What are link detached houses and do they come with issues?

Home $ How to buy a property $ Step by step guide: How To Buy A House $ What are link detached houses and do they come with issues?

Link detached houses have a small wall, away from the main building of a property, that is shared.

This wall of the house is shared with a neighbouring property to create two neighbouring houses that are both then classed as ‘link detached’. As you can imagine, there are some problems and legal issues that can crop up as a result.

In the same way as if there was a flying freehold (where there are two neighbouring properties with a shared area of the building), shared areas tend to cause problems.

However, if you are looking at a house that is a linked detached house, you don’t have to panic, there are real things you can do to reduce the risk you are taking on.

And there is a good chance that you can own a link detached house for many years without running into any disputes or problems with your neighbour or the law.

What is the difference between a detached house and a link detached house?

A link detached house has part of their wall or garage shared with a neighbouring property. If it was a fully detached house, there would be no neighbouring wall and if it was a semi-detached house there would be a larger wall that is on the main building of the house still attached.

There will be no difference on property listing portals such as Zoopla here.

What is the difference between a linked detached house and a terraced house?

A link-detached and a terraced house are both types of residential property, but they are actually fairly different in comparison to other types of housing such as the difference between a link detached house and a semi detached house.

This example is harder to understand and the differentiation when it comes to terraced housing is in fact very simple. A link-detached house is one where the house itself is not attached to another house, but some part of the property is but a terraced house is attached on both sides. 

In a link detached house, the link is usually a garage, basement or a storage area, not living space. 

In a terraced house, both sides of a property are shared with another house and this results in there being less space in general and there often being noise issues where neighbours are loud.

This type of housing is very common in the UK because a lot of this type of housing was built in an era where there was a large population of working class people who worked throughout the industrial age.

Terraced housing was where most of these types of people lived.

A linked detached house in the UK

Is a semi detached house the same as a link detached house?

The main idea of a linked detached house is that no two homes share a common living-area wall but still share some kind of division. In a semi detached house, an entire wall should be shared in order to classify.

So no, a semi detached house is not the same as a linked detached house and a semi is certainly more common too. However, sometimes, it can be hard defining a semi-detached house anyway and it could remain unclear what exact category a property falls into.

It is therefore helpful to think about a link detached house as a smaller subcategory of a semi detached house.

What is the definition of a semi detached house?

A semi detached house is one that is able to share a wall with another house on one side and one side only. This shared wall is usually a big wall and a main wall of the house, and this is where it differs from a link detached house.

A link detached house only has a small area of the house attached such as a garage, small cottage or an annexe that is shared.

What is a linked basement house?

As the title suggests, a link basement house is one that is attached in a small area of the house in the basement.

What can go wrong with link detached houses?

Like all properties, link-detached houses are not immune to issues. Problems can range from structural to logistical. 

For instance, structural problems with the link – usually a garage or storage area – can impact your home. This might be in the form of leaks, cracks, or even infestations that spread from the link to the main house.

Then this would pose the problem of who is responsible for the repairs and is the damage the result of a neighbour being irresponsible.

Furthermore, disputes may arise around the ownership and responsibility for the maintenance of the link. Unclear property boundaries can lead to confusion and potential conflict with neighbours. Also, problems such as noise or odours can easily transfer through the linked structure, affecting your living condition.

Do you need to ask your neighbours to do work on a link detached wall?

When it comes to carrying out work on the link structure, whether or not you need to consult with your neighbour depends on  the agreement you have in place. 

If the link is shared, then yes, you would likely need to discuss any work or changes with your neighbour and possibly get their agreement or consent. This is particularly true for works that might impact the structural integrity or alter the appearance of the shared wall. Therefore, understanding the legal framework governing your property is paramount.

Are link-detached houses harder to sell?

The ease or difficulty of selling a link-detached house largely depends on market conditions and location. Some buyers may prefer link-detached houses as they often provide a good balance between privacy and community living. However, others may be put off by potential complications, such as dealing with shared maintenance responsibilities or the lack of a clear separation from the neighbouring property.

In any case, it’s crucial to adequately market the benefits of a link-detached home, such as increased privacy compared to a terraced house and typically more affordable than a fully detached house.

Are link-detached houses more difficult to insure?

Insuring a link-detached house shouldn’t really be more difficult than insuring any other type of property. However, it can be difficult if there’s a disagreement over who is responsible for insuring the shared structure, or if there’s a history of issues like leaks or structural problems.

This is why if you’re considering buying a link-detached house you should check the property’s history and discuss it with potential insurers to ensure you won’t face any unexpected issues or costs.

Less privacy available

While link-detached houses generally offer more privacy than terraced houses, they typically provide less privacy than fully detached homes as by their nature they are definitely still close in nature. 

This is because although your living space doesn’t share a wall with your neighbour’s living space, you are still physically connected via the linked structure.

Sound can travel through these shared walls, and activities in shared areas such as driveways can also impact privacy.

What are the advantages of link detached houses?

There are two main advantages of a link detached house listed below. The fact that link detached houses are cheaper than detached houses and they also have more privacy stands out.

Cheaper than a detached house

Link detached houses tend to be cheaper simply because of the potential legal ramifications that could crop up throughout the ownership of a property.

This means there are opportunities for you to capitalise on as you buy a house. If you explain to the seller that you are carrying additional risk by purchasing their property, you may be able to take some money off of the price.

Nonetheless, if this isn’t an option, you should at least be able to ask the seller for the correct information surrounding who is responsible for the shared areas of a home if this information is available..

Better than a semi-detached house

In a link detached house, there are less shared walls of the property, so, in general, it works out to be more privacy than a semi detached house.

This is a great thing because you can benefit from the attributes of a property that is completely detached but you may only have to pay the price of a house that is link detached.

For instance, if there is a linked basement in a home and you barely use the basement, this would make no difference to how you view your property and live in your property. However, this could be a good reason to reduce the price.

In conclusion

Link-detached houses are unique because they share a small part of their structure. As long as this is the case they are classes as a link detached house. Even if the property is mixed use, it can still be linked detached.

If you do buy one, make sure you get your money’s worth by buying a property with a north east facing garden and other benefits to make up for the risk you are taking on. 

It is also worth noting that the type of housing is also fairly rare because in a typical housing development there could still be link detached houses that are unidentified.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.


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