Right of access - our path!

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wlmartin
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:45 pm

Right of access - our path!

Post by wlmartin » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:07 pm

We were just looking over our deeds and there is a space of land (pathway) between our end terrace and the end terrace opposite.

According to the deeds, we must give right of access leading towards this space of land, but the actual space itself doesnt require a right of access.

I have previously rung the Council (before I had a chance to dig out my deeds) and they disputed any such claim telling me that the space I am talking about is a right of way.

The question I need answering is, we want to exclude traffic along this path and since our deeds say it isnt a right of way and belongs to us, can I errect a fence blocking the space of land in question providing that I do not disrupt the right of way's detailed on my deeds?

To help I have popped a quick diagram

Code: Select all

       ||
       ||======[=======================]==
        X      [                       ]
        X      [                       ]
        X      [                       ]       
       ||     
       || 
The (=) is the right of way I must leave clear.
The ([ and ]) are the start and end of my home
The (X) is the space of land I am talking about
The (||) at the top is the stairway leading down to the back of the terraces
The (||) at the bottom is the stairway leading up to the front of my house and my end terrace neigbhour

So the way i see it, the right of way leading down to the terraces needs to be left untouched, the right of way leading up to my house and my other neigbhour needs to be left untouched but the space inbetween that serves only to provide access for us and is currently being used as a cut-through by others.


NOTE : My neighbour in the end terrace next to me has already fenced off their side of the dual paths that run down between the 2 rights of way, so they have already done what we are checking if we can do...so when we close off this path it will completely cut off access between these 2 points.

Anyone got any help on this one?

span
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:34 am

Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by span » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:31 pm

Caan you provide a better sketch/diagram? I'm afraid I don't follow your coding at all. :?

wlmartin
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by wlmartin » Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:12 pm

Please see attached image
myhouse.jpg
Since the only reason for people to travel through the area in question is to gain access to the cut-through and the stairs leading to the other side of the road...

.... On our deeds the area indicated that lies between the backend of our house and the lower stairs is not detailed as a right of way. The stairs at the bottom are (because they connect both ours and our adjacent neighbours front doors) and the stairs at the top are since they connect all of us on that terrace to the bin collection spot, and the area that runs parralel to my house and the rest of my terrace block is as this is the route for them to reach the top stairs and drop off their bins...

So by cutting this off I am not eliminating any vital right of way (since the same route can be achieved simply by traveling 5 houses along and there is a main path there connecting both sides of the roads) and more importantly it is the only part of the paths surrounding our house that is not specificaly detailed as a right of way in our deeds.


I just want to know if I am on the side of law by blocking that area off... I realize I may piss some people off and providing I am in the right I will notify them beforehand however for security and just for controlling my land I want to know that if I erect a fence I am not going to get a visit by the council slapping me with a fine and charging me for someone to tear it down!!

Thanks
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pilman
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Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by pilman » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:29 pm

You need to look at the Registers of Title for the neighbouring properties, because it doesn't matter if the right of way isn't mentioned on your deeds. It matters if the right of way is mentioned on their deeds.

If they have a right of way over the land you want to block off, then you will be obstructing this right of way which is unlawful trespass.

Your deeds may be silent, but check what the other houses have recorded in their deeds before going ahead with your plans.

The law recognises the dominant land, which can exercise the right of way, so is said to have the benefit.
It is the servient land, over which the right of way takes place, that is said to have the burden.

If your property is the servient land and the neighbouring properties are all dominant properties, as there could be more than one property having a right of way, you need to verify that fact.

wlmartin
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by wlmartin » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:44 pm

Lots of legalish jargon there... not sure I understand.

So when I say that my deeds dont specificaly state it is a right of way (where they have detailed other rights of way in question, ignoring the path I am on about) it sounds like you are saying that the deeds arent something I should be focusing on and there is something else I need to check.


So.... how do I determine if the land in question is right of way or not, discounting the deeds which you state might not be accurate. How do I check if the area is a right of way?

span
Posts: 1645
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Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by span » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:43 pm

Get the deeds for your neighbours houses and check if the right of way is listed on there. It doesn't necessarily have to be listed on your deeds.

ukmicky
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Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by ukmicky » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:39 pm

Registers of Title - Sometimes called Deeds

Dominant land - Land which possess the benifit of an easement which grants the right to utilize land which does not form part of the dominant land.

Servient Land - Land which is burdened by the easement.

As Pilman says you need to see if anyone has a right of way in the form of an easement to pass over the land. And the only way is to gain copies of the surrounding properties title registers (deeds) to see what is recorded. Your deeds being silent in regards to any ROW over the area does not mean that their is not a ROW across it.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Anon
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Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by Anon » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:40 pm

"I have previously rung the Council (before I had a chance to dig out my deeds) and they disputed any such claim telling me that the space I am talking about is a right of way."

In what "capacity" did the Council say the space is a right of way?

E.g, the Council said the space was part of a public right of way. Or the council said that neighbouring (ex)/local authority housing maintain a right of way?

w3526602
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:58 pm
Location: south wales

Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by w3526602 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:22 am

Hi,

You council will have a definitive map showing all PUBLIC RoWs. I think the council will not be interested in any RoW that isn't public ..... unless a councillor wants to use it. ;-)

602
602 (That was my "last three")

wlmartin
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by wlmartin » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:03 am

Thanks for all the help so far..

When I contacted the council they said they were looking on their system and could see everything and were convinced that the area I am talking about belonged to the council. This is not true since our deeds detail it belongs to us...

I can't see how anyone has a justifiable right to access the area... I was looking for something concrete to confirm my conclusions but am unsure that anyone outside of the LR or a council survey officer could determine this.

My deeds specificaly dictate that there areas of my home that I own that I must provide right of way for (the path outside my rear of the house, the steps leading up from the rear to the road and the steps from the front leading to the road) and these are highlighted in 2 different colours which when read with the deed documentation tell me I have to provide ROW.

It doesn't have any highlights over the area I am disputing suggesting that this is not a ROW.
I am also confident it does not belong to the council since my deeds show the portion of land I own and would that area be owned by the council I would expect the deeds to be drawn in a way that doesn't include this area.

So I think my next step is going to be to stick a fence up and wait for any fallout.

The worst thing I can think to happen is that someone reports me to the council, the council check their records and for some reason they are in dispute with what my deeds say and we are forced to take the fence down...


Also, just to make things interesting --- base on the way the path is built that leads from the steps at the rear of the property... the steps lead to the path that my adjacent neighbour has fenced off.. as far as the area looks, it seems that the path around my house provides access for me and the path at the side of the adjacent house is part of any path or such leading to the top stairs - the only reason ours is the default ROW it seems is because they blocked theirs off forcing people to walk along our path. I expect that there is the chance that the path my neighbour has blocked off is perhaps the ROW in question between these 2 points (if any) and if disputed I suppose they would be the ones forced to remove their fence.

border collie
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Location: lancashire

Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by border collie » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:02 am

In your first post you say you want to exclude traffic from using the path. I am struggling to work out from your diagram , how the traffic would use it. Where does it enter and exit? Do you mean cars?

andrew54
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Re: Right of access - our path!

Post by andrew54 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:11 am

wlmartin wrote: So I think my next step is going to be to stick a fence up and wait for any fallout.
wlmartin, you could erect a fence and see what happens, but it might be better to check a few things first.

Go to the Land Registry, either on the internet or at the Land Registry Office. For a few pounds buy the documents for your neighbours houses. Check if the neighbours have a right of way over your land.

Next you should check if there is a Public Right of Way. You can do this by looking at the definitive map. This map is kept by the local highway authority - that might be your local council or might be the County Council.


Look at these things with your own eyes to get to the truth. But remember, the council do not have to own the land for there to be a Public Footpath on the land.

If there is any jargon you don't understand, just ask.

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