For example, if the owner is willing to sell the roof of their house (which has a flat roof that allows for building an extra floor)?

  • Which type of deed would be required for such a purchase?
  • If the owner decides to sell the house will the new floor also have to be sold?

Second Floor Example

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    what country is this hypothetical situation based in? – Kate Gregory Nov 8 '15 at 13:01
  • Just assume that regulatory law doesn't factor in. – Skyfall Nov 8 '15 at 13:16
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    @Skyfall I don't know how you could ignore regulatory law; this question is completely a question of law. Without it, of course, the answer is that a buyer and seller could make any deal that they chose to. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Nov 8 '15 at 13:42
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    @Skyfall - I suspect the downvotes and votes to close are a result of both the lack of disclosed state/country, and your unwillingness to discuss regulations. Simply put, regulations are key. I can own a 5 acre parcel of land, but if my area zoning calls for 10 acres for new construction, no house. 1 acre zoning? I might just be able to build 5. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 8 '15 at 19:22

The answer is maybe.

If the current owner has a mortgage, the lender will not allow it. They don't want to subdivide their collateral.

Selling a percentage of the property is possible. This is done all the time by co-owners.

Selling rights/access can also be done. Some people use a variation of this to get solar panels on their roof. In some cities this is even done to allow a property owner to sell roof space to another entity to put a green roof on the property. The other entity needs to counter balance the loss of non-impervious surface on another property.

If the right are done to allow the other person to add a structure to the property, then local zoning laws have to be researched. The property must be able to house that new structure. Their may be limits on height, square footage, number of kitchens...

In the United States a community association might also have to be part of the approval process.

A lawyer will have to get involved to make sure that the addition of the new structure doesn't jeopardize the integrity and legality of the original structure. This will haveto be done at the start of the process.

Selling the property in the future will be complex, and will have to be addressed. If you sell what happens to the other owner. You may have agreed that the new owner can do X, but what if they sell to somebody else who wants to do Y.

There is no standard form to do this. Expect that this is not trivial.

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  • So if someone buys the actual house (ground rights), wouldn't they automatically acquire the air rights as well or if once the air rights are sold they can't be resold? What if the new owners decide to demolish the ground house? Air rights – Skyfall Nov 9 '15 at 10:25
  • If the max height of a structure on that property is 40 feet, and the house is 30 feet tall, the air rights give you 10 feet to work with. If the house is destroyed by fire, and the new building codes force the height of the replacement to 35 feet, your air rights are cut in half. The agreement would have to address that issue. – mhoran_psprep Nov 9 '15 at 11:16

An entity can sell "air rights" to a property. A variety of mutual easements may need to be well planned out (or not), but the properties are separate and can button sold on. For example, the Pennsylvania Railroad famously sold the air rights to NY Penn station to the Madison Square Garden Company. Air rights

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