Local Records Office Explains Air Rights, How to Determine Who Holds Them


The professionals at Local Records Office (LRO) understand that the issue of property ownership is much more complex than possession or even who holds a deed or title. Because there are so many different rights that are bestowed within these legal documents, it is important that homeowners understand exactly what they are entitled to with regard to their real estate assets.

A recent article published by NPR explains this in further detail by calling attention to air rights, or the right to the air directly above a property. Here, a representative from LRO shares the story and encourages homeowners to learn more about their rights via a property profile report.

The article explains that air rights are, simply put, rights to utilize the space above a property. While most homeowners do not think twice about this particular aspect of ownership, it is an issue that arises when individuals look to add a story to their homes or construct taller buildings on their properties. Additionally, the article explains, selling air rights has become a simple way for homeowners to make money on their existing properties.

The article asserts: “The air above your house could be worth a lot of cash if you have a view that’s enjoyed by others in your neighborhood. Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar says it’s not unusual for a property owner to buy the air above a house that’s in front of them for an average of $100,000 to $200,000.” By doing so, individuals who enjoy their view can protect it by ensuring that their neighbors do not build anything on their properties that may obstruct it. Additionally, the article notes, this increases the property value of the buyer’s home because the view is now guaranteed.

A representative from Local Records Office notes, though, that it is important that homeowners ensure that they possess air rights before they look to sell them. The professional explains that not all titles confer these rights upon their holders, so it is best for individuals to invest in a property profile report to ensure that they are legally in the position to sell their air rights before they put them on the market. “Ultimately, titles list numerous rights that their holders can exercise,” the representative explains. “But property owners don’t always know what those rights are without consulting different legal documents. By investing in a property profile report, individuals are able to learn what rights they hold and what the value of their property really is.”

The professionals at Local Records Office are eager to assist individuals in the development of their property profile reports and look forward to working with new clients who are interested in the issue of air rights.