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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi, Ill keep the question short, we have an easement over

Resolved Question:

Hi, I`ll keep the question short, we have an easement over a gravel based drive of approximatley 80mts which allows us access to our land (Paddocks) This easment is shared by approximatley 8 other parties. In our deeds it states that the owner of the drive can request payment of a reasonable amount for the maintenance and repair of the drive. Over the winter period in particular the drive have become a little worse for wear with various pot holes. The new owner of the drive (2yrs approx) has stated they are going to have the drive tarmacked and that the cost is to be divided between all parties depending on how much of the lane you use. They have obtained 1 quotation from a local contractor and without any prior notification have through his solicitor sent a demand for payment even though the drive has not as yet been resurfaced.

All other parties are more than willing to make a reasonable contribution to repair the existing drive but to pay over £1200.00 each (total drive cost £13,000) for a new remodelled surfaced drive is coming a little hard on those that only have access to parcels of land, do not own the drive and do not live on the premises.

Are the owners in their rights to demand to demand this payment?

Thank You.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask the original surface of the drive please at the time the easement was granted? Was it new tarmac at that time?

Customer: No - it had never been Tarmac just a gravel lane/drive
Joshua :

Thanks

Joshua :

The landowner has a right to request payments for maintenance if there is a provision for the same in the easement which from what you say there is. This however does not extend to a right to request contributions for improvement. He may not collect more than is reasonable to restore the track to a condition better than it was when the easement was granted.

Joshua :

From what you say he proposes to improve the condition to significantly beyond what it was at the point the easement was granted. This is of course is right providing it does not derogate from the easement granted which tarmac would not, but he would be liable for paying the difference between the cost of restoration and the cost of improvement.

Joshua :

Accordingly you would not be liable to pay for the cost of improvements beyond restoring the track to a similar condition to that which it was in at the time the easement was granted.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer: He has suggested he may install gates if people don't pay his demand
Joshua :

He can't do that. That would be a derogation of your right of way.

Joshua :

You would if necessary seek an injunction to require him to remove the gates or provide you with access (i.e. a key).

Joshua :

You may consider offering to make a reasonable contribution towards repairs but not improvement and ask that he considers his position accordingly

Customer: I suppose now the question is how much would it cost to repair the drive as it was, this would possibly involve a independent surveyor?
Joshua :

This can either be agreed between you all which would be preferable or in the event of a dispute would either need to be resolved by a surveyor or ultimately by the county court based on appropriate expert evidence.

Joshua :

No user can refuse to contribute a reasonable amount towards maintenance and restoration if there is similar provision in the title deeds to your own but as to any amount that is unreasonable (e.g. costs or excessive compared to other quotes) or improvement, this is not recoverable.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer: Thank you for your help, we will continue with our fight! Thank you.
Joshua :

A pleasure. Good luck!

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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