Resurfacing a Right of Way

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Volumiza
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:44 am

Hi,

I am the owner of a driveway that 3 other properties have a ROW over. All 3 other properties have covenants in their deeds stating a responsibility to contribute a share of any maintenance costs.

The driveway has needed resurfacing for some years now and as I have a landscaper working on our top garden I have got a quote to resurface in compacted gravel. No problem. The landscaper did however state that he could do the work tagged onto the existing job or not then until July.

I have contacted the neighbours and after initial interest there has been no further communication despite repeated prompts. So I have instructed the landscaper to go ahead and at this point don't care about the financial contributions as a good, level driveway is a greater concern for my ageing Mum.

My question is:

As it is a) my driveway, even though others have ROW's over it, and b) I have communicated with all neighbours beforehand, have I done anything wrong?

I ask because the neighbours I have had historic trouble with were out there hassling the landscapers and photographing everything. It immediately puts me onto high alert and my blood pressure / stress levels this morning have returned to what they were 8 - 9 months ago.

Thanks,

siteone

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by siteone » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:58 am

You need to make sure that 3 months before you inform the other members that yo are resurfacing the right of way. Otherwise you will get into issues maybe not now but later.

Maybe sure building regulations are adhered to etc, with drainage a big issue with drive ways now.

Volumiza
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:15 am

Thanks for the response Siteone.
siteone wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:58 am
You need to make sure that 3 months before you inform the other members that yo are resurfacing the right of way. Otherwise you will get into issues maybe not now but later.
Does it specifically have to be 3 months? It's been in discussion for approx 4 weeks. There is so little communication coming back that it's hard to know what to do. The way I see it they will have a massivly improved driveway to use.
siteone wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:58 am
Maybe sure building regulations are adhered to etc, with drainage a big issue with drive ways now.
Yes, the whole job has taken into account drainage as the driveway is quite steep and runs directly onto fields behind so we had to look at that quite early on. We live in a conservation zone so cannot do these things lightly in terms of planning and materials / methods used. The landscaper is top drawer which is why we've had to wait for him so long.

siteone

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by siteone » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:18 am

So the work is happening soon??

I would let them know by letter advising them to make sure they know about access and any potential damage to cars from workmen, digging etc

Volumiza
Posts: 151
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Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:37 am

siteone wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:18 am
So the work is happening soon??
In a sense the work has already started as it is an appendage to work that has been going on for the last 4 weeks. The already poor driveway surface was made even worse by the work that was going on already. This was all confirmed with our neighbours long beforehand, last October or before. It made sense to do aspects of the drive while the earth mover was already on site. it is still totally usable for access on foot, just not vehicular access but they don't have a car anyway currently.
siteone wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:18 am
I would let them know by letter advising them to make sure they know about access and any potential damage to cars from workmen, digging etc
All correspondence has been via email. We aren't on speaking terms with one neighbour. The other neighbour is actually my Mum and the 4th house that benefits from a ROW is currently empty due to sale.

siteone

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by siteone » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:21 pm

For some reason I thought it was car right of way.

As long as they arent too affected I would say its reasonable and they did know a few months ago.

At least the weather is holding up for you to do the work.

Volumiza
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:24 pm

They do have a vehicular ROW, i just meant they don't have a car right now. They are an elderly couple but only tenants, I have to do all communication through their Son in Law who is the homeowner.

siteone

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by siteone » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:33 pm

Volumiza wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:24 pm
They do have a vehicular ROW, i just meant they don't have a car right now. They are an elderly couple but only tenants, I have to do all communication through their Son in Law who is the homeowner.
Yes I can see how that plays out.

I would personally keep the son in law up to date, just so he is aware, by email. Not so much as expecting anything but if worst was to come, it does look neighbourly

mr sheen
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Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by mr sheen » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:37 pm

The best way to get money from people is via discussion and negotiation and getting them to hand it over voluntarily.

Even though you claim the deeds specify a contribution , the exact wording needs to be reviewed to assess the probability of recovery of costs and the amount likely recoverable. Who determines need for maintenance? How is the need assessed? If a vehicular rights of way exists then as long as a car can pass and repass over the surface, some consider that satisfactory condition. Hence the wording is important.

If the beneficiaries of a ROW need to be 'forced' to contribute, you may have to consider court action....cue hassle! There are added complications here in terms of tenants who do not use it since the dominant tenement is the property not the people, creating complications about who costs are likely to be recoverable from and hence who you should be negotiating with and getting a contribution from.

You could start by posting the exact wording of the grants of a right of way, including the details about maintenance costs. Posters will then be able to review the details and may then be able to pass an opinion.

arborlad
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Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by arborlad » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:49 am

Volumiza wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:15 am
Thanks for the response Siteone.
siteone wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:58 am
You need to make sure that 3 months before you inform the other members that yo are resurfacing the right of way. Otherwise you will get into issues maybe not now but later.
Does it specifically have to be 3 months?



No.

Continuing one of your other threads would've been preferable.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Volumiza
Posts: 151
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Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:15 am

Mr Sheen, I can transcribe the wording in the deeds when I can dig them out but recuperation of the costs isn’t so important to us right now and, as the cost is only about £4k, I wouldn’t even bother entering into any kind of legal action for a quarter share. Just not worth the money, hassle or stress.

I just wanted to know if I was within my rights as landowner to decide when I could resurface the driveway if one of the neighbours wasn’t communicating fluidly.

Aborlad, sorry dude. I did think about it but they were both active for different reasons for two different properties that are now resolved in an unresolved kind of way and this is a specific right of way query. One was a general question for one property, the other a boundary question for a different property and this one is a ROW question for two properties. I was just using the forum as it is laid out. I can understand if a poster is posting the same question worded differently fishing for different answers but I was just trying to be tidy.

I simply wanted to know whether I could decide unilaterally to resurface my driveway as long as I had communicated with all parties, or if I need to brace myself for more trouble.

Thanks

mr sheen
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by mr sheen » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:04 am

If you own the land you are within your rights to resurface it whenever you wish. it is polite to give the other users notice and seek to minimise any adverse effects on them.

If you are not seeking to recoup any monies then there is no real issue.

The surface you provide should be minimally equivalent to the existing surface since the dominant users have a right to pass and repass over satisfactory surfacing, as it was at the time of grant.

As an aside, you need to be aware that dominant users also have a right to maintain the surface therefore to avoid any complaints of inferior surfacing etc., I would make it clear to other users that I am not seeking any monies and get their written agreement that they are satisfied with the maintenance works carried out and that they will not interfere with the maintenance without my express permission (but that is my personal position to protect from someone digging it up on the pretence of maintenance).

Volumiza
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:37 am

mr sheen wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:04 am
If you own the land you are within your rights to resurface it whenever you wish. it is polite to give the other users notice and seek to minimise any adverse effects on them.
Yep, I think I've notified them politely enough and ensure the landscapers are maintaining access for the dominant users at all times
mr sheen wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:04 am
If you are not seeking to recoup any monies then there is no real issue.


I wouldn't say I'm not HOPING they contribute but it is what it is Mr Sheen
mr sheen wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:04 am
The surface you provide should be minimally equivalent to the existing surface since the dominant users have a right to pass and repass over satisfactory surfacing, as it was at the time of grant.
It will be better so hopefully they won't have any issue with the quality of work
mr sheen wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:04 am
As an aside, you need to be aware that dominant users also have a right to maintain the surface therefore to avoid any complaints of inferior surfacing etc., I would make it clear to other users that I am not seeking any monies and get their written agreement that they are satisfied with the maintenance works carried out and that they will not interfere with the maintenance without my express permission (but that is my personal position to protect from someone digging it up on the pretence of maintenance).
I'm not putting the fact I'm prepared to pay for it all in writing Mr Sheen as I hope they will contribute ... let's see. All I can do is be polite.

Thanks anyway, I just got really nervous again when the tenants started reacting badly to the workers.

MacadamB53
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Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by MacadamB53 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:38 pm

Hi Volumiza,

it’s their property that comes with a RoW which means ANYONE* who wants to visit their property can do so using a motor vehicle.

that said, the inconvenience caused whilst the works are carried out (in a reasonable) is to be expected.

*with a lawful purpose

kind regards, Mac

Volumiza
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Resurfacing a Right of Way

Post by Volumiza » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:48 am

Hi Mac, yes I understand that it is their property that has the ROW. I just meant they don’t have a car now and it rare anyone connected to their house goes up there in a vehicle, aside from the guy who delivers their logs.

All I can do is apologise for the brief inconvenience and thank them for their patience, which I have been doing throughout. I was just concerned and unsure of my rights to ‘decide’ The drive needed resurfacing by myself. I did make contact to ask and there was a certain amount of enthusiasm but little else so ultimately I made the call.

I’m hoping they’re so happy with it they will make a contribution but more importantly I want my elderly mum to be able to walk up a flat driveway rather than something that resembles a farm track (with tyre troughs either side).

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