Old Right of Access

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march83
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:44 pm

Old Right of Access

Post by march83 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:08 pm

We have a right of access shown on our deeds and our neighbours deeds. It hasn't been used for a long time and was to provide access to a door that is now blocked. A long time ago before we lived here our neighbour extended their house into the space where we have a right of access. Will we have lost our right to access this strip of land or can we demand that we have access to it even though it hasn't been used for a long time? Is there any possibility that they would have to demolish the part of the house that covers the strip we have access over? We would like to be able to use this as a bargaining tool for something the neighbour is trying to do which severely impedes our enjoyment of our premises.

arsie
Posts: 1957
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Old Right of Access

Post by arsie » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:14 pm

As always a diagram would help a lot. Any chance?

march83
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:44 pm

Re: Old Right of Access

Post by march83 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:14 am

Thanks for the reply.

I've hopefully attached a diagram.

The small patch coloured brown/orange (not the large yellow area) is where we have a right of access. The red line is where the area is now enclosed to form part of my neighbours property. There is a 2 storey extension in the area enclosed by the red line. Blocking our right of access. There used to be a door to our house from the right of access. This is now blocked up.
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despair
Posts: 16413
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Old Right of Access

Post by despair » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:06 am

You cannot loose a right of access
However the time to have objected was at the start
Depending on the terms of the access it may be possible to arrange an alternative route or possibly demand compensation for the loss of the right which would also require those responsible paying for legal costs of altering all deeds etc

This will need the advice of a truly experienced land lawyer

arsie
Posts: 1957
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Old Right of Access

Post by arsie » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:30 pm

As has been said you never lose a right of way so yes, it could be a bargaining counter. As a matter of interest though what is the neighbour planning to do that you are unhappy about?

kipper
Posts: 855
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Old Right of Access

Post by kipper » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:06 pm

I think it is unlikely that a court would order demolition in this case. I would predict a claim of estoppel by the neighbour due to the length of time to objection and possibly also representations made by the previous occupant of your house, e.g. that they agreed the extension could be built due to them no longer requiring the access. Presumably you bought what you saw and were happy with that.

march83
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:44 pm

Re: Old Right of Access

Post by march83 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:32 pm

Thanks for the replies.

The most up to date sets of deeds for both properties definitely still show the right of access. However they also don't show the building that is on top of the right of access.

My neighbour wants to build a wall directly at the end of my patio. We have used the patio for parking since we moved in and previous owners have used it for a long time before us. To access this parking requires using a small part of my neighbours yard which we don't have access to. There is no party wall agreement and we dispute the exact position of the boundary too. We thought the easiest way may be to use the right of access as a bargaining tool to stop them building the wall.

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