Can I sell sporting rights to my land?


Rising demand for sporting rights means farmers and landowners can benefit significantly by selling or leasing those rights. John Robson, a director of Robson & Liddle, explains the risks and rewards of selling your land’s sporting rights.

With cash buyers willing to spend up to £1million for quality facilities, demand for sporting rights – fishing and shooting – is experiencing a substantial and continuing increase.

For large landowners, sporting rights represent a valuable commodity in themselves and on some types of land, such as grouse moors, the sporting rights are worth more than the actual land.

The importance of taking a balanced view

As well as considering what income you might achieve by selling or leasing sporting rights, it is crucial to evaluate the effect of such a transaction on the value of your broader property.

Even if you sell the rights but keep ownership, there will be wide-ranging implications for the rest of your property. For instance, you will be obliged to provide rights of access for the lessee, which could lead to issues around privacy.

Ensuring your offer appeals to potential buyers

Selling or leasing sporting rights isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Individuals looking for fishing rights are discerning and will do their homework thoroughly. They will require impressive catch records, evidence of consistent seasons and assurance that they will be able to catch particular species of fish.

Other important considerations landowners should think about include easy access to their property and ample parking, as well as structures such as fishing or shoot huts.

The question of whether the sporting rights are registered with the Land Registry is also essential to a successful outcome. By securing registration ahead of any negotiations, landowners can demonstrate undisputed ownership which can streamline the sale or leasing process.

Professional advice is key to a successful outcome

Any landowner looking into selling or leasing sporting rights is advised to take specialist professional advice in order to maximise value. By doing so, you will also be able to rest assured that all areas of risk – financially and to your property – have been thoroughly examined.

For more information on selling or leasing sporting rights, call John on 01768 254 354.