Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby zzyzzx » Wed May 10, 2017 6:31 pm

Hi everyone. I hope someone can assist with my question.

I have been informed that a local man intends to claim a parking easement on my (small) piece of land. I have owned it for 6 years. I use it every day so it's not redundant land. The easement seeker has lived in the area for approximately 10 years and so won't satisfy the time element to claim easement (20+ years I believe) unless he's intending to submit statements of truth or other evidence from longer standing users, who would also benefit from the easement. I am keeping this description vague as he might visit this site!

I have read that it's possible to prevent an easement by fencing the land or otherwise preventing his access for 12+ months, so breaking the time element of a claim. Would this still work if he already has a 'bundled' 20+ years, as above? I guess I'm asking if the previous 20+ years access is 'spent' if I can successfully keep him off the land for just over a year.

I rang Land Registry but they're unable to comment. Does anyone know whether this would work?

Thanks in advance for helpful input.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby Collaborate » Thu May 11, 2017 6:40 am

An easement attaches to land, not to a person. If he uses it as a drive and he lives next door, that might be one thing, but the impression I get from your post is that he lives some distance away, so the parking spot is not connected to the land he owns. Is that correct?

Anyway, go ahead and instal some collapsable bollards to stop him parking.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby despair » Thu May 11, 2017 8:46 am

to obtain a prescriptive ease ment it must be continuous use without a break of 1 year and a day
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby arborlad » Thu May 11, 2017 8:57 am

zzyzzx wrote:Hi everyone. I hope someone can assist with my question.

I have been informed that a local man intends to claim a parking easement on my (small) piece of land.




The claim would fail, whilst there without your permission he is trespassing, lots of ways to prevent this from continuing depending on the circumstances, signage, bollards, fencing, etc.,......or allow it and gain an income/benefit from it............lots of options for you.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby despair » Thu May 11, 2017 12:39 pm

if you take income from it you create a form of lease and more problems
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby zzyzzx » Thu May 11, 2017 3:59 pm

"If he uses it as a drive and he lives next door, that might be one thing . . ."

Hi Collaborate and other contributors. Thanks for your input. Why would it make a difference if the easement seeker lived next door? I ask because you are rather close to the mark!
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby Collaborate » Fri May 12, 2017 7:38 am

zzyzzx wrote:"If he uses it as a drive and he lives next door, that might be one thing . . ."

Hi Collaborate and other contributors. Thanks for your input. Why would it make a difference if the easement seeker lived next door? I ask because you are rather close to the mark!


An easement is for the benefit of one piece of land to make use of another nearby piece of land. The land with the benefit of the easement is called the dominant tenement, and the burdened land is the servient tenement. If his use of your land is unconnected with the use of his own land then he cannot claim an easement. He would have to claim adverse possession, and he can't because he hasn't had exclusive use of it.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby ukmicky » Sun May 14, 2017 10:03 pm

It does not necessarily need to be next to his land to gain an easement provided he can still show a sufficient relationship between the servient land and the dominant tenement. He must show that the right is connected with the enjoyment of the dominant tenement in some way because under English law a prescriptive easement cannot exist in gross

The easiest way now to prevent an easement is to put a sign up saying no access or parking ,private land. If you cant put a sign up, hire a road marking company to write a large message on the surface. That way you will also get evidence as to a date it was done should it be required in the future.


He would need to go to court to claim such a right but the problem with parking easements is the law is not clear and there are many conflicting court judgements so its impossible to say if he would gain it based on 20 years use or not. This is a area of the law that requires a test case to get to the supreme court where they can finally lay down a test for the he ouster principle, that all courts will then follow. So for now its best to err on the side of caution and mark up the space.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby zzyzzx » Mon May 15, 2017 4:33 pm

Thank you so much for the advice. I have already erected 5 signs: 3 x private parking + house number + keep clear; 1 x authorised users only; 1 x no unauthorised parking. It's a relatively small space (will take 3 cars parked 'nose to tail') It also runs alongside the highway and is difficult to fence or bollard off due to sloping nature of the ground. I may opt for the road marking service, but am concerned it'll look a bit OTT. Will my signs provide enough protection or do I need something also stating 'private land'? Thanks.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby arborlad » Tue May 16, 2017 9:12 am

zzyzzx wrote:Thank you so much for the advice. I have already erected 5 signs: 3 x private parking + house number + keep clear; 1 x authorised users only; 1 x no unauthorised parking. It's a relatively small space (will take 3 cars parked 'nose to tail') It also runs alongside the highway and is difficult to fence or bollard off due to sloping nature of the ground. I may opt for the road marking service, but am concerned it'll look a bit OTT. Will my signs provide enough protection or do I need something also stating 'private land'? Thanks.





If you mean protection against him claiming a prescriptive easement while committing a trespass then I believe his claim would fail, both now and in the future. If you decided to change the use of that land today and enclosed it with a fence, there is no legal remedy available to the neighbour to get you to remove that fence.

The effectiveness of signage is directly related to the quality of the signage - something obviously homemade is less effective than something professionally made and erected.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby zzyzzx » Wed May 17, 2017 3:15 pm

Thank you Arborlad (and all other contributors), I feel much more confidant after reading your comments. I will continue with the signs for now and may block or enclose the area off later this year.
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Re: Preventing prescriptive easement - please advise

Postby jdfi » Mon May 29, 2017 5:56 pm

Does he have any grounds for thinking he can park there?

10 years is a long time.
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