Un-exercised Right of Way

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danensis
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:42 pm

Un-exercised Right of Way

Post by danensis »

When we bought our house, there was an unexercised right of way from one corner of our grounds to the main road, across the land of a third party. Our deeds say "Full right and liberty for the Purchasers and their successors in title owners or occupiers as aforesaid (in common with the Vendor and its successors in title and all other persons now entitled or hereafter to become entitled to the like right) to pass and repass at all times and for all purposes and either with or without horses arts carriages and motor vehicles of every kind over and along (a) the roadway lting between the points marked 'A' and 'B' on the saidplan and coloured yellow thereon and (b) the strip of land nine feet wide between the points 'C' and 'D' on the said plan and also coloured yellow thereon for the purpose of access to and egree from the property hereby conveyed from and to the [...] street aforesaid the Purchasers and their successors in title paying a fair share and proportion according to user of the costs and expeses of inspecting maintaining repairing and renewing the said roadway and strip of land".

It is this latter strip of land (b) with which I am having problems. The previous owners never exercised the roght of way and, the neighbour's land being higher than ours, he has gradually built up the ground at the downhill end so that he can level it and make a car park. Consequently he ha made it more and more difficult for us to exercise our right of way, which we can negotiate on foor by clambering up a 45 degree slope, but could not access in a vehicle.

We have spoken to the neighbour and his only suggestion is that we build a ramp on our land to reach up to his car-park. As our land also slopes away, this wouldn't be feasible as the ramp would take up half our graden.

My initial thought was to hire a JCB and to clear the right of way back to the original gorund level, dumping the offending rubble to one side, but I suspect I could be charged with criminal damage if I did this. Is there a simple way of tackling the issue without expensive legel action.

There are several reasons why I would like to exercise this right of way, firstly because I need to rebuild some outbuildings, and this would be the easiest access for the contractors, and secondly the land at that side of the house cousl be sold off for development if I ever need the money in the future, and I want to preserve access to it "just in case".

I have written to the land owner asking him to clear our right of way, but he has not responded (he is a commercial company).
lolly5
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:18 am
Location: west sussex

Post by lolly5 »

We're having right of way problems as you can see from our posting and advice people have given us is to check what the Land Registry has on file so that you are sure of your ground, literally.
We're off to visit them tomorrow and are taking our documents to see what help we can get, but you can buy some of the documents online and also those of your neighbour.
Good luck.
lfp
danensis
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:42 pm

Post by danensis »

The quote given above is from my deeds, which are what the Land Registry have on file.
andrew54
Posts: 6994
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: north yorkshire

Post by andrew54 »

You are not likely to have success without a court order, but this case sounds so clear-cut that maybe it won't be too expensive and hopefully the court will make the neighbour pay your costs.

Did the neighbour have planning permission for this landscaping and change of use to a car park?
danensis
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:42 pm

Post by danensis »

If he did, we weren't notified. I've also tried to get the local water authority involved as the car park now drains onto our land and turns it into a muddy swamp.
Maverick.uk
Posts: 1567
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:36 pm
Location: Suffolk, UK

Post by Maverick.uk »

danensis wrote:If he did, we weren't notified. I've also tried to get the local water authority involved as the car park now drains onto our land and turns it into a muddy swamp.
It sounds to me that you have more ammunition. He is not entitled to do this and you should act sooner rather than later. This is an actionable nuisance.

Regards

Mav
danensis
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:42 pm

Post by danensis »

I went to see a solicitor yesterday about changing my will. At the end of the discussion I mentioned the problems I was having with this right of way, and he turned pale and said he was acting for the other party, and had "a pile of old deeds to srot through". This suggests that the other party is seeking legal help.

Very often the advice in here is "go and see a solicitor" but it seems to me that one needs a solicitor who is well versed in ROW issues. Is there a list anywhere of such specialists?
hzatph
Posts: 2461
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:37 am

Post by hzatph »

If he is acting for the other party then you need another solicitor; yours cannot act and should not accept instructions from you on this matter at all.
despair
Posts: 16544
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Post by despair »

Do you have Legal Expenses Cover onnyour Mortgage /insurances/credit card etc

You do need to find a Right of Way specialist Land solicitor ........not just your local bod

You may need to do a lot of asking around at some of the really big and trusted Law Firms
Maverick.uk
Posts: 1567
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:36 pm
Location: Suffolk, UK

Post by Maverick.uk »

danensis wrote: and had "a pile of old deeds to srot through".

?
Be careful as you deal with this, the only relevant documents are the Land Registry ones (unless a serious error has been made). People will try and claim all sorts of things through old deeds, they are only historical documents now. Anything of relevance should be on the LR documents.

Cheers

Mav
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