an easement can be as low as $5000 and can be finalised in weeks.

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Topics:  editors picks neighbours real estate views

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